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You are here: > Home > Essential Information > Speaking Spanish

The language of the Canaries is Spanish (Castilian), but their accent is more like the Spanish spoken in the Caribbean -Cuba, Venezuela, Puerto Rico- and not like the Spanish spoken on mainland Spain. They have not just the accent, but also a lot of words which are a living proof of the many links established through emigration between the islands and the Caribbean nations.

The last "s" in a word is not usually pronounced and the "z" is not pronounced "th" as is Spain, but as an "s". A "c" before "i" or "e" is pronounced "s".
Words are often curtailed, and are sometimes run together in a sentence, making the individual words difficult to understand.

Many Guanche words have remained, particularly in place names. These often begin with the letters "gua", pronounced wah.

Local dialects are heard on some islands and in the countryside. It is perhaps better to the visitor to avoid trying to learn the local dialect and to stick to mainland Spanish, although English, and most western European languages, are widely understood.

Outside the main towns and resort areas, it's a good idea to take along a small dictionary or phrase book.

Anyway, opposite are some expressions and words that could help you:
Desayuno – Breakfast
Comida (de Mediodia) – Lunch
Cena – Dinner
Camarero/Camarera – Waiter/Waitress
Non comprendo – I don’t understand
Cuanto vale/Cuanto cuesta? – How much is it?
Escribamelo, por favor – Please write it down
Si – Yes
Non – No
Buenos dias – Good morning
Buenas tardes – Good afternoon
Buenas noches – Good night
Por favor – Please
Perdóneme – Excuse me
Habla usted Inglés? – Do you speak English?
Dónde está?- Where is?
A qué distancia? – How far?
De nada – You’re welcome
Gracias – Thank you
Adios – Goodbye
Bien venido – Welcome
Bueno – Good
Aeropuerto – Airport
Cerrado – Closed
Abierto – Open
Officina de Correos – Post Office
Farmacia – Chemist
Finca – Farm
Calle – Street
Ciudad – Town
Gasolina – Petrol
Alquilar – to hire
Alto/Pare – stop
Camino cerrado – Road closed
Ceda el paso - Give way
Carro – Car
Cruce – crossroads
Cuidado – Warning
Derecha – Right
Izquierda – Left
Arriba – Up
Bajo – Down
Good – Bueno
Bad - Malo
Salida departure - Exit
Semaforo – Traffic lights
Farrmacia - Chemist
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