A guide to useful phrases in the Balearics
Spanish and Catalan are the co-official languages of the Balearics, though the vast majority of people use Spanish as their main means of communication. Catalan dialects vary across Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca, with some people claiming each are completely separate languages altogether. But odds are you won’t have to worry about them, as English is widely spoken across the islands.
As you travel through the Balearics, you might notice the word Eivissa cropping up – that’s the local way of writing Ibiza – which is pronounced with a ‘th’ sound, ee-bee-tha. On occasion, you might happen across a quiet cafe where your server might not speak much English – you’re abroad, after all! When language barriers arise, here are some helpful phrases to keep you in touch with the locals.
Hello/Hi – Hola (O-la) Goodbye – Adios (Addy-oss) Yes/No – Si/No (See/Noh) Please – Por Favor (Poor fa-vor) Thanks – Gracias (Grats-y-ass) Do you speak English? – Habla Usted Inglés? (Ab-la oos-ted een-glez) Please repeat – Repita, por favor (Rep-ee-ta, por fa-vor) Sorry – Lo Siento (Low see-ehn-to) You’re welcome – De Nada (deh nah-thah) I don’t understand – No Entiendo (No on-tee-endo) Good morning – Buenos días (bway-nohs dee-ahs) Good afternoon – Buenas tardes (bway-nahs tard-ays) Good night – Buenas noches (bway-nahs noh-chays) Excuse me – Perdóneme (pehr-dohn) Where is? – Dónde está? (dohn-deh eh-stah)
One – Uno (Oono) Two – Dos (Dos) Three – Tres (Tres) Four – Cuatro (Kwatro) Five – Cinco (Theen-ko) Six – Seis (Sayz) Seven – Siete (See-ett-ee) Eight – Ocho (O-cho) Nine – Nueve (New-be) Ten – Diez (Dyeth)
Out and about
Where can I get a taxi? – Dónde se cogen los taxis? (Don-de se kog-gen loss tak-sees) Do you accept credit cards? – Aceptan tarjetas de crédito? (A-sep-tan tar-hay-tas de cred-ee-to) Where is the nearest bank? – Dónde está el banco mas cercano? (Don-de esta el banko mas therkano) Petrol – Gasolina (Gah-so-lee-nah) To hire – Alquilar (Al-key-lah) Car – Coche (Koh-chee) Right – Derecha (Deray-cha) Left – Izquierda (Eez-kee-erda) Exit – Salida (Sa-lee-dah) How much is it? Cuánto es?/Cuánto cuesta? (Kwon-to es/kwon-to koo-e-sta) Closed – Cerrado (Se-ra-doh) Open – Abierto (A-bee-air-to) Post Office – Oficina de Correos (Off-ee-see-nah deh cor-ay-os) Chemist – Farmacia (Far-ma-see-ah)
Waiter/Waitress – Camarero/Camarera (Cam-ar-ero/Cam-ar-era) Can I have a menu please? – La carta, por favor? (La carta, por favor) When is breakfast? – A qué hora el desayuno? (A kay ora el dess-ay-oono?) When is lunch? – A qué hora es la comida? (A kay ora eh la comm-ee-da?) When is dinner? – A qué hora es la cena? (A kay ora eh la see-na?) A beer, please – Una cerveza, por favor (Oona ther-betha por fa-vor) I would like a glass of white wine, please – Quiero un vaso de vino blanco, por favor? (Kyero oon basso deh beeno blanko por fa-vor) I would like a bottle of red wine, please – Una botella de vino tinto, por favor? (Oona bot-telya de beeno teento, por fa-vor) Cheers! – Salud! (Sa-lood) Can I have the bill, please? – La cuenta, por favour? (La kwenta por fa-vor) Tea/coffee – té/café (tay/ka-fay) Where is the toilet? – Dónde está el servicio? (Don-de esta el serbee-theeyo?)
Food and drink
Here are some translations of things you’ll find commonly at restaurants.
Menu del dia: Set lunch menu, typically three-courses Menu del noche: Set dinner menu, typically three-courses Paella: Traditional Spanish dish of saffron rice stewed with vegetables, meat or seafood Fideua: Similar to paella, but instead of using rice, it uses noodles Pa amb oli: Starter dish consisting of fresh bread with tomato spread and olive oil Sobrassada: Pork sausages Arros brut: Literally translated, it means ‘dirty rice,’ but it’s actually just rice stewcooked in meat and vegetable juices Flao: A cottage cheese tart Ensaimada: A popular spiralled pastry that’s sprinkled with powdered sugar Hierbas: Liqueur spiced with herbs like rosemary, lavender, thyme, mint and fennel Sofrit pages: Spiced pork, chicken and lamb with sausages and veggies sautéed with cinnamon, saffron and parsley Bullit de peix: Fish stew