You’re in Costa Rica – Learn Some Spanish ! Part 1

You’re in Costa Rica – Learn Some Spanish ! Part 1

Time to learn some new Spanish and to review the basics with part one of our Spanish for Costa Rica series! Today, we’re focusing on what will be most important when you are visiting this beautiful country. If you’re travelling in any Spanish-speaking country, our guide will help immensely as it’s full of basic and important words and phrases for travelling.

If you want to learn a few phrases for travelling, it’ll be extremely helpful. Spanish is not as impossible as you might think – there are quite a few words that are either the same or very similar to English.

In Costa Rica, locals genuinely appreciate it when foreigners make an effort to speak Spanish. Even if your Spanish is basic and a bit broken, they’ll gladly engage in conversation. It’s the intention that truly matters!


Basic Spanish For Beginners

This is just a taste of some important words in Spanish


Learn How to Speak Spanish – Survival Spanish for Travelers

In these sections, we will write out the words in Spanish and English translation and how to pronounce them.

Remember, these words and phrases are for Costa Rica. Other countries might use different words and some words may mean something completely different. Not to mention their accents are different as well!


Basic Words

These are the basic words that will help you get through your day with ease and you can use these anywhere in the world.


Yes – Si (See)
No – No
Fine – Bien (bee-en)
Bad – Malo (mahl-o)
Please – Por favor (pohr fah-VOR)
Thank you – Gracias (gra-SEE-ahs)
Thank you very much – Muchas gracias (moo-chahs gra-SEE-ahs)
You’re welcome – De nada (deh NA-da)
Excuse me – Con permiso (kohn pehr-MEE-soh) Use if you need to squeeze by somebody.
Pardon me – Perdóname (pehr-DOH-nah-meh) Use if you accidentally bump into someone.
I’m sorry – Lo siento (low see-EHN-to)


Remember to say each word out loud a few times so it commits to your long-term memory. It may feel weird at first but don’t worry this is one of the easiest and best ways to learn Spanish.


Hola, Vayu Retreat Villas learn Spanish


Learning friendly Spanish greetings will help you take the basics and use them in conversation with people.


Hello – Hola (Oh-la)
Bye – Adiós (ah-dee-OHS)
Good morning – Buenos días (booEHN-os DEE-as)
Good afternoon – Buenas tardes (booEHN-as TAR-dehs)
Good night – Buenas noches (booEHN-as NO-chehs)
How are you? – Cómo estás? (KOH-moh ehs-TA)
What is your name? – Cómo se llama? (KOH-moh seh JA-mah)
My name is – Mi nombre es (me nu-om-ber-ay ess)
Nice to meet you – Mucho gusto (MOO-choh GOOS-toh)
Where are you from? – De dónde eres? (Deh-DONH-day AIR-ess)
I am from … – Yo soy de … (Jo su-oy deh)
How old are you? – Cuántos años tienes? (Ca-wan-TOS anh-yos TEE-en-es)
I am … years old – Tengo … años (tuh-ang-go … an-yos)
See you later – Hasta luego (AHS-ta looEH-go)
Have a good day! – Tenga un buen día! (tang-ga oo-n booEHN dee-ah)


These are some easy starting conversation words to practice. Try saying the words slowly out loud a couple of times and then speed up when you feel comfortable.

Common Questions/Phrases

These are very important common phrases that can help you in nearly all situations. Even knowing just a few of these can help communicate your needs much easier to whoever is listening.


Where is the… ? – Dónde está … ? (Dohn-day eh-stah) Insert what you are looking for: hotel, market, beach, etc.
I need the bathroom – Necesito el baño (NUH-ess-seh-see-to el BAH-neeo)
I need to go to the … – Necesito ir a …(NUH-ess-seh-see-to eer AH…)
How do I get to …? – Como llego … (KOH-moh-jeh-go)
I am hungry –Tengo hambre (tang-GO OM-bray)
I am thirsty – Tengo sed (tang-GO seh-DUH)
Is it OK? – Esta bien? (eh-stah bee-en) Use when you are asking if it is OK to do something.
What time is it? – Qué hora es? (kay or-AH ess)

Practice makes perfect:
How do you say “My name is … ?”



These are extremely helpful if there is no one around who speaks your native language or when you are trying to understand something in Spanish.


Do you speak… (English) ? – Hablas inglés? (a-blah een-glis). Insert other language such as francés, italiano, ruso (Russian), alemán (German), etc..
I don’t speak Spanish – No hablo español (no a-blo es-pan-yol)
I speak a little Spanish – Yo hablo un poco de español (jo a-blo oo-n poh-coh deh es-pan-yol)
How do you say … in Spanish? – (Como se dice … en español? Co-mo say dee-say … ee-n ES-pan-yol)
What does … mean in English? – Que significa … en ingles (kay cig-ni-fee-kah… ee-n een-glays)
How do you spell it? – Como se escribe … ? (Co-mo say es-cree-bay)
I don’t understand – No entiendo (no en-tee-en-doh)
Speak slower please – Por favor, habla más despacio (pohr fah-VOR, AH-blah mahs dehs-PAHS-ee-oh)
Can you repeat please – Podrías repetir por favor (poh-dree-AHS reh-peh-tee-eer pohr fah-VOR)


Practice makes perfect: How do you say “I need to go to the bank?”

Emergency Phrases

Now let’s move on to emergency phrases… very useful in case of a crisis!


Help! –Auxilio! (AH-oox-eel-ee-oh)
I am sick –Estoy enfermo (a) (ehs-TOY en-FER-mo)
I need help –Necesito ayuda (ness-es-ee-toh ah-ju-dah)
I had an accident – Tuve un accidente < (too-vay oon ack-see-den-tay)
I’ve been robbed – Me han robado (a) (may on roe-bah-do)
I lost my passport – Perdí mi pasaporte (pea-er-dee mi pass-ah-por-tey)
I am lost – Estoy perdido (ehs-TOY pehr-DEE-doh)
I don’t feel well –No me siento bien (no may see-yen-toe bee-en)
I need a doctor –Necesito un médico (ness-ess-ee-toh oon MED-ee-koh)
Send the police –Envie a la policia (en-vee-ay ah la poh-lee-see-ah)


Practice makes perfect: How do you say “Do you speak English?”

Remember, practice is key! Say these words to yourself more than once and try to integrate them on your trip. The more you know and the more confident you are, the easier it will be.


Check out our post on Common Mistakes to avoid on your first visit to Costa Rica


Stay Tuned for part 2….

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