In our opinion, one of the best ways to better connect with a place is to learn the local language. Now, we're not saying you have to be fluent, it takes months, if not years. What we're saying is that learning even the most basic terms will not only help you better connect with a place, but it will also make your travels much (much) easier.
In Colombia and most of South America, the official, and most widely spoken, language is Spanish. In fact, Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the world, with almost 450 million people saying it is their first language (Chinese ranks first and English third). Likewise, 21 countries around the world, including those in Europe, North America and Africa, have Spanish as their official language. Also, knowing Spanish is likely to help you in the long run, as some experts almost expect it to be the case for years to come.10%of the entire world population will speak and understand Spanish (a huge jump from the current 6%).
Learning the language of your place, or of the places you hope to visit, will not only make you a better traveler, but also help you travel better (and easier). Now we know that learning a new language can be hard (trust me, we're working on it right now), but we'll let you in on a little secret: learning a new language is hard.a loteasier when you are fully immersed in it.
So if you're planning to explore a Spanish-speaking destination (one of 21), we recommend doing some research beforehand and just diving in when you arrive. These basic terms below are a good place to start.
\\ Quick tips for learning Spanish (Español)
Below are some important things to know first when starting to learn Spanish.
WOMAN VS. MAN
Spanish is a gendered language, something it inherited from its Latin origins. This means that adjectives usually end in a (for women) or in o (for men). For example,alternative(feminine, tall) and viejo (masculine, tall).
Spanish also has more tenses than English (yo, tú, él/ella, nosotros). Therefore, it is important to understand how this changes the verbs. Here's a quick breakdown (note that this is very superficial):
| I (I) = o, oy (I have, I drink, I am)
| tu (you) = as, is (you have, you drink, you are)
| he/she (he, she) = he, and (has, drinks, is)
| we (nós) = omos (we fear, we drink, we are)
Once you have these two ideas in mind, it's time to start learning basic Spanish terms. The following words and phrases are terms we use repeatedly on our visits to Latin America.
Good morning/afternoon/evening |good morning late night
How are you? |How are you?
What's your name? |Is this your name?
My name is… |My name...
sorry |a lost(sorry, can i have some help) osorry(sorry, can i come in)
I don't understand |I don't understand
sorry |a loss
I don't speak Spanish |I don't speak Spanish
Speak English? |Speak English?
How much does that cost? |How much does that cost?
You're welcome |You are welcome
Too expensive |very expensive
credit card |Credit card
\\ Basic numbers
GOOD TO KNOW: In Colombia, the currency is quite high (US$1 = ~3,808 Colombian pesos). Then everything is combined with a thousand (1,000). So 20,000 = four (20) thousandths of an inch; 2,000 = of the thousand.
\\ Eat Drink
What is it? |What is it?
I want… (I want) |I want
no thanks | No, thanks
I don't like |I don't like
Café |Coffee shop
\\ Locomotion and travel
Where is… |Where is...
where is the bathroom |Where is the restroom
currency exchange |currency exchange
Coffee (Coffee) |Coffee shop
Groceries (Supermarket) |Supermarket
\\ Specific expressions in Colombia
While the main language spoken in Colombia is Spanish, of course, there are a number of words that have become the norm in the country that you might not find in other areas. This is mainly because there is a strong influence from other cultures and regions, particularly from the Caribbean and Africa.
Brief greeting to approve/confirm something |Dog!
All that is good and pleasant |bacano
Burnt rice, usually stuck to the bottom of the pan, served with sauce |Whose
Short for compadres, which means friend, partner and partner |compa
Good, Nice and Beautiful |Chevere
A person who enjoys the local music "champetuo", a musical genre based on African and Caribbean rhythms (can also mean a loud and boisterous person) |Champetuo
be hungry hungry |filo
cold beer |libre
Short version of "no man", which means "no man" or denial of something (note: the longer you keep the word - noooooombre - the stronger the disagreement) |Nobody
friend, comrade or partner; someone close to you Often used with mi or my: mi vale, meu amigo |Of
Learning a new language takes time and a lot of effort and dedication. But the payoff is huge, especially when traveling to a place that speaks this language. As we mentioned earlier, a great way to learn a language is to fully immerse yourself in it. For us, although we both had Spanish classes at school, it didn't work out until we were in Peru for three months.
These basic terms are not the same as learning the language fluently, but they are terms we use countless times while traveling in Latin America. They will help you connect with the locals on a more personal level and help you travel more easily. Because who doesn't want that?
Note: As with any skill, learning a new language requires practice and dedication. That's why we use Duolingo almost every day.Duolingois a free app (not the pro version) super intuitive to learn Spanish. Plus it's fun :)
ESSENTIAL ADVENTURE PACKAGING
| REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE: We love it Water bottleas they are the world's first self-cleaning water bottle and water purification system. Plus they're rechargeable!
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| Allbirds Shoes - Comfortable shoes can make or break a day of adventure or travel, these comfortable eco-friendly shoes all the birdsThey have been our favorites for years.
► Find our complete list of suitcases for sustainable travelHere.
STAY SAFE AND PLAN AHEAD
|security wing: Stay safe with this easy-to-buy health plan designed specifically for digital nomads. You can even register when you are already abroad.
|a long time: This flight aggregator helps travelers find the best rates on airline tickets.
|BusBud: Explore millions of bus routes and destinations in one easy-to-use search; You can also compare prices and book your tickets online.
|Mietwagen.com: Check out the world's largest online car rental service, available in more than 150 countries around the world.
|Vista: This page helps ensure that you have all the necessary documents and immigration requirements when you travel.
|Weise- An app that makes transferring money between currencies abroad a breeze.