Five Spanish Conversation Starters in Spain

Beginning a conversation in another language can be daunting at first. New words, new culture, and language insecurity all can make a simple chat seem like a master’s thesis. Luckily, most cultures have certain topics that are talked about frequently in daily conversation.  Looking specifically at Spain, there are a few cultural nuances that are good to know on your trip to the land of Sangria and Siestas. Here are five Spanish conversation starters that can help you strike up conversation in Spain:

1. “¿Cuál es tu equipo de fútbol favorito? Real Madrid o FC Barcelona?”
“Which is your favorite football team? Real Madrid or FC Barcelona?”

The Spanish love their football so it is always an easy way to chat up someone at a local bar or restaurant. And in Spain, they have good a reason to be proud of their teams. Both Real Madrid and FC Barcelona are some of the best teams in the world and have won Europe and world tournaments consistently in the last decades. Just be sure to choose the team you cheer for wisely  depending on where you are in the country!

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Photo of Spanish futbol champions via wikipedia / Simo82

2. “¿Hay un Cien Montaditos cerca?”
“Is there a Cien Montaditos close by?”

Cien Montaditos is a popular chain restaurant that offers small sandwiches called montaditos that come in over 100 varieties. They also offer cheap beers, sangria, tinto de verano (sparkling red wine), and clara (mix of beer and lemonade) for those warm summer days. These eateries are all over major cities and are popular with locals and tourists alike.

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Photo of CIen Montaditos via wikipedia / Ash Chuan

3. “¿Te gusta bailar flamenco?”
“Do you like to dance flamenco?”

Flamenco is a traditional Spanish dance that originated in Andalucia, located in southern Spain. Average Spaniards don’t normally dance flamenco. In fact, only professional dancers with years of practice will be seen performing the intricate steps at a flamenco event or show. However, this is a fun way to begin a conversation about flamenco in general and learn a bit about your companion’s opinion on their own cultural dance.

4. “¿Generalmente tomas la siesta?”
“Do you normally take a mid-day nap?”

This is a good way to break up the traditional stereotypes that Spaniards are known to follow. Most Spaniards in big cities do not take siestas and stores are open all day long. In smaller cities or towns, shops do close around 1:00 pm and re-open around 3:00 or 4:00 pm. This is usually to take a lunch break and escape the strong afternoon heat. This is a way to see what city the person is from. Normally people from Madrid or Barcelona will answer no, but if they are from a small town they might say yes and say they love it!

5. “¿Has visto alguna película de Pedro Almodóvar?”
“Have you seen a movie by Pedro Almodóvar?”

Pedro Almodóvar is by far Spain’s most famous and popular cinematic director/writer. He has written and directed over 30 films and has been nominated for over 90 international awards. His famous films include Talk to Her, Volver, Woman on the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown, and The Skin I Live In. If you can converse on at least a few of his films or other Spanish directors, you will definitely find movie tastes in common!

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Photo of Pedro Almodovar on the red carpet via wikipedia /Georges Biard

In order to have a proper conversation with your partner, you should begin by taking Spanish classes to prepare for your journey. First, take the online level test and then contact Language Trainers for the best Spanish course option for you. You can even practice some of these conversation starters with your professor!

 

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