Planning a trip Mexico soon? If so, are you learning basic Spanish, viewing simple language tutorials or Spanish translation apps on your smartphone to find words for “hello” and “good-bye” or “I am from Canada” or “does this bus go downtown?”

If so, here’s a tip: most language tutorials have one minor flaw – they don’t prepare you for the common words that you are most likely to hear – in particular for life’s most important task; EATING

Spanish 101: For Tacos, Oxxo Stores and Starbucks

Eating is a fairly simple task in Puerto Vallarta: find a taco stand or cafe, read aloud from the menu sign (or point) then pay.

But more often than not you’ll be caught off guard when the server or cashier asks you a question or two – in Spanish of course.

Here are 10 words and phrases you will HEAR almost everywhere, especially when buying tacos, visiting an OXXO store or Starbucks.

 

1 “¿Necesita una bolsa?  – or – “¿quiere una bolsa?” (OXXO)

The key word: bolsa. It means bag.  Simply answer “si” or “por favor”, and your task is completed.

 

2 “¿Algo Más?”  (OXXO, coffee, tacos)  Something else? Or, is that all you need?

 

3 “¿Con todo?  (taco stand )  With everything?  

When ordering, you will often be asked “do you want everything on it?

And, of course, you say “SI!”

 

4 “¿Todo bien?”  (tacos, cafe) Is everything fine

 

5  “¿Le ofrezco algo de beber?”   -or-  “¿Algo para tomar?”   (cafe, taco stand)  Would you like something to drink?

Listen for the word beber or tomar.  (bay-bayr, toe-marr)

 

6 “¿Grande o chico?”  (tacos)  Large or small? 

Many taco stands sell two sizes.

 

7  “¿Maíz o harina?”  (taco stand)  Corn or flour tortillas?  Some offer a choice – not all however.

 

8  ¿Como le gustaría que prepararán sus huevos?  (cafe or restaurant )  “How would you like your eggs?”  

Listen for the word huevos.  (pron: hway-bose)

 

9 ¿Para aquí o para llevar?  (Starbucks)  “Is this for here or to take away?”  

Listen for aquí and llevar (pron: a-kee yay-barr)

 

10  ¿Cuál es tu nombre?  -or-  “¿Podría darme su nombre?” (starbucks ) What is your name? (to write your name on your coffee cup)

Listen for the word nombre.  (pron: nome-bray)

 

So there you have it. 10 words you are going to hear.  So, be ready.

“¿Listo?”

Oh, that means “ready?”  (pron: lee-stoe)