Language Barrier, Sevilla
All I can say that is when in Spain, attempting to learn the language will not only make your trip more enjoyable, but it will give you confidence when in restaurants and bars, and enrich your understanding of your own mother-tongue in way that that you cannot imagine. As they say - When in Rome... or in this case, Sevilla.
I highly recommend the language school 'Lenguaviva'. Not only is it very professional and affordable, it is also alot of fun and made learning enjoyable - so much different from when I was at school. I found the whole experience a pleasure from start to finish. Website address below:
For those of you that are unfamiliar with the accent in Southern Spain, you may be in for a bit of a surprise when you hear it. Andalucians famously drop the last consonents and often s´s in words.. for example someone in Madrid would say (los thapatos) a typical Andaluz would say (Lo sapato) its almost as if spoken plurals do not exist, you just have to know. They do not usually use a theta sound with c or z as many in other parts of Spain do, and will say
Epaña instead of España.. something to take note of. I think they speak pretty fast down here, particularly when excited.
This might be the Spanish equivilent to English in Nothern England.
What does it mean when a bartender or store clerk says he will help you - "ahora, le atiende" - and then walks off? Ahora means now, doesn't it? Sort of. Many times ahora means in just a minute, or your next when I finish what I'm doing. "Ahora mismo", however, means "right now", although sometimes you may have to wait a minute when they say that, too.
Don't expect a lot of English, but do expect waiters and other people to be helpful when you are trying to order something or find your way around here. A little Spanish goes a long way, so try to speak what you can. And practice the art of gesturing a lot - when you can't say something maybe a shrug or a flailing of hands will bring you some luck, if not some laughs.
Love it, embrace it, hug it like you can't get enough of it because if you're really worried about embarrassing yourself here than you're going to have a hard time. You can't be an expert on the language and culture or know how they do everything. To worry yourself about everything you say or do will keep you from learning more and in many cases advancing your confidence here. A little guts with no fear to speak will have others laughing at you from time to time, but you'll make it much further. Every time you learn how to ask for, do or get something it makes it that much easier the rest of the time you're here. And think about it - Sevillanos see and hear these mistakes almost every day, so it's nothing new to them. Most of the time when you try to speak or make a mistake you can just smile and the person behind the bar or desk will happily help you. Sometimes they won't, but remember you can find jerks everywhere in this world.
Yes - Si
No - No
Thank you - Gracias
Please - Por favor
Sorry - Lo siento
Excuse Me - Perdon
I don't understand - No comprendo
Do you speak English? - Habla usted ingles?
How are you? - Como esta usted?
Good morning - Buenos dias
Good night - Buenos noches
Good bye - Adios