The Spanish do not make a habit of saying please and thank you very much. It is a cultural thing so don't think them of being too rude if you come from a culture where you say these words a lot.
Though don't expect speed and a smile in cafes and restaurants. Customer service is NOT a main priority in Spain (especially in the south). In my opinion I often can't blame them because they are on really bad contracts and get paid very little; plus the fact tipping is not necessarily the done thing here and if they are given are often just small change. If there is no incentive to be efficient people generally aren't going to be!
This is particularly true in the province of Cádiz! The poorest province in Spain.
Spanish question forms sound way ruder than they do in English, but it’s how the language works. For example 'Could I have.....' is 'give me... (Dame)' in Spanish.
Don’t use quisirera (I would like) this will sound really funny to the Spanish; instead you can simply use Quiero (I want). What ever you do don't translate: "Can/could I have..." or "Can/could you.." literally. This would sound like VERY strange! You would not be asking FOR something, but asking about ability! Some may even forget any form of question and just ask for what they want!!! It gets too hot to speak in summer!
Even though it may go against your principles of politeness you have to take my word on this! Don't trust phrase books all the time either. They tend to translate literally and the pronunciation guides are sometimes wrong!
In the Cadiz province no one pronounces the any S in any word. So for example Despues becomes Depue and Estoy becomes Etoy or even toy. This is very useful when you are trying to understand what people are saying.
The other thing you should watch out for is the way they 'eat' certain words and past participle endings. For example. Estado become estao or etao, or the word pescado (which means fish) becomes pecao (remembering they don't pronounce the S either).
Oh, and don't forget they like to play around with the %th(ci or ce). Sometimes they say it sometimes they don't. So Cerveza (beer) can be pronounced Therbetha or cerbeza or cerveza or thervetha or therbeza or cerbetha. It's very confusing when you’re new to Spanish and trying to understand. But it's great because you almost can't pronounce it wrong (well I suppose you can as you must remember to keep all vowel sounds short and pure)! You'll notice too that they say B for V at the beginning of a word which is common all over Spain. When V is in the middle of a word it sounds like an airy B.
It is normal here to call each other a prick (picha) or female genitalia (chocho or coño). Do not be offended, it's normal and it's like saying 'mate' or 'man' to them. It takes a while to get used to though!
Here swear words just don't have the same 'strength' as in other countries. You will hear Grandmothers calling their granddaughters 'Chochete' (little female genitalia) in some villages.
Please don't think the people here are horribly foul mouthed, you can't translate some words literally. You can NEVER insult someone by calling them chocho (pronounced shosho in Cadiz)!!!! It is NOT an insult at all! The same goes for Picha (pronounced pisha in cadiz).
Angango: People that usually wear lots of gold and shout and fight about everything and anything.
Aro- Shortened from the Castillano word claro which means 'of course'.
Bastinazo- An extremely large amount something, perhaps too much!
Cambembo- Wobbly or out of shape
Carajote- A born idiot
Cosqui- A hit on the head using knuckles.
Chorrada- Something stupid or ridiculous
Chungo- Bad (Gaditano/Spanish or Andaluz, I'm not sure)
Enchochao: Extremely in love
LIQUINDOI: They assure me this comes from English, though I have always told I just don't see it!!!!! One explanation is that it is a very badly pronounced 'looking down' though related to it's meaning of 'keep an eye out' it seems a little strange. I prefer the Spanglish translation of looking give (doy is give in Spanish), like to mean give a look!
Ñaca ñaca- Sexual intercourse
Ni fu ni fa- Not one thing or the other
Ofú: Equivalent of 'vaya por dios' or 'ya lo hemos liado' used after you or someone else has made a mistake.
Pamplina- Something silly or ridiculous.
Pisha: cock/dick, though used as mate
Puchero: Typical food that in the rest of Spain is called Cocido.
Quillo (kiyo): Mate
Quilla (kiya): Female version used to call attention to a young girl or friend.
Siesa/Sieso: Sour face
Shosho (chocho): Female genitalia, although it is in fact used to address any woman of any age and is not disrespectful .
Many times it is just that the words are pronounced differently here (Aro for Claro), I have avoided putting a lot of those words in my Gaditano dictionary as you can work out (more or less) what word they are supposed to be. I have also TRIED to avoid putting in words which are also used in other parts of Andalucia, but I'm sure a few may have slipped in. I also tried to stick to the most commonly heard words and not go crazy. I'm sure this tip will grow in the future or even turn into a Andaluz/gaditano dictionary!
Andaluz is the 'dialect' spoken in Andalucia. Of all the provinces of Andalucia, Cadiz is the one with the most regional words and expressions. This was more true in the past but may be dying out these days due to globalization.
Regional words can differ from towns and villages only 50kms apart.