Useful Expressions to Use at a Bars and Restaurants. The sun is out. Beautiful people walk on the streets and the Caribbean breeze brings promises of great vacations. It’s 90 °F in that Spanish paradise and you could not have a better companion. As a tourist, you might have found yourself in that moment at the Bar, right in front of the beach. You, a grown up that has been to numerous well-known bars and clubs, one of those people who sometimes call themselves an ¨Amateur Sommelier¨, approach very confident because, clearly, you have done this countless of times in the Big Apple. You look at the bar tender in the eye, she or he smiles at you with that expression of ¨I know you’re my kind of people¨ and you are ready to make your order. But something is off, the expected and often heard “What would you like to have?” is missing and, instead, a cold breeze follows, punches you in the stomach, your heart makes a brief pause yelling “Abort, abort!”, and is too late; natural sounds around you become a deafening psycho movie music score. Amidst the noise there is a “Qué le sirvo?”, which you know means the bar tender is asking what is it that you would like to have. You, the Amateur Sommelier, arm yourself with courage and say, very smoothly “El vino es bueno” even though you wanted an ice-cold beer.
Because we don´t want you to feel that mini heart attack and want you to feel confident to go out with your new Spanish speaking friends, here´s a top 10 of the most useful expressions to use in a bar that could come in handy one of these days:
10. Un placer: It´s a pleasure.
9. Muchas gracias: Thank you very much.
8. La cuenta, por favor: Check please!
4. Otra ronda!: Another round!
7. Sirven comida?: Do you serve food?
6. Una cerveza, por favor.: A beer, please. (Feel free to change the word Una for any number, like dos, tres or cinco, and Cerveza for Whisky, Vodka, Tequila, Margarita or your favorite drink).
5. Esta silla está ocupada?: Is this chair taken?
3. Soy soltero/casado: I´m single/married.
2. Quisiera pedir un taxi: I´d like to call a cab.
1. Dónde está el baño: Where is the bathroom?
And there you are! Take these useful expressions with you on your next outing to a bar in New York City and amaze your friends with more than “El vino es bueno”. Cheers!
Luis Cardozo is a successful language instructor for executives and busy professionals, and has more than 25 years experience teaching Spanish. In 2002 he launched SpanishNYC, offering customized instruction and translation services. -- Luis has taught group and individual Spanish classes at companies such as NBC, Univision, Nickelodeon, the Miss Universe Organization, The New York Times, Bloomberg, Sprint, Citicorp, JPMorgan, Deloitte & Touche and Pfizer. -- Luis Cardozo has developed his own method for teaching Spanish; the Natural Conversational Approach (NCA). -- With my method, you hear and understand Spanish from the first moment, whatever your level is. I create a relaxed practicing environment, where learning takes place easily and pleasurably. Instruction is totally focused on your specific background, based on the idea that everyone has unique talents, interests, strengths and challenges. -- My techniques allow us to intuit your needs, keep you motivated and insure that your instruction is effective. -- You will absorb the language consciously and unconsciously, just as you did when you learned your native language. -- You, the student, dictate how I should adapt to your way of learning, day by day. -- My main goal is that you enjoy the whole process and have fun learning Spanish.