How to Sound Natural When Ordering Food in Spanish

November 5, 2016
<!-- wp:paragraph --><p>Being able to confidently order food in public can serve as better proof of your Spanish fluency than any official exam. To pass this trial by fire you'll need to know not only the right words, but also the <strong>unspoken cultural norms</strong> of the country you're in. Since most textbooks tend to completely ignore this crucial information, we'll explore it in depth here.</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>Unfortunately, the only cultural norms I know like the back of my hand are those from Spain, so this article will be much more <strong>Spain-centric</strong> than I'd like. This is not a big deal, because the basics are the same in every flavor of Spanish. If you do most of your food-ordering in a different country, you should get hyperlocal translations from one of your <a href="">native friends</a> to sound 100% native. That's what I've done with a few of my Mexican, Colombian and Peruvian friends (see the <strong>bonus dialogue</strong> section at the end). If you have any other local translations, feel free to share them in the comments.</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>So, for the rest of the article, let's assume you're somewhere along the coast of Spain, it's early night (<span class="en">10pm</span>) and there's a gentle breeze. You and your friends have just picked a table in a <span class="sp">terraza</span> (<span class="en">bar/restaurant with outdoor seating</span>) overlooking the sea, and a man wearing black pants and a white short-sleeved shirt comes up to you with a notebook in hand.</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:more --><!--more--><!-- /wp:more --><!-- wp:heading --><h2>Saying hello <a name="saying_hello"></a></h2><!-- /wp:heading --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>Regardless of whether you're standing inside or sitting outside, the first thing you should do is <strong>greet the waiter and your fellow patrons</strong> (let them know you got this Spanish thing down). You can start with:</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:html --><div class="translation"><p><span class="sp">—Hola, <strong>buenas</strong>.</span><br><span class="en">"Hi, good (ones)"</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Muy <strong>buenas</strong>. Ahora mismo os preparo una mesita.</span><br><span class="en">"Very good (ones indeed). Right now I prepare you a table (diminutives are just affectionate flourishes)."</span></p></div><!-- /wp:html --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p><span class="sp">Buenas</span> works as a stand-in for <span class="sp">buenas tardes</span> (<span class="en">good afternoons</span>), <span class="sp">buenas noches</span> (<span class="en">good nights</span>), and also for <span class="sp">buenos días</span> (<span class="en">good (days / morning)</span>), even if it doesn't make any sense because <span class="sp">días</span> is masculine. You can use <span class="sp">buenas</span> anytime you want to acknowledge someone's presence without necessarily getting into a full-on conversation about how their weekend went.</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p><strong>Pro tip</strong>: If you want to expand your greeting repertoire, notice <strong>how other people greet the waiter</strong> and write down any confusing or unfamiliar expressions. They might range from the casual <span class="sp">¿Qué pasa, Paco?</span> (<span class="en">What's up, Paco?</span>), to the more formal <span class="sp">Hola, buenas noches a todos</span> (<span class="en">Hello, good nights to everyone</span>).</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:heading --><h2>Ordering</h2><!-- /wp:heading --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>If the waiter doesn't explicitly ask you what you'd like to drink or eat, proactively tell him:</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:html --><div class="translation"><p><span class="sp">—¿<strong>Nos pones</strong> <a href="">dos cañas</a> y un <a href="">tinto de verano</a>, por favor?</span><br><span class="en">"Do you put us two (glasses of beer) and a summer red wine (glass), please?"</span></p><p><span class="sp">—¡Marchando!</span><br><span class="en">"(Marching / Coming right up)!"</span></p></div><!-- /wp:html --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p><strong>Pro tip</strong>: <strong>Don't order sangria</strong>. Look up <a href="">a recipe</a> and make it at home yourself. If you're outside, copy the locals and order <strong><span class="sp">tintos de verano</span></strong>.</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>We'll talk about it more in the <span class="sp">tú vs. usted</span> section, but you must convince your English mind to stop reaching for <em>have</em> (as in "Can I <strong>have</strong>…?") and focus on using <strong><span class="sp">poner</span></strong> and <strong><span class="sp">traer</span></strong> (<span class="sp">¿Me puedes <strong>poner/traer</strong> una cerveza?</span>).</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>There is a subtle difference between these ordering verbs:</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:html --><blockquote class="legacy-blockquote"><ul><li>If you're ordering <strong>real food or drinks</strong>, you can <strong>use both</strong>, <span class="sp">poner</span> or <span class="sp">traer</span>.</li><li>If you're ordering other things that are <strong>far away from the waiter</strong> (the menu, the check, a fork, a slice of lemon), use <strong><span class="sp">traer</span></strong>.</li></ul></blockquote><!-- /wp:html --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>(Also, if you're asking for things that are close to the waiter, use <span class="sp">dar</span>.)</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>If you prefer using <strong><span class="sp">tomar</span></strong> for ordering real food or drinks, <strong>do not ask for permission</strong> (<span class="sp almost">¿Puedo tomar…?</span>); instead, <strong>say what's going to happen</strong>:</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:html --><div class="translation"><p><span class="sp">—Buenas, pareja. ¿Qué <strong>vais a tomar</strong>?</span><br><span class="en">"Good (ones), (couple / two people). What are you <strong>going to have</strong>?"</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Yo <strong>voy a tomar</strong> un té, gracias.</span><br><span class="en">"I'm <strong>going to have</strong> a tea, thanks."</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Y a mí me pones un cortado.</span><br><span class="en">"And (to me) put me an espresso"</span></p></div><!-- /wp:html --><!-- wp:heading {"level":3} --><h3>¿<span class="sp">Usted o tú</span>?</h3><!-- /wp:heading --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>This distinction is highly country-specific, but let's highlight a few universal points:</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:list {"ordered":true} --><ol><li>No one will feel <strong>deeply insulted</strong> if you use <span class="sp">tú</span> instead of <span class="sp">usted</span>, so relax and have fun with it.</li><li>Instead of putting all your creative energy on appearing polite, <strong>focus on noticing how the waiter addresses <em>you</em></strong>. Once you develop the ability to pick up on whether you're being <span class="sp">tuteado</span> (addressed using <span class="sp">tú</span>) or not, you'll instantly know which one you should be using.</li><li>If you're much more comfortable saying either <span class="sp">tú</span> or <span class="sp">usted</span>, <strong>practice using the other one</strong>. Once you're equally comfortable with both, you'll have no problem switching, and all the politeness-induced anxiety will magically disappear.</li></ol><!-- /wp:list --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>Besides conjugating verbs with <span class="sp">usted</span>, you can squeeze in a lot of politeness into your interactions by <strong>disguising your commands as questions</strong>:</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:html --><div class="translation"><p><span class="sp">—¿Me traes un vasito de agua, cuando puedas?</span><br><span class="en">"Bring me a glass of water, whenever you're able?"</span></p></div><!-- /wp:html --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>In English, it's much more common to make polite requests by talking about <strong>your innermost wishes and desires</strong> (<span class="en">can I have…?</span>, <span class="en">may I have…?</span>, <span class="en">could I have…?</span>).</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>"I"-focused requests sound pretty weird in Spanish (<span class="sp almost">¿podría tener…?</span>, <span class="sp almost">quisiera tener…</span>, <span class="sp almost">me gustaría tener…</span>); instead, we focus on <strong>what we want the other person to do</strong> (<span class="sp">¿me traes…?</span>, <span class="sp">¿me puedes traer…?</span>, <span class="sp">¿me podrías traer…?</span>).</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>Anyway, the default in most bars and restaurants in Spain is to use <span class="sp">tú</span>, so let's stick to that for the rest of the article.</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:heading {"level":3} --><h3><span class="sp">No sé qué pedir</span><br><span class="en">I don't know what to order</span></h3><!-- /wp:heading --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>If you never got a menu, or if you're overwhelmed (or underwhelmed) by the number of choices, you can always ask the waiter:</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:html --><div class="translation"><p><span class="sp">—Perdona, ¿nos traes la carta, por favor?</span><br><span class="en">"(Forgive / excuse me), do you bring us the menu, please?"</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Aquí tenéis. Si no habéis probado las <a href="">croquetas de chipirones</a>, <strong>os las recomiendo</strong>.</span><br><span class="en">"Here you go. If you haven't tried the baby squid croquettes, <strong>I recommend them to you</strong>."</span></p><p><span class="sp">—¿Vegetariano no tenéis nada?</span><br><span class="en">"Vegetarian (dishes), you don't have anything?"</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Vegetariano tenemos la torta de champiñones y el calabacín al horno.</span><br><span class="en">"Vegetarian (dishes) we have (are) the mushroom cake and the (zucchini at the oven / baked zucchini)."</span></p></div><!-- /wp:html --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>To explicitly <strong>ask for recommendations</strong>, notice what the waiter said above (<span class="sp">os recomiendo…</span>), and turn it into a question: <span class="sp">¿Qué nos recomiendas?</span> (<span class="en">What do you recommend to us?</span>).</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>To get useful recommendations, you should always provide a constraint:</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:html --><div class="translation"><p><span class="sp">—Estoy entre el <a href="">pez espada</a> y la <a href="">lubina</a>. ¿<strong>Qué me recomiendas</strong>?</span><br><span class="en">"I'm between the swordfish and the European sea bass. What do you recommend to me?"</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Las dos están muy buenas. Pero la lubina es la especialidad de la casa. La hacemos al horno, con un poco de hinojo y sal. Os va a encantar.</span><br><span class="en">"They are both very good. But the European sea bass is the house specialty. We (make it at the oven / bake it), with a bit of fennel and salt. You're going to love it."</span></p></div><!-- /wp:html --><!-- wp:heading {"level":3} --><h3>Who's doing the ordering?</h3><!-- /wp:heading --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>Once you're ready to order, you have two options: fending for yourself or speaking on behalf of the group.</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>Ordering for yourself is pretty simple: just say <span class="sp">para mí</span> and whatever item you've chosen.</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:html --><div class="translation"><p><span class="sp">—<strong>Para mí</strong>, una <a href="">presa ibérica</a>.</span>.<br><span class="en">"<strong>For me</strong>, the pork shoulder steak."</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Una presa ibérica… ¿Y para ti?</span><br><span class="en">"A pork shoulder steak… And for you?"</span></p><p><span class="sp">—<strong>Para mí</strong>, la <a href="">tortilla de trufa</a>.</span><br><span class="en">"<strong>For me</strong>, the truffle omelette."</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Y una tortilla de trufa… Muy bien. Ahora mismo os traigo un poco de pan.</span><br><span class="en">"And a truffle omelette… Very (well / good). Right (now / away) I bring you (a bit of / some) bread."</span></p></div><!-- /wp:html --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>Ordering when you're the chosen representative of your group is not that hard either—just tell the waiter <strong>what's going to happen</strong>:</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:html --><div class="translation"><p><span class="sp">—Mira, <strong>vamos a pedir</strong> tres raciones para compartir.</span><br><span class="en">"Look, <strong>we're going to order</strong> three portions to share."</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Perfecto. Vosotros diréis.</span><br><span class="en">"Perfect. (You will say / let me know) (what you want)."</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Pues una de <a href="">pulpo</a>, una de <a href="">huevos rotos</a> y ¿<a href="">paella</a> tenéis?</span><br><span class="en">"(So, it's going to be) one (portion) of octopus, one of broken eggs, and paella do you have (it)?"</span></p><p><span class="sp">—No, lo siento. Solo los domingos.</span><br><span class="en">"No, (I feel (bad about) it / I'm sorry). Only (the / on) Sundays."</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Vale, pues entonces una de <a href="">salmorejo</a>.</span><br><span class="en">"Okay, so then one (portion) of (tomato and bread purée)."</span></p></div><!-- /wp:html --><!-- wp:image {"id":520} --><figure class="wp-block-image"><img src="" alt="tapas" class="wp-image-520"/></figure><!-- /wp:image --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p><strong>Pro tip</strong>: If you see a menu like the one above, you'll sometimes be able to order things in three sizes (from smallest to largest): <span class="sp">una tapa</span> (<span class="en">a snack</span>), <span class="sp">una media ración</span> (<span class="en">a half portion</span>), or <span class="sp">una ración</span> (<span class="en">a portion</span>). When people say <span class="sp">"vámonos de tapas"</span> (<span class="en">let's go eat some tapas</span>), what they actually mean is "<span class="sp">vámonos de raciones</span>" (<span class="en">let's go eat some portions</span>).</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:shortcode --><div data-ckid="2469041f32"></div><!-- /wp:shortcode --><!-- wp:heading --><h2><span class="sp">¿Cómo va todo?</span><br><span class="en">How are things going?</span></h2><!-- /wp:heading --><!-- wp:html --><div class="translation"><p><span class="sp">—A ver por aquí… ¿<strong>Les falta</strong> alguna cosita?</span><br><span class="en">"Let's see around here (in this table)… Are you missing any little thing?"</span></p></div><!-- /wp:html --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p><strong>Pop quiz</strong>: is the waiter asking you in <span class="sp">usted</span>-mode or in <span class="sp">tú</span>-mode?</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>You should respond appropriately:</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:html --><div class="translation"><p><span class="sp">—¿Me <strong>podrías</strong> traer otro tenedor, por favor? Es que se me ha caído.</span><br><span class="en">"Could you (<span class="sp">tú</span>) bring me another fork, please? (The thing is) that it has fallen (from me)."</span></p><p><span class="sp">—¿Me <strong>podría</strong> traer otro tenedor, por favor? Es que se me ha caído.</span><br><span class="en">"Could you (<span class="sp">usted</span>) bring me another fork, please? (The thing is) that it has fallen (from me)."</span></p></div><!-- /wp:html --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>I recommend reserving <strong><span class="sp">podría</span></strong> (conditional, <span class="sp">usted</span>) for <strong>very polite requests</strong> (or for asking favors that make you feel slightly guilty), and making <strong><span class="sp">puedes</span></strong> (present, <span class="sp">tú</span>) <strong>your default</strong>, since it sits somewhere in the middle of the politeness ladder:</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:html --><div class="translation"><p><span class="sp">—¿Le <strong>podría</strong> decir a su hijo que deje de tirarme patatas fritas?</span><br><span class="en">"(conditional, <span class="sp">usted</span>): <strong>Could you</strong> tell your son to stop throwing (at) me French fries?"</span></p><p><span class="sp">—¿Le <strong>puede</strong> decir a su hijo que deje de tirarme patatas fritas?</span><br><span class="en">"(present, <span class="sp">usted</span>): <strong>Can you</strong>…"</span></p><p><span class="sp">—¿Le <strong>puedes</strong> decir a tu hijo que deje de tirarme patatas fritas?</span><br><span class="en">"(present, <span class="sp">tú</span>): <strong>Can you</strong>…"</span></p><p><span class="sp">—<strong>Dígale</strong> a su hijo que deje de tirarme patatas fritas.</span><br><span class="en">"(imperative, <span class="sp">usted</span>): <strong>Tell your son…</strong>"</span></p><p><span class="sp">—<strong>Dile</strong> a tu hijo que deje de tirarme patatas fritas.</span><br><span class="en">"(imperative, <span class="sp">tú</span>): <strong>Tell your son…</strong>"</span></p></div><!-- /wp:html --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>If you feel the need to go lower, just decorate <span class="sp">hijo</span> with your favorite adjective.</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:heading --><h2>Paying and leaving</h2><!-- /wp:heading --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>If the waiter keeps ignoring you while you try to pull out your textbook-Spanish check-ordering sentence, try using this one:</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:html --><div class="translation"><p><span class="sp">—Perdona. (Brazo subido. Contacto visual.) <strong>La cuenta cuando puedas</strong>. (Cejas levantadas. Firmita en el aire.)</span><br><span class="en">"Forgive (me). (Arm raised. Eye contact.) The bill whenever you're able. (Raised eyebrows. Little signing motion in the air)."</span></p></div><!-- /wp:html --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>If it's a slow night and the waiter has all the time in the world to chat with you, you can be a bit more roundabout and talk about <strong>how good the food was</strong> (<span class="sp">Estaba todo buenísimo</span>, <span class="en">Everything was (very good / delicious)</span>), or ask him if it's possible to <strong>take the leftovers home</strong> (<span class="sp">¿Me podrías poner esto para llevar, por favor?</span>, <span class="en">Could we take this to go, please?</span>), and then ask for the check like a boss:</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:html --><div class="translation"><p><span class="sp">—¿Nos puedes traer la cuenta, cuando puedas?</span><br><span class="en">"Can you bring us the check, whenever you're able?"</span></p></div><!-- /wp:html --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>In bars or in non-fancy restaurants, you can also say <span class="sp">¿Nos cobras?</span> (<span class="en">(Do you / will you) charge us?</span>). Once you pay, say <a href=""><span class="sp">hasta luego</span></a>, and go for a walk on the beach.</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:heading --><h2>Spanish takeaways</h2><!-- /wp:heading --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>Sounding native when ordering food is just like sounding native when doing anything else: you need to <strong>really listen</strong> to what natives are saying and <strong>notice how it differs</strong> from what your gut thinks is right.</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>Remember that requests in Spanish are almost always "you"-based (<span class="sp">¿Me <strong>puedes</strong> traer…?</span>) instead of "I"-based (<span class="en">Can I have…?</span>).</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>To sound polite when using <span class="sp">tú</span>, you only need to <strong>turn the command into a question</strong> and smile (<span class="sp">¿Me traes una rodaja de limón? 🙂</span>, <span class="en">Bring me a slice of lemon?</span>).</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>If your polite upbringing keeps rejecting this sentence structure, feel free to append <span class="sp">porfa</span> or <span class="sp">por favor</span> (<span class="sp">¿Me traes una rodaja de limón, porfa?</span>), or insert <span class="sp">poder</span> in its present or conditional form for added politeness (<span class="sp">¿Me puedes (podrías) traer una rodaja de limón, por favor?</span>). The same guidelines apply when using <span class="sp">usted</span>.</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>If you want to get articles like this one and other secret Spanish content sent to you directly, <strong><a href="">subscribe to Deliberate Spanish</a></strong>.</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:separator --><hr class="wp-block-separator"/><!-- /wp:separator --><!-- wp:heading --><h2><a name="spanish-flavors"></a> Bonus: Dialogues in other Spanish flavors</h2><!-- /wp:heading --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>These are three variations on the main dialogue above. I've bolded the most native expressions.</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>I want to thank Gina, Natalia, Dana, Óscar, Harold, and Víctor for their native help (I also take full responsibility for any mistakes and inaccuracies that may have slipped through).</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:heading {"level":3} --><h3><span class="sp">México</span></h3><!-- /wp:heading --><!-- wp:html --><div class="translation"><p><span class="sp">—Hola, buenas tardes.</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Buenas tardes. ¿<strong>Gustan</strong> algo de <strong>tomar</strong>?</span><br><span class="en">"Good afternoon. Do you enjoy something to drink? (Anywhere outside of Spain, they'll use <strong><span class="sp">tomar</span></strong> instead of <span class="sp">beber</span> when ordering drinks).</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Dos <strong>chelitas</strong>, por favor.</span><br><span class="en">"Two beers, please. (<strong><span class="sp">Una chela</span></strong> is a pretty native/informal way of ordering beer). "</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Claro que sí.</span></p><p><!-- --><br><!-- --><br><span class="sp">—Aquí tienen la carta. Si no han probado las enchiladas de <a href="">mole</a>, se las recomiendo mucho. </span></p><p><span class="sp">—¿Tienen <a href="">pozole</a>? </span></p><p><span class="sp">—No. Solo los domingos.</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Yo estoy entre la <a href="">arrachera</a> y las <a href="">puntas de filete</a>. ¿Cuál me <strong>recomiendas</strong>? </span></p></div><!-- /wp:html --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>This deserves an interlude.</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>In Spain, we use <span class="sp">tú-vosotros</span> for the informal and <span class="sp">usted-ustedes</span> for the formal. Makes sense, right? Why would you pick one from each category? Well, this is what one region of Spain did: most people in the Canary Islands use <span class="sp">tú-ustedes</span> for the informal and <span class="sp">usted-ustedes</span> for the formal.</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>This would have just been a linguistic oddity if it weren't for the fact that almost every Spanish ship that went on to "discover" the Americas had its last pre-Atlantic pit stop in the Canary Islands. This meant that many people in favor of using <span class="sp">tú-ustedes</span> boarded those ships, which meant that they had a first-mover advantage in deciding how Spanish would be spoken in the entire American Continent.</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>So, now you know who to blame for the <span class="sp">tú-ustedes</span> madness.</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>Back to the dialogue.</p><!-- /wp:paragraph --><!-- wp:html --><div class="translation"><p><span class="sp">—Yo estoy entre la arrachera y las puntas de filete. ¿Cuál me recomiendas? </span></p><p><span class="sp">—Las dos están muy buenas, pero la arrachera es la especialidad de la casa. Viene con guacamole y arroz. ¡Deliciosa!</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Entonces, para mí la arrachera.</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Una arrachera… ¿Y para ti? </span></p><p><span class="sp">—Para mí las enchiladas.</span></p><p><span class="sp">—¿Verdes o de mole?</span></p><p><span class="sp">—De mole, por favor. </span></p><p><span class="sp">—Muy bien, <strong>ahorita</strong> les traigo un poco de pan.</span><br><span class="en">(Using <span class="sp">ahorita</span> to mean <em>right now</em> is super common outside of Spain. We use other diminutives, but for some reason that one never stuck.)</span></p><p><!-- --><br><span class="sp">—¿Todo en orden? ¿<strong>Se les ofrece</strong> algo más? </span><br><span class="en">"Everything in order? <strong>Do you (desire / feel like)</strong> anything else?"</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Unas <a href="">tortillas</a> y ¿me podrías traer <strong>limón</strong>, por favor?</span><br><span class="sp">—Claro que sí.</span><br><span class="en">(According to my friend Dana, no one would order just a single slice of lime in Mexico–they'd order the full lime! 😂)<br>(Also, in Spain, <span class="sp">limón</span> means a yellow lemon; in Mexico, it means lime (which we would call <span class="sp">lima</span>))</span></p><p><!-- --><br><!-- --><br><span class="sp">—Disculpe. <strong>Le encargo</strong> la cuenta.</span><br><span class="en">Forgive (me). <strong>I request you</strong> the check. (Another way to say it is <span class="sp">¿<strong>nos puede mandar</strong> la cuenta?</span>, <strong>could you send us</strong> the check?)</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Aquí está.</span><br><span class="en">"Here it is."</span></p></div><!-- /wp:html --><!-- wp:heading {"level":3} --><h3><span class="sp">Colombia</span></h3><!-- /wp:heading --><!-- wp:html --><div class="translation"><p><span class="sp">—Hola, buenas tardes.</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Muy buenas tardes, <strong>sigan</strong>. ¿Qué desean tomar?</span><br><span class="en">"Very good afternoons, <strong>come in</strong>. What would you like to drink? (<span class="sp">sigan</span> is Colombia-specific, the rest of the Spanish world would say <span class="sp">adelante</span>)"</span></p><p><span class="sp">—¿<strong>Nos regalas</strong> un <a href="">aguardientico</a> y una cerveza bien helada, por favor?</span><br><span class="en">"Do you give us an anise-flavored sugar-cane liqueur and a beer really frozen, please? (It's super Colombian to say <span class="sp">regalar</span> instead of <span class="sp">dar</span>. They're <strong>not</strong> actually asking for free drinks.)"</span></p><p><span class="sp">—¡Con gusto!</span><br><span class="en">"With pleasure!"</span></p><p><span class="sp">—<strong>Acá</strong> esta la carta. Si no han probado las <a href="">empanadas de queso</a>, se las recomiendo, son deliciosas.</span><br><span class="en">(In Spain, you'll likely hear <span class="sp">aquí</span> instead of <span class="sp">acá</span>, but they both mean <em>here</em>).</span></p><p><span class="sp">—¿Tienen arroz con pollo?</span></p><p><span class="sp">—No, lo siento mucho, solo los domingos.</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Yo estoy entre el <a href="">ajiaco</a> y la <a href="">mojarra frita</a>. ¿Qué me recomienda?</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Las dos <strong>son</strong> riquísimas, pero el ajiaco es nuestra especialidad. Le ponemos un poco de crema y alcaparras. Muy sabroso.</span><br><span class="en">(To add to the <a href=""><span class="sp">ser</span>/<span class="sp">estar</span></a> confusion, outside of Spain it's common to describe the flavor of a particular dish as one of its <em>essential characteristics</em> (<span class="sp">o es bueno o es malo</span>), instead of as a particular state among many (<span class="sp">está bueno, pero podría estar malo</span>). If you want to keep your sanity, follow whatever the natives in your region use.)</span></p><p><span class="sp">—<strong>Listo</strong>. Entonces para mí un ajiaco, por favor.</span><br><span class="en">"<strong>Perfect</strong>. Then, for me an ajiaco, please.</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Un ajiaco… ¿Y para ti?</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Para mí una mojarra frita.</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Una mojarra frita… Muy bien. <strong>Ya</strong> les traigo pan. </span><br><span class="en">(In Spain, we use <span class="sp">ahora</span> for eventual actions, and reserve <span class="sp">ya</span> for more <a href="">immediate ones</a>. I guess in this case it would depend on how fast the waiter is planning on moving.)</span></p><p><!-- --><br><!-- --><br><span class="sp">—¿Cómo van? ¿Les puedo ofrecer algo más?</span><br><span class="en">"How are you (going / doing)? Can I offer you anything else?"</span></p><p><span class="sp">—¿Nos regalas sal y un poquito de limón?</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Claro que sí. Con mucho gusto.</span></p><p><!-- --><br><!-- --><br><span class="sp">—¿Nos traes la cuenta, por favor?</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Acá la tienen.</span></p></div><!-- /wp:html --><!-- wp:heading {"level":3} --><h3><span class="sp">Perú</span></h3><!-- /wp:heading --><!-- wp:html --><div class="translation"><p><span class="sp">—Hola.</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Hola, ¿cómo están? ¿Qué les gustaría tomar?</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Porfa, ¿nos puedes traer un par de cervecitas y un <a href="">pisco sour</a>?</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Claro, se las traigo <strong>ahorita</strong>.</span></p><p><!-- --><br><!-- --><br><span class="sp">—Aquí tienen la carta. Si no han probado nuestro <a href="">ceviche</a>, se los recomiendo. </span></p><p><span class="sp">—¿Tienes arroz con mariscos?</span></p><p><span class="sp">—No, lo siento, solo los domingos.</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Yo estoy entre el <a href="">seco de cabrito</a> y el <a href="">lomo saltado</a>. ¿Cuál me recomiendas?</span></p><p><span class="sp">—<strong>Los</strong> dos son muy <strong>buenos</strong>. Pero el lomo saltado es la especialidad de la casa. Lo hacemos con lomo fino y un poco de vinagre. Nos queda riquísimo. </span><br><span class="en">(This isn't Peru-specific, but I wanted you to notice that sometimes the reply will be masculine (meaning <span class="sp">los platos</span>, <em>the dishes</em>), and others it will be feminine (meaning <span class="sp">las cosas</span>, <em>the things</em>))</span></p><p><span class="sp">—<strong>Chévere</strong>, entonces para mí un lomo.</span><br><span class="en">Awesome, then for me a <span class="sp">lomo</span>.</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Un lomo… ¿Y para usted?</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Para mí el seco de cabrito.</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Y un seco… Muy bien. Ahorita les traigo un poco de pan. </span></p><p><!-- --><br><!-- --><br><span class="sp">—¿Todo bien? ¿Les falta algo?</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Sí, ¿me podrías traer un limoncito cortado?</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Sí, claro.</span></p><p><!-- --><br><!-- --><br><span class="sp">—Disculpa. ¿Me traes la cuenta por favor?</span></p><p><span class="sp">—Aquí tiene la cuenta. </span></p></div><!-- /wp:html --><!-- wp:separator --><hr class="wp-block-separator"/><!-- /wp:separator --><!-- wp:paragraph --><p>I've put a million links here, and due to the second law of thermodynamics, entropy will increase until a statistically significant subset of them will stop working. Let me know if you found any dead ones, so I can keep the chaos under control.</p><!-- /wp:paragraph -->