Beginning Greetings

A great way to begin to minister to Hispanics is to learn a few words in their native language. Here are some basic greetings! You will quickly win the hearts of Hispanics when they see and hear your efforts to learn their native tongue. Be an eager learner, don’t be afraid to try to speak and ask them to help you with your Spanish words. May the Lord bless your efforts!

English

Spanish

Pronunciation

God bless you

Dios te bendiga

deeyos teh ben-DEE-ga

Good morning

Buenos días

bweh-nohs DEE-ahs

Good afternoon

Buenas tardes

BWEH-nahs TAR-thes

Good night

Buenas noches

BWEH-nahs NO-ches

Hello

hola

OH-lah

How are you?

¿Cómo estás?

COH-moh es-TAHS

Do you speak English?

¿Hablas ingles?

AH-blahs een-GLAYS

Do you speak Spanish?

¿Hablas español?

AH-blahs es-pahn-YOL

What is your name?

¿Cómo te llamas?

COH-moh te YAH-mahs

Where do you live?

¿Dónde Vives?

DOHN-deh VEE-vehs

It is relatively easy to learn Spanish because almost everything is spelled the way it sounds. There are also many less irregularities in Spanish compared with English.
The use of the different parts of speech (like adjectives) to distinguish between male and female objects is helpful in understanding the language. A feminine word usually ends in “a” while a masculine word ends in an “o”.
As much as you can, be around Spanish speaking people and events. Be willing to laugh at yourself when you say something wrong and do not get upset if others laugh or giggle at you. Try to find out what you said and learn how to say it correctly.
The Spanish language suffers changes from country to country. This can put the speaker in awkward situations at times—I know this from experience! Talk to good teachers of Spanish about tips, materials, suggestions, etc.
I highly suggest that you find some good Spanish material such as videos, CDs, DVDs, and dictionaries. I have a 1967 Velasquez dictionary, which is still very good but surely has an update or two. I also have a Harper Collins Spanish College Dictionary—very good too. Then there is the quite beat-up paperback dictionary—The Wordsworth Reference Eng-Span / Span-Eng Dictionary. Hardbacks are expensive, but with care they last long. It is recommended to own a small paperback E/S dictionary just to carry with you most of the time. You may also visit the resources section of this website to find some on-line helps to learning Spanish.
May God bless you as you begin your quest to learn Spanish. I understand that Spanish is the language in Heaven so you had better get going!
Gale Smith
Baptist Church Planters Missionary
San Louis Obispo, CA
Posted 10/17/07
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