Are you thinking of enrolling in Spanish classes for that vacation in Spain that’s a couple of months away? It's not crucial, as many locals know English. Moreover, City Wonders tour guides in Barcelona and Madrid speak perfect English (and Spanish), so you don't necessarily have to. Not knowing any language other than his own didn’t stop Marco Polo or Columbus from traveling halfway round the world. Why should it stop you?
Getting by with Basic Spanish
If you do decide to make an effort to learn some Spanish, it's worth noting that it's probably among the easiest of languages because you pronounce the words the way they are written. The Spanish word hola meaning "hello" is probably the first thing you should know when you are in Spain. Saying "goodbye" is easy with adios. Wish the Spanish a buenos dias, buenas tardes or buenas noches for "good morning", "good afternoon" and "good evening". When you may need to thank the people around you, (which can be very often); you can say gracias. Me ilamo is how you introduce yourself. Me ilamo ____ means "My name is _____".
Are you afraid to travel in a new country just because you don’t know the language? Well, you could be making a big mistake! If visiting Spain is part of your plan, not knowing Spanish is definitely not an issue. Asking for directions in Spain is easy. Simply remember to ask dónde está … ("where is…?") and dónde están ____? ("where are ____?"). "Left" is izquerda and "right" is derecha, and "straight" is recto. And if you really think you can't make any headway with your Spanish, or find it difficult to ask for further directions, try estoy perdido if you are male, or estoy pérdida if you are female. It simply means "I am lost".
Food and Drink
Hotels and restaurants in Spain do put in a lot of effort to put the English speaking traveler at ease. You will find English signs and hotel staff speaking decent English to help you get by. Spanish dining is something you will have great memories about. But it is quite another thing to memorize all the Spanish vocabulary pertaining to food and drink in the Spanish towns. Carry your Spanish food travel guide or simply ask your hotel staff to translate where possible. Of course, you must remember to say gracias ("thank you") when someone says ¡Buen provecho! ("Enjoy your meal!") or ¡Buen viaje! ("Have a great trip!")