Making Small Talk in Spanish
Making small talk in Spanish can be difficult. Are you the type of person who would start a conversation with a stranger? What would you say? That gets even more difficult when you are trying to do it in Spanish.
We have recreated five situations in which you could be starting a conversation from zero in Spanish. You will find phrases and examples in each of the situations. Next time you want to start a conversation in Spanish, your Spanish small talk skills will be ready for the challenge.
We must tell you though: Sorry for the bad acting! We don’t deserve an Oscar but we’re sure you’ll smile at least once during the video.
INTRODUCTIONS: Depending on the situation, after you introduce yourself to someone, it might get awkward. Some things we thought you could say are:
¿Conoces a ____ hace mucho tiempo? – Have you known _______ for a long time?
¿A qué te dedicas? – What do you do (for a living)?
¿De dónde eres? – Where are you from?
¿Qué haces en tus ratos libres? – What do you do in your free time?
¿Cómo te parece la fiesta? – What do you think about the party?
AT WORK: Even if you know your coworkers, it is not always obvious to pick a topic to talk about if there’s a chance to chat. These are some ideas:
¿Qué hiciste el fin de semana? – What did you do on the weekend?
¿Qué planes tienes para este fin de semana? – What plans do you have for this weekend?
¿Cómo va tu día? – How’s your day going?
¿Vas a salir de la ciudad estas vacaciones? – Are you going out of town for the holidays?
¿Qué vas a almorzar hoy? – What are you having for lunch today?
¿Qué me cuentas? – What’s new?
GENERAL OBSERVATIONS: These are casual comments about things that are taking place around you. Complimenting people on their clothes or talking about the weather are safe and common conversation starters. Here some ideas of what to say in Spanish:
¡Qué día tan bonito! – What a nice day!
¿Será que llueve? – Do you think it will rain?
¡Me encanta tu camisa! ¿Dónde la compraste? – I love your shirt. Where did you get it?
Este bus se demora mucho… ¿llevas mucho tiempo esperando? – This bus is taking a while. Have you been waiting long?
Qué perro tan lindo ¿Qué raza es? – What a cute dog! What type of dog is it?
COMMUTING: Since you will be stuck in some type of means of transportation for a while, it is very normal to start conversations with the people sitting next to you. We think it is a good idea to talk about your destination, the place where you come from, or the things and places you see around. Some ideas of what to say are:
¿Es la primera vez que viajas en ____? – Is this the first time you travel by / in / _______?
¿Vas de vacaciones a _____? Me encanta esa ciudad. – Are you going on vacation to _____? I love that city!
¿A dónde vas? – Where are you going?
¿De dónde vienes? – Where do you come from?
¿Viajas mucho a _______? – Do you go a lot to ________?
¿Qué vas a hacer en _____? – What will you be doing in _______?
IN A WAITING ROOM: Similar situation o the one above. People are typically not in a rush so they are more likely to engage in conversation with you.
¿Has estado esperando mucho tiempo? – Have you been waiting long?
¿Cuántas personas faltan para pasar con _____? – How many more people are there in front of us?
¿Hace mucho tiempo viene a esta oficina? – Have you been coming to this office for a long time?
Hoy está llena la oficina. – The office is crowded today.
¿Le pareció difícil encontrar esta oficina? – Did you find it difficult to find this place?
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