Let's start with the basics...
- Hello – Hola (o-la)
If you’re greeting someone in the morning you could substitute this for buenos dias (bway-nos dee-as), or buenas noches (bway-nos noh-chays) in the evening.
- Goodbye – Adios (a-dee-os)
You might already know this one, but at least it’s an easy one to remember!
- Please – Por Favor (por fa-vor)
- Thank you – Gracias (gra-see-as)
It’s always important to mind your manners.
- Yes – Si (see)
- No – No (noh)
- Excuse me – Disculpe (dis-kul-pay)
- I’m lost – Estoy Pedido (eh-stoy per-dee-dah)
We hope this isn’t one you’ll have to say on tour, but you never know!
Now let's get a bit more conversational…
- My name is… – Me llamo… (may ya-moh…)
Being able to introduce yourself and ask basic conversational questions will really help to establish rapport.
- What's your name? – Como te llamas? (koh-moh te ya-mas)
- Nice to meet you… – Mucho gusto (Moo-choh goo-stah)
- How are you? – Como esta? (koh-moh eh-stah)
- I'm fine, thank you – Bien gracias (bee-en gra-see-as)
- How much does it cost? – Cuanto cuesta? (kwan-to kwes-ta?)
When visiting local markets and shops this one is essential!
- Where is…? – Donde esta…? (don-day es-tah)
You might like to pair this with some of the common things you’re likely to be looking for:
Telephone – telefono (the-leh-foh-noh)
Toilet – baño (bah-nyoh)
Tea – Te (ti)
Coffee – café (kah-feh)
Bottled water – el agua embotellada (el ah-gwah em-boh-tay-ya-dah)
- I’m allergic to… / Does this have …. in it? – Sor allergico a… (soy ah-ler-gee-koh…) / Tiene esto…? (tee-en eh-stah…?)
If you’ve got food allergies, these phrases are essential! Pair the above sentences with some common allergies below to ensure your dietary requirements are understood:
Peanuts – Mani (mah-nee)
Nuts – Nuez (nwehs)
Seafood – Marisco (mah-rees-koh)
Shellfish – Mariscos (mah-rees-kohs)
Meat – Carne (kahr-neh)
Gluten – Gluten (glu-dihn)
Wheat – Trigo (tree-goh)
Eggs – Huevos (weh-bohs)
Dairy – Lacteos (lahk-teh-ohs)
Pork – Carne de cerdo (karh-neh deh sehr-doh)
Lactose – Lactosa (lakh-toh-sah)
Soy – Soja (soh-hah)
- I am a… – Soy… (soy)
These can also be helpful to clarify when eating out:
Vegetarian – Vegetariano (beh-heh-tah-ryah-noh)
Celiac – Celiaco (seh-lee-ah-koh)
Diabetic – Diabetico (dee-ah-be-ti-koh)
You might end up using these ones the most…
- I don't understand – No entiendo (no en-tee-en-doh)
A good one to use when things start getting lost in translation.
- Do you speak English? – Habla Ingles? (ab-la in-glays)
Cross your fingers and hope their answer to this will be ‘yes’.
- I would like a beer – Quisiera una cerveza (kee-see-eh-ra oo-na ser-vay-za)
As always, we’ve saved the most important for last. After a long day of sightseeing, sometimes all you need is a cold, refreshing cerveza!
The Peru Tourism website is a great resource for anyone considering a trip to this vibrant South American nation.