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Language Basics - Costa Rica - Costa Rica Travel Guide and Travel Information

Travel Guide - Costa Rica


Language Basics
Costa Ricans or “Ticos” are friendly people who will be delighted in showing their lovely country to visitors. Wherever you go you will find the locals to be a constant source of help, smiles, and information. Most of them do not speak English, but still they will help you in any way. If you make an effort to speak or say some words in Spanish, it will be a great way to thank them for their kindness.

Some basic words and phrases are:

English Spanish Pronunciation
What´s your name? ¿Cómo se llama usted? Ko-mo seh-yah-mah oos-ted
My name is… Me llamo… Mey yah-mo…
Pleased to meet you Mucho gusto Moo-choh goose toe
How are you? ¿Cómo está usted? Ko-mo eestah oost-ted
Very well, thank you. Muy bien, gracias. Mooy bee-ehn grah-see-as
And you? ¿ Y usted? Ee oos-ted
Yes/no Sí / no See/no
OK De acuerdo De a-kwer-doe
Please Por favor Pore-fah-vore
Thank you (very much) Muchas gracias Moo-chas grah-see-as
You´re welcome Con mucho gusto Con moo-cho-goose-toe
Excuse me Con permiso, Con pair-mee-so
Pardon me Perdóneme Pair-dohn-a-meh
I am sorry Disculpe Dee-skool-peh-meh
Good morning! Buenos días Bway-nohs-dee-ahs
Good afternoon! Buenas tardes Bway-nahs-tar-dess
Good evening! Buenas noches Bway-nahs-no-chess
Mr./ Mrs. Señor / señora Senyohr/ senyohra
Do you speak English? ¿Habla usted inglés? Ah-blah-oosted-inglehs
I don´t speak spanish No hablo español No ahbloh espahnyol
I don´t understand No entiendo No en-tee-en-doh
I understand Entiendo En-tee-en-doh
I don´t know No sé No she
Where is…? ¿Dónde está…? Dohn-deh-es-tah
Left Izquierda Iss-hey-er-dah
Right Derecha Dare-eh-chah
Far Lejos Lay-joes
Near Cerca Sehr-ka
Open Abierto Ah-bee-her-toe
Close Cerrado Sehra-doe
What time is it? ¿Qué hora tiene? Ke-ora tee-eh-ney
How? ¿Cómo? Ko-moe?
When? ¿Cuándo? Koo-and-o
How much does is it? ¿Cuánto cuesta? Koo-anto koo-ehstah
I want to buy.. Quisiera comprar… Kee-see-e-rah kom-prahr
Why? ¿Porqué? Pore-keh
Who? ¿Quién? Kee-yen
I am ill Estoy enfermo Es-toy en fehr moh
Caution Cuidado Koo-weedah-doe
Help!! ¡Ayuda!


Local expressions

English Spanish Pronunciation
Great, terrific Pura Vida Poo-rah-vee-dah
Cool, okay, great Tuanis Too-ah-nees
Uncool, not good Mala nota Mah-lah-no-tah
Buddy Mae Mah-eh
Costa Rican Tico Tee-ko
San José Chepe Cheh-peh
Coffee shop Soda So-dah
Mini market Pulpería Pool-peh-ree-ah
Street stand Chinamo Chee-nah-mo
Kid Guila Goowe-ee-lah
A place to stay Chante Chahn-the
Unlucky Salado Sah-lah-do
What´s up? Quiubo Kee-oo-bo