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An update from Evaneos

The most important vocabulary to know during your trip in Ecuador

If you didn't study Spanish or didn't pay attention in lessons, or if you preferred French with Madame Boulanger to Spanish with Señora Sanchez, you run the risk of finding communication difficult during your holiday in Ecuador.

How to communicate in Ecuador

If you go to Quito, the capital of country, during your holiday in Ecuador, you might be lucky enough to meet someone who speaks English. Don't delude yourself though, it isn't very common so don't count on it. Just sometimes you might meet an Ecudorian who has studied in the UK or in an English-speaking school. However, even if you speak only a little Spanish, or you speak it poorly, try to avoid using English. Ecuador happily adopted the dollar as its official currency but nevertheless it's seen as bad form to use the English language. First of all, it's considered too "gringo" and it's also highly likely that you won't be understood. Other than those involved in tourism, very few Ecuadorians speak English. Don't try to haggle in English either. It complicates matters and you'll immediately pay more than you intended. Another unlikely possibility is that you learned Quechua as a second language. However, to be more precise, it's Kishwa that you would need to know, because that's the first language of the Amazon Indians.

Pupils in Quito, in Ecuador

Resorting to Spanish

Since English is seen as bad form and it's hardly likely you'll find anyone who speaks French, Spanish is the only solution. Before you leave, learn some Spanish or do some revision, read back over your old lessons and learn a few basic expressions. Often it's enough if you are able to say "Hello" "thank you" "Goodbye" and know how to count in order to get by. All the same, it's better if you can speak enough Spanish to hold a conversation. Without doubt the Ecuadorians are the most outgoing, warm and welcoming people in all of South America. It would be a shame to miss out on these wonderful encounters. Remember to bring a Spanish phrase book with you and revise some basic expressions regularly before you arrive.

Basic expressions / Common Words

Good morning / Good eveningBuenos días / Buenas tardes
How are you?Cómo esta ?
Fine, thank you, and you?Muy bien, gracias, y usted ?
I understand / I don't understandEntiendo / No entiendo
Thank you (very much)Muchas gracias
Excuse meDiscúlpame
My name is...Me llamo…
No thank youNo gracias
Yes / NoSí / No
You're welcomeDe nada


How much is it?¿Cuánto es?
It is very cheapEs muy barato
It is too expensive!Es demasiado caro !
Can you lower the price?¿Puede bajar el precio ?
I would like to buy ... this one!Quisiera comprar… eso, éste !
I like it / I don't like itMe encanta / Aborrezco
I'm just looking around.Sólo estoy mirando


I would like to go to ...Quisiera ir
I would like to rent ...Quisiera alquilar


Where is ...? / How can I get to ...?¿Dónde está? ¿ Cómo ir a…?
Train stationEstación
CentreCentro de la ciudad
Is it close / far?Es cerca / lejos ?
Straight aheadTodo recto
Left / RightIzquierda / Derecha
North / South / East / WestNorte / Sur / Este/ Oueste

Numberssieben, acht, neun, zehn

one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, tenUn, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, seis, siete, ocho, nueve, diez
twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixtyVeinte, treinta, cuaranta, cincuenta, sesenta
seventy, eighty, ninetySetenta, ochenta, noventa
One hundredCiento

Hours/Dates and daysDienstag, Mittwoch, Donnerstag, Freitag, Samstag, Sonntag

What time is it?¿Qué hora es?
Today (morning/midday/evening)Hoy (mañana/mediodía/tarde)
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, SundayLunes, martes, miércoles, jueves, viernes, sábado, domingo
I am here on vacationEstoy de vacaciones / de viaje
I am here for businessEstoy aquí por trabajo

Time to eat!

I am hungry / I am thirstyTengo hambre / Tengo sed
Enjoy¡Buen provecho !
Cheers!¡Salud !
It was delicious¡Estaba delicioso !
What can you recommend?¿Qué recomienda?
I am vegeterianSoy vegetariano
Not spicy please (I don't like spices)¡Sin picante ! (No me gusta el picante)
It's too hot¡Es demasiado caliente !
I am allergicSoy alérgico
Sea foodMarisco
I would like...Quisiera…
Tee / CoffeeTé / café
Beer / WineCerveza / vino
The bill, pleaseLa cuenta por favor

Health / Emergency / Security

I need to see a doctor.Necesito de ver un medico
Call an ambulance / Call 911Llame un médico / ambulancia
Where is the hospital?¿Dónde está el hospital?
I do not feel very goodNo me siento muy bien
It hurts hereMe duele aquí
Where can I find the restrooms?¿Dónde están los aseos?
Help!¡Socorro !
I'm lostMe he perdido


Have a nice day !Buen día
David Debrincat
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