Hola! It’s time to get to grips with some beginner’s Spanish, which will help you feel more like a native and less like a tourist! Spanish is the official Mexican language, and you’ll find it spoken across the country. However, even if you’ve been to Spain before on your holidays and you have a basic grasp of the language, you may find that out in the Mexican countryside you’ll come across dialects that may be unfamiliar to you. Most people, though, speak very good Spanish as their first language (and pretty good English, too), so no matter how bad your pronunciation, you’ll probably be able to make yourself understood.
In the cities, the main Mexican language is standard Spanish, and you’ll see it on official signs such as banks, town halls, and at airports and train stations. In the key tourist areas, you’ll also find plenty of English translations on display too.
Are there other Mexican languages?
While Spanish is universal throughout Mexico, there are 68 different languages spoken around the country. From complex tribal languages that are only spoken by a handful of indigenous people, through to variations of Spanish that incorporate ancient Mayan and even Aztec words, Mexican languages are rich and varied. If you’re travelling off the usual tourist trail and into the jungles of Mexico then it definitely pays to have a guide with you that speaks Spanish, English, and the local tribal languages to avoid any misunderstandings.
What phrases do I need to know?
If you’re sticking to the most popular tourist areas then you can get by just speaking English. But if you’re travelling further afield it helps to speak some Spanish. Above are some common Spanish words and phrases to get you started. You’ll see that they range from the basic please and thank you, right through to more complex (but essential) sentences such as asking where the toilets are.
Pack a phrase book or an app
A good Spanish phrase book is a must-have, or you can check out language apps available for smartphones that act as your very own, pocket-sized translator. Most people in the main tourist spots will speak English, but will be thrilled if you try to speak to them in their own language, no matter how incorrect your inflections, or sloppy your syntax! It’s also a great way to get to know people, as they’ll always be happy to help you correct your pronunciation. Who knows? You might even come back from Mexico bi-lingual!
Mexican languages are part of the flavour of the country, and learning a few phrases will help you immerse yourself in the culture of this rich and vibrant country. Spanish is a surprisingly easy language to learn, and it’s spoken in many countries around the world. So not only is it useful for your holidays to Mexico, but it’ll be great for your next visit to the Costa del Sol.
Ready to get started?
Let’s get going with a few simple phrases. Simply click on the phrases above to hear them spoken, and then repeat back as often as you need. You’ll be speaking Spanish in no time!