Overview: In this free Spanish lesson, we’re going to discuss how to small talk in Spanish.
Who it’s for: People who want to practice their Spanish skills with real people.
Skill level: For Advanced students.
“Hi how are you?”
‘Good, good, how about yourself?
“Okay so I’ll see you around!”
Haven’t we all been there? Small talk is more difficult to master than one would think and can be quite daunting. It is really an art. There are even books written on the subject! In today’s free Spanish lesson, Gordon and Cynthia teach us the art of Spanish small talk and some very useful vocabulary and phrases you can use for your next encounter.
Students have a problem: they learn and learn in the classroom, but then find themselves unable to host a simple conversation with actual people.
Keep in mind this video is for advanced (or very ambitious!) students since nearly the entire video is in Spanish. Remember, if it’s easy you’re not learning.
Before we dive into the lesson, here are some quick tips for making small talk more enjoyable:
-Quickly find a way to talk about what the other person is passionate about by asking them what they are up to and what their favorite thing about that is.
-Speak with passion about where you are or at least where you are going
-You don’t have to give boring answers to boring questions. For example if someone asks me how my day is going I can say “Great! I’ve been taking salsa classes this week and I’m really enjoying it.” Notice how this has nothing to do with my day.
-Trying new activities, having hobbies or interesting work to talk about makes awkward silences much less likely.
So, let’s get started with some Spanish small talk!
Small talk= hablar de cosas sin importancia.
¿Qué tal (____)? = how are you?/ how is ______?
Gordon refers to “¿Qué tal?” as the Spanish small talk “pot of gold” because you can use it in so many different situations with just about anyone and there’s no need to beat around the bush!
¿Qué tal tu dia?
¿Qué tal la semana?
¿Qué tal tus hijos?
Another conversation starter is:
¿Qué te cuentas? = What’s up?
In Spain, whether you have something to say or not, you always begin to answer with “nada.” It is like saying “not much.”
Example: “Nada, estuve con mis hijas todo el día.”
Another very versatile word is “vaya.” You can basically start talking about anything with this. It means “wow,” “well,” or “oh no.”
¡Vaya, mira quién ha venido! = Well, look who has come!
¡Vaya! Qué coche tan chévere se ha comprado! = Wow! What a cool car he’s bought for himself!
¡Vaya! Se me ha mojado el celular. = Oh no! My cellphone got wet.
A word you can use to get someone’s attention is “oye” which means “hey.”
¡Oye! ¿Qué haces? = Hey! What are you doing?
Hope you enjoyed this free Spanish lesson! Hasta luego!