Basic Greetings

The first thing that you probably should learn is how to say hello and goodbye, as well as some customs for greetings. To get started, these are a few of the most basic greeting that will get you by.

Hola. → Hello.
Buenos días. → Good day/Good morning.
Buenas tardes. → Good afternoon.
Buenas noches. → Good night.
El gusto es mío → The pleasure is mine.
Encantado → Delighted.
Es un placer → It´s a pleasure.
Igualmente → Likewise / Same here.
Mucho gusto → It´s a pleasure.
Adiós → Goodbye.
Hasta luego → See you later.
Hasta mañana → See you tomorrow.
Nos vemos → See you.
¿Cómo estás? → How are you? (informal)
¿Cómo está usted? → How are you? (formal)
Te presento a _____. → I’d like to introduce you to _____.
¿Qué tal? → How’s it going.

If you decide to travel to a Spanish speaking country you will quickly learn that there is more than one way to say hello. In addition to saying hello, some countries greet with a kiss, some with a handshake, and others with a hug. Here are some more greetings listed by country, as well as some other common informal phrases that you might hear.

Argentina
¿Cómo andas? / ¿Qué haces? → How’s it going?
¿Todo bien? / ¿Todo en orden? → Is everything good/alright?
Che → Dude. (well, sort of. Dude, buddy, bro, man…)
Pasa que… → but the thing is…
dale → ok
vos → you (used instead of tú)

Bolivia

¿Cómo es? → How’s it going? (greeting among friends)
Chau → Bye
Gallo → American

Chile- With a chilean accent, often times the “s” is omitted from the middle and end of words when speaking. ¿Cómo estas? sounds more like ¿Cómo ta?

¿Qué onda? → What’s up?
¡Cuídate! → Take care!
¿Cachai? → Ya know?
fome → lame
bacán → cool

Colombia –

¿Quibo?/¿Quiubo? → What’s up?
¿Cómo anda? → How’s it going?
¡Chaos! → Later!/Bye.
¿Qué más?/¿Cómo vas?/¿Qué Cuentas?/¿Qué tal?→ What’s up?

Costa Rica

¿Pura vida?/¿Todo bien? →How’s it going? (All is well?)
Tico→Costa Rican
Buenas →Short for buenas tardes, buenas noche, buenos días.

Cuba

yuma → gringo or american
acere→ friend
chao → bye

Ecuador

chuta → dang, shoot
simón → Yes
chévere → cool
cuy → guinea pig

El Salvador

¿Qué ondas, vos? → What’s up?
vos → you (used instead of tú)

España

¡guay! → cool!
vale → ok
tío/tía → dude/chick

Guatemala

¡vaya! → hey!
¡quiubo! → what’s up!

Honduras

Buenas →Short for buenas tardes, buenas noche, buenos días.

La Republica Dominicana
saludo → hi
¿Qué lo qué?/¿Qué hubo? → What’s up?
¿A cómo es/son? → How much is…? (instead of ¿cuánto cuesta?)
¿Cómo tu ta? = ¿Cómo estás? → How are you?
¡Dígase ver!/¿Cómo anda la cosa? → What’s up?

México

¿Qué onda?/¿Quiúbole? → What’s up?
¡Qué chido!/¿Qué padre? → How cool!
güey → dude (this can also be an insult, and it is pretty low class)
órale → yeah, ok (this is kind of a filler word)
¿Mande? → Pardon?
güero→ american, white person
gringo → non Spanish speaker

Nicaragua

nica → person from Nicaragua
chele/a → white person, American , European
¡Tuani!/¡Deacachimba!/¡Deaca!→ cool!
dale →ok
¿Qué onda?/¿Qué tal? → What’s up?
¡Tronco! → Great!

Panamá

¿Qué sopa? →What’s up?
Buenas →Short for buenas tardes, buenas noche, buenos días.
¿Qué hay de bueno? →What’s up?
¡Chao! →Bye!

Paraguay – In Paraguary many people are bilingual, speaking both Spanish and Guaraní, an indigenous language. Historically, Spanish has been a more formal language and Guaraní is more informal, used between firends and at home.

The following are a few guarani phrases:

Mba’eixa pa? Mba’e teko? →How are you? How have you been?
Iporante. Ha nde? →Great. And you?
Mae’eixa pa nde rera? →What’s your name?
Mba’e piko re-japo hina? →What are you doing?

Perú

¿manyas?/¿computas? → Do you understand?
vaina → thing
ni michi → nothing at all (If someone asks you “¿manyas?“, you say “ni michi”.)
bacán → cool
chau/chafi/chaufita → bye
¿Cómo va? → How’s it going?

Puerto Rico

ni pa →no way
¿qué es la que hay, ¿qué es la que estapa?, ¿qué es la que?, ¿claque? →what’s up?
pai →dude
mai →chick

Uruguay

¿Cómo andas? / ¿Qué haces? → How’s it going?
¿Todo bien? / ¿Todo en orden? → Is everything good/alright?
Che → Dude. (well, sort of. Dude, buddy, bro, man…)
Pasa que… → but the thing is…
dale → ok
vos →you (used instead of tú)

Venezuela
¡anda vale! / ¡chochale vale! → (fillers in sentences that have no specific significance.)
chimbo →junky/sucky
arrecho →awesome
chévere/chevre → cool

For a little more info about the “beso”, click here.

 

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