How to Sound like a Local in Spain
The Spanish language has a long and varied history, affected by its central location between Europe, Africa, and the Americas. Even within Spain there are around a dozen different spoken languages! But don't let that scare you away. While Spain has many different languages, Castilian Spanish being one of them, the following words are used and understood by Spaniards nationwide.
Thinking about traveling to Spain? Here are a few slang words and phrases that are helpful to know before you start hitting up the tapas bars!
Vale = Ok
If there's one word you should know when traveling to Spain, it's vale . You'll hear it everywhere. It's used to affirm something – okay, alright, sounds good, understood. It also can be used as a question of verification.
Buenas = Hello
Guay = Cool
Up your street cred with this one. Guay is used by Spaniards all over to refer to things that are cool. Feel free to use it when referring to a restaurant you went to, an experience you had, an interesting book you just read—really anything you find fascinating. Careful, though! When referring to people as cool, especially when referring to how attractive they are, Spaniards typically go with the adjective, majo .
No pasa nada = Don't worry about it
Pinchos = Tapas
¡Venga ya! = No way!
Save the phrase ¡Venga ya! for when you want to convey disbelief after having experienced something unbelievable. Feel free to use it for something truly incredible, such as watching your favorite soccer team make an incredible comeback. You can also use it to express incredulity for everyday occurrences, such as your roommate forgetting to clean his or her dishes for the umpteenth time.
Pasta = Money
Not to be confused with the food, pasta is colloquially used in Spain to mean dough, moolah, or money. Remember to reserve this word for a colloquial or informal context, such as when talking to a friend or family member. When paired with the indefinite article, una pasta can refer to a fortune.
Hasta luego = See you later