A Primer on Spanish in Spain

aka Useful Words you Might not Learn in Spanish Class

Vale – "OK."  People here use vale excessively.  For example, a typical conversation with my boss from my internship and what Vale means in each instance: 

Conversation Translation
Boss: Vale, Jason Come here.
[I walk to my boss’s desk]  
Boss: Vale. [Some sort of task I should start] Vale? I’m going to start talking now; Did you get all that?
Me: Vale. Yes, I did.  Thank you.
Boss: Vale. OK.  Go get started

Agua de grifo – Tap water.  Ask for agua at a restaurant, get a 2 euro bottle of water.  For the free stuff, you need to specify. (and don’t worry, the tap water in Madrid is very good)

Jarra – Pitcher.  Perfect to ask for lots of tap water because refills are not a strong suit here.

Pues – Therefore, but often used like Umm.  Ie "Pues… bueno"  after a converstaion when you realize there’s nothing left to say.

Que tal? – How are you.  The proper answer is bien (or any other adjective).  Contrary to some translations it does not mean "What’s up?" (at least in Spain).  Essentially it’s a less formal way to say "Como estas?"

Abono – Pass.  Like for the subway.  And if you’r eunder 21, a month long subway/bus pass only costs 26.30 euros.  If you’re older it’s about 40 euro.  If you’re planning to go for the discount, you have to go right after you arrive (and with a copy of your passport) because it takes 10-11 15 days to get your age verified.  Any Tobaco stand (aka estanco) will take your application for an abono.

Herramienta – Tool.  Don’t know why but this word gets used a lot here and my dictionary conveniently doesn’t include it…

Movil – Cell phone.  For the best deal go to Corte Ingles and get the Vodafone Targeta Vitamina package with the cheapest phone they have.

‘ta lego – aka Hasta Luego.  No one takes the time to include all of the syllables.

Que guay! – Cool.

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