Adonde está el baño? And Other Useful Spanish Phrases for Costa Rica

by on Friday, 31 May 2013

ISV’s Spanish Language Program is a great way to prepare for your ISV Costa Rica Program © google all images

Speaking in the local language is not only a great way to show respect for the local culture, it’s also a fun way to interact with local people.

The best way to immerse yourself in the culture is by taking ISV’s Spanish Language Program prior to your ISV Costa Rica Program to improve upon or learn some basic phrases. However, at the very least it’s essential to learn a few polite and essential phrases can help you communicate your needs and maybe even get you out of a difficult situation. English is spoken sporadically throughout Costa Rica (less in rural areas), but during your ISV program it’s highly likely that you’ll find yourself somewhere where using a little Spanish will come in very handy!

Speaking the local language is a fun way to interact with the local people

It’s a great idea to also purchase a small Spanish/English phrase book and keep this on hand. Also, Visit youtube and start listening to a range of Spanish greetings. Note- Some letters or combinations of letters are pronounced differently in Spanish compared with English, e.g. two of the letter ‘l’ yields a ‘y’ sound, rather than the ‘l’ sounds we give in English, e.g. ella (the word for she) is pronounced “e-y-a”, with the e as it sounds in ‘egg’ and as it sounds in ‘apple’.

First, one of the most essential Costa Rican phrases you need to learn is Pura Vida! (pronounced poora vee-da) – literally meaning “pure life” but Ticos use this phrase for many things, e.g. excellent, or cool.  Below are some other words of phrases you might find useful.

Hola- hi

Cómo esta – how are you?

Por favor – please

Dónde – where?

Quién – who?

Por qué – why?

Cuándo – when?

Qué hora es – what time is it?

Gracias – thanks

Muchas Gracias – thank you very much

Bien – well

Perdón – excuse me

Lo siento – sorry

Si – yes

No – no

Buenos Dias – Good morning

Buenos Tardes – Good afternoon

Buenos Noches – Good night

Hasta luego – Goodbye

Buen Viaje – have a good trip

Salud – Bless you

Yo – I

Usted – you

El – he

Ella – she

Nosotros – we

Yo quiero – I want

Usted quiere – you want

Él/ella quiere – he/she wants

Nosotros quedemos – we want

Yo tengo – I have

Usted tiene – you have

Él/ella tiene – he/she has

Nosotros tenemos – we have


Where is the bathroom? – Adonde está el baño?

Help me please! – Ayúdeme por favor

Can you get me a taxi? – Me puede conseguir un taxi?

Who is it? – Quién es?

Come in – Pase Adelante

Help – Auxilio

Emergency – Emergencia

Hospital – Hospital

Police – Policia

How much is it? – Cuanto cuesta?

Do you accept U.S. dollars? – Aceptan dólares?

What’s the exchange rate today?  – Cuál es el tipo de cambio de hoy?

Do you have change for $XXX – Tiene cambio para $XXX?

Do you accept credit cards?  – Aceptan tarjetas de credito?

Can I pay with traveler’s checks? – Puedo pagar con cheques de viajero?

Where is the nearest bank? – Adonde se encuentra el banco más cercano?

0 cero

1 uno

2 dos

3 tres

4 cuatro

5 cinco

6 seis

7 siete

8 ocho

9 nueve

10 diez

20 veinte

30 treinta

40 cuarenta

50 cincuenta

60 sesenta

70 setenta

80 ochenta

90 noventa

100 cien

Monday – Lunes

Tuesday – Martes

Wednesday – Miercoles

Thursday – Jueves

Friday – Viernes

Saturday – Sabado

Sunday – Domingo

January – Enero

February – Febrero

March – Marzo

April – Abril

May – Mayo

June – Junio

July – Julio

August – Agosto

September – Septiembre

October – Octubre

November – Noviembre

December – Deciembre

Start practicing.  Buena Suerte! (Good Luck).

To learn more about ISV’s program in Costa Rica visit our website.

For more pre-departure blog information please use the following link:


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