Going on a mission trip to Latin America is a life-changing experience filled with meaningful connections and impactful moments. As you prepare for this incredible journey with Mission Discovery, understanding and speaking some basic Spanish phrases can significantly enhance your interaction with the local communities.
Attempting to learn the local language of the people you are visiting shows that you care. We’re not expecting you to be fluent by any means, but we want to get you started with some phrases that will not only boost your confidence but also contribute to a more enriching experience during your mission trip.
You probably already know this one, but just in case. Saying hello is an easy way to make a quick connection with anyone you see.
Gracias (Thank you):
Expressing gratitude is universal, and saying “gracias” will go a long way in conveying appreciation for the hospitality you receive.
Con Gusto (With Pleasure):
If you love Chick-fil-A, you’ll love this one. When someone thanks you for your mission work, you can respond with this phrase to let them know that it truly is your pleasure.
Por Favor (Please):
Politeness is key, and adding “por favor” to your requests shows respect and consideration.
Mucho Gusto (Nice to meet you)
Odds are, you are going to be meeting a lot of people on your mission trip. One way to let those you meet know that you are making an effort to learn their language is to say “mucho gusto” after being introduced to someone. We promise it’ll make them smile.
¿Cómo estás? (How are you?):
This phrase is common in greeting conversations. It’s also a good way to check in and see how those around you are doing.
Bien (Well), Gracias (Thank you):
A common response to the question above. Demonstrates an appreciation for the exchange and a positive connection. If you want to get fancy, you can even tag on an “¿ Y Usted?” (And you?)
¿Cuánto cuesta? (How much does it cost?):
Useful for shopping or negotiating prices, this phrase can help you navigate local markets. (You may want to brush up on the Spanish numbers so you can actually understand when vendors answer your question.)
¿Dónde está? (Where is?):
When asking for directions, this phrase will guide you to your destination and showcase your eagerness to explore the local surroundings.
El baño (the bathroom)
When you gotta go… you gotta go. Pair this phrase with the one before, and you’ll be directed to the nearest restroom.
Necesito ayuda (I need help):
If you ever find yourself in a challenging situation, knowing how to ask for assistance is invaluable.
Addressing locals as friends fosters a sense of camaraderie and community, reinforcing the mission trip’s spirit of unity.
Dios te bendiga (God bless you):
A heartfelt phrase that resonates well with Latin American communities.
Sí (Yes), No (No):
Basic affirmations and negations are fundamental for clear communication in any language.
¿Cómo te llamas? (What’s your name?):
Initiate personal conversations by asking someone’s name, showing genuine interest in getting to know them.
A respectful way to bid farewell to newfound friends and leave a positive impression.
Woo hoo! You’re basically fluent now. Well, not really, but you’re one step closer!
Learning these essential Spanish words and phrases will not only enhance your communication skills but also deepen your connection with the communities you’ll be serving during your mission trip with Mission Discovery.