Translating English to Spanish phrases (like ‘good morning’ in Spanish) can be a fun challenge — especially when you have a few tips and tricks in your arsenal.
Want to know how to say the most common words in Spanish? Read on to learn about some of the most common Spanish-to-English translations as well as tips on pronunciation.
Learn how to say good morning in Spanish and other common Spanish words and phrases.
Good Morning in Spanish
Good morning in Spanish — most commonly “¡Buenos dias!” — is a greeting to say when you first greet someone.
“Buenos” means good, and “dias” is plural for day (so it’s the same as saying good days).
How to say the most common words in Spanish
Many of the most common words in English are also the most common words in Spanish!
Did you know that the English and Spanish languages also both share many of the same words? That means that you may already know more than 1,000 Spanish words simply by knowing their English counterparts.
Also known as English-Spanish cognates, some of these words shared by both languages include actor, civil and familiar — though many of these words are pronounced differently in Spanish than they are in English.
How to say “Hi” in Spanish
Another one of the most common words in Spanish, it’s really easy to say “Hi” in Spanish. It’s just “Hola”, and it is pronounced, oh-lah. Very easy indeed!
Do you want to learn Spanish pronunciation? Our language translation app can translate anything you say into another language.
How to say “Goodbye” in Spanish
While not as easy as ‘hi’ in Spanish, saying ‘goodbye’ is also relatively easy. You may already know how to say ‘goodbye’ in Spanish, as this word is commonly used in many movies and TV shows.
The English word ‘goodbye’ translates to ‘adios’ in Spanish, and it’s pronounced, ah-dee-ose.
How to say “Bathroom” in Spanish
Another easy word to translate from English to Spanish is the word ‘bathroom’. Just as in English, this word begins with the letter ‘b’, making it easier to remember than some other English-to-Spanish translations!
The English word ‘bathroom’ translates to ‘bano’ in Spanish. If you want to ask, “Where is the bathroom?” simply say, “Donde esta el bano.”
Who speaks Spanish?
Spanish is a language spoken in Mexico and Spain, and is the official language in a total of 20 countries and spoken as a first language by over 450 million people worldwide.
Spanish spoken in Spain is often referred to as Castilian Spanish. Spanish dialects are mutually intelligible.
Traveling abroad to a Spanish-speaking country? Check out the best apps for last-minute travel.
How many countries speak Spanish?
Spanish is the official language in 20 countries, mostly in Central and South America and one U.S. territory (Puerto Rico). Of course, Spanish is also the official language of its namesake country — Spain! In addition, there are over 59 million Spanish speakers in the United States.
The number of Spanish speakers in many of the world’s largest diasporas of such speakers includes:
- Mexico (130 million)
- Colombia (50 million)
- Spain (47 million)
- Argentina (45 million)
- Peru (32 million)
- Venezuela (29 million)
- Chile (18 million)
- Guatemala (17 million)
- Ecuador (17 million)
- Bolivia (1 million)
- Cuba (11 million)
- Dominican Republic (10 million)
- Honduras (9 million)
- Paraguay (7 million)
- El Salvador (6 million)
- Nicaragua (6 million)
- Costa Rica (5 million)
- Panama (3 million)
- Uruguay (3 million)
- Equatorial Guinea (857 thousand)
- Puerto Rico (3 million)
How many dialects of Spanish are there?
Since Spanish is such a widespread language, it has many dialects. But thankfully all dialects are mutually intelligible – meaning a speaker of one dialect can understand and converse with a speaker in a different dialect.
Yet, it’s important to note that the words used in different areas of the world may be different. European Spanish differs greatly from Latin American Spanish, and many of the words commonly used in Spain are not the same words used in Latin America.
Since we’re talking about translating English to Spanish (and vice versa), we should also note that understanding different dialects of Spanish may not be easy for novices of the Spanish language.
Dialects of Spanish
Since Spanish is spoken in so many different countries and continents around the world, there are also many different dialects of this language.
Some of the most common dialects of Spanish spoken include Castilian Spanish, New Mexican Spanish, Mexican Spanish, Central American Spanish (Spanish spoken in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua).
This variation of Spanish is the official language in Spain. This is where Spanish originated. In addition to Castilian, Spain is home to related languages Basque, Catalan and Galician.
Latin American Spanish
Latin American Spanish (as the name suggests) is spoken in Latin America — or North America, Central America and South America.
This includes New Mexican Spanish, Mexican Spanish, Central American Spanish, Andean Spanish, Rioplatense Spanish and Caribbean Spanish.
New Mexican Spanish
Many speakers of traditional New Mexican Spanish are descendants of colonists from Spain and the New World who arrived in New Mexico in the 16th to the 18th centuries.
There are more speakers of Mexican Spanish than any other Spanish dialect. More than 20% of the world’s Spanish speakers speak Mexican Spanish.
Central American Spanish
Central American Spanish is the general name of the Spanish language dialects spoken in Central America. More precisely, the term refers to the Spanish language as spoken in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.
Andean Spanish is a dialect of Spanish spoken in the central Andes, from western Venezuela, southern Colombia, with influence as far south as northern Chile and northwestern Argentina, passing through Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia.
Rioplatense Spanish, also known as Rioplatense Castilian, is a variety of Spanish spoken mainly in and around the Río de la Plata Basin of Argentina and Uruguay. It is also referred to as River Plate Spanish or Argentine Spanish.
The Spanish language was introduced to the Caribbean in 1492 with the voyages of Christopher Columbus.
It is now spoken in Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. It is also spoken on the Caribbean coasts of three Central and South American countries, including Panama, Venezuela and Colombia.
Since many islands of the Caribbean were also French colonies, French is spoken widely in this area of the world as well.
History of the Spanish Language
The Spanish language has been around for more than 1,500 years! Like French, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian, Spanish is a Romance language.
It was derived from Vulgar Latin (non-Classical Latin from which all the Romance languages were derived).
During the Middle Ages, Muslim forces ruled the Iberian Peninsula. They arrived in 711, and Muslim rule ended in 1492. Because of this, many words of Arabic origin are in the Spanish language.
Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella conquered Granada in 1492, restoring Spanish to the country’s official language.
As the Spanish then traveled to the Americas and colonized the “New World’, the Spanish language began to expand across the globe.
Untranslatable Spanish Words
In many languages, there are words that cannot be translated into other languages!
Usually, these are terms, phrases or idioms that simply don’t have a place in other cultures as they are not as relevant. You can tell what other cultures value based on the words that are untranslatable from their language to another language.
Some untranslatable Spanish words include:
- Vergüenza ajena
A botellón is basically a big street party. The word translates to ‘big bottle’. The closest phrase we may have to botellón in English is possibly ‘block party’.
Empalagar translates roughly to the English phrase, ‘too sweet’. This is what you say when something is so sweet that it makes it unenjoyable.
We wish we had a word for puente in English! This word’s literal English translation is ‘bridge’, but it also means ‘long weekend’ in Spanish.
Sobremesa translates literally to ‘on the table’, and it means hanging out after dinner to chitchat and share stories over coffee or wine (or both!).
Vergüenza ajena is a word that means you’re feeling embarrassed for someone else — which can be more painful than feeling embarrassed for yourself sometimes!
What are your favorite untranslatable Spanish words?
Famous Spanish Speakers
Since there are so many Spanish speakers across the world, it makes sense that there would also be many celebrities whose first language was Spanish, too!
Some of the most famous Spanish speakers (both living and dead) include:
- Ana Navarro
- Diego Velázquez
- Francisco Goya
- Frida Kahlo
- Gael García Bernal
- Guillermo del Toro
- Julio Iglesias
- Oscar de la Hoya
- Penélope Cruz
- Salma Hayek
Need a little help learning how to pronounce words or need some assistance with your vocabulary? Download Vocre, our language translation app in the Apple Store or Google Play Store!
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By learning the most common words in Spanish, you’ll be able to communicate — even if you don’t speak Spanish fluently.