Here is a short list of phrases that every beginning Spanish learner should know. Let's get to it.
One of the biggest challenges you'll face as a beginner is understanding what's being said to you, because everything sounds like one huge run-on sentence. You might actually understand what's being said to you if they just didn't talk so fast. Well, here are a few phrases to help you with that.
¿Puede hablar más despacio por favor?
Can you speak more slowly please?
While that phrase is pretty useful, it is a bit of a mouthful. You can shorten it to:
Hable más despacio por favor
Speak slower please
You can actually whittle that down even more.
Más despacio por favor
More slowly please
Now that we've asked our Spanish speaking friend to slow down, you may need to ask them to repeat what they said.
¿Me lo puede repetir, por favor?
Can you say that again please?
Repita por favor
Repeat that please?
What did you say?
Sadly, sometimes you just can't figure out what's being said.
I don't understand
You may want to follow that one up with:
¿Hay alguien aquí que hable inglés?
Is there anyone here who speaks English?
Of course, you could start the whole conversation off with:
Do you speak English?
Who knows, you may get lucky.
Here are a couple of other phrases that might come in handy.
No hablo español muy bien
I don't speak Spanish very well
Todavía estoy aprendiendo español
I'm learning Spanish
Can you write it down?
You can also combine these phrases. Here are some examples.
No entiendo, ¿puede hablar más despacio por favor?
I don't understand, can you speak more slowly please?
No hablo español muy bien, ¿puede hablar más despacio?
I don't speak Spanish very well, could you speak slower?
No entiendo, ¿habla inglés?
I don't understand, do you speak English?
That's it for today. I think you'll find these phrases useful. And if you're concerned that you won't be able to remember them, then check out My Spanish Phrasebook (for Android phones) which has all those phrases and more that you can carry with you where ever you go.
¡Hasta la próxima!