How To Make Small Talk in Spanish [Easy Conversation]
Although a lot of people don’t like to engage in small talk, we all need to do it from time to time.
However, when you’re learning a new language it’s crucial that you develop the basic skills to engage in this kind of conversation.
Keep reading to learn why it is important for you to learn how to engage in small talk in Spanish, how to start a conversation in this language, and some of the most common small talk conversation topics in Spanish.
How To Start a Conversation in Spanish
Although some people consider it a waste of time, in reality, small talk (in any language) is actually a social skill.
One study found that people actually enjoy having conversations with strangers.
We all need to talk to strangers at some point and knowing Spanish small talk is a great way to practice your Spanish speaking skills too.
Let’s look at some basic strategies to start a conversation in Spanish.
1. Immerse Yourself in Spanish
In order to be fluent in a basic Spanish conversation, immersing yourself in Spanish is a great way to achieve it.
Research has shown that language immersion has many benefits, and being able to start a short conversation in Spanish is definitely one of them.
2. Learn Filler Words in Spanish
Filler words go hand in hand with small talk. They exist for a reason—to give you time to think about what you’re going to say next, which is useful when you engage in a conversation with a stranger. And more than anything, filler words improve your conversation skills.
3. Learn Spanish Conversation Starters
The hardest part of a conversation is to start it, especially if it’s with a person you don’t know.
So, learning a few conversation starters in Spanish isn’t such a bad idea. Among these conversation starters, you’ll find a few Spanish conversation questions and useful Spanish conversation topics.
Spanish Conversation Topics
The first thing you need to do when you’re looking for a conversation topic in Spanish is to ask yourself what do you want to talk about?
If there’s anything that you feel comfortable talking about, that’s the way to go.
However, we don’t always know clearly what we want to talk about. So here you have some useful conversation topics to engage in small talk in Spanish.
Talking About the Weather in Spanish
The ultimate small talk conversation topic is without a doubt the weather.
British people like to joke that without the weather there wouldn’t be anything they could talk about between them—as they aren’t too open with their private lives or their feelings.
To learn how to talk about the weather in Spanish, studying these weather expressions can be helpful.
Start with a conversation starter mentioned above, such as
Hola, ¿cómo estás?
Hello, how are you?
Continue your little chat in Spanish using some of those weather expressions, for example:
Hace mucho calor, ¿cierto?
It’s too hot, right?
Se aproxima una tormenta.
A storm is coming.
And suddenly you already have an easy conversation going on.
Finally, when talking about the weather, knowing some time expressions can be useful as you can refer to weather events in the past or in the future.
Take a look at these time expressions in Spanish and mix them up in your small talk conversation about the weather in Spanish like this:
En los últimos días ha llovido mucho.
In the last few days, it’s been raining a lot.
Estos días han sido muy hermosos.
These days have been beautiful.
Talking About Yourself
What do you know better than anything else? Yourself. So, when looking for a conversation topic, sometimes it’s good to talk about yourself as that’s a topic that you really know about.
Start by introducing yourself, where you come from, what you do, and why you are in that specific point in time and space. Look at the following example:
Hola, me llamo Luis, soy mexicano y soy escritor. Estoy aquí por la vacante de periodista deportivo.
Hello, my name is Luis, I’m Mexican and I’m a writer. I’m here for the sports journalist position.
Some of these essential Spanish phrases for conversational fluency can help you to talk about yourself, as they include a section about “Getting to know you better.”
Moreover, when you talk about yourself, other people feel confident about talking about themselves too, and now you have a two–way conversation about topics that both of you really know about.
Cultural Topics Sure To Please
Depending on the country you’re based in or the one you’re visiting, there might be some cultural topics more appropriate for small talk. I mentioned already how the weather is very appropriate for this kind of conversation in Great Britain.
Let’s learn about other cultural topics from different Spanish –speaking countries.
Sports in Mexico
Talking about sports in Mexico (and particularly soccer) is so easy and lighthearted that no stranger will reject a conversation about it.
Ask about the result of last night’s game, the favorite team of your conversational partner, and (most times) you’ll get an enthusiastic answer.
– Hola, ¿sabes cómo quedó el juego de anoche?
– Sí, ganó el Barcelona 2 a 1.
– Hi, do you know the result of last night’s game?
-Yes I do, Barcelona won 2 to 1.
Travel in Argentina
Argentinian people are famous travelers, their culture is one of immigrants and traveling is in their blood, so they’re very open to the idea of exploring the world.
When you’re in Argentina or meet an Argentinian person, ask them about their trips and you’ll see a smile illuminating their face. Don’t just ask them about soccer, as they’re particularly passionate about it.
– Hola, ¿te gusta viajar?
– ¡Sí, mucho! ¿Y a ti?
– Mucho. ¿Cuál es tu ciudad favorita?
– Hi, do you like traveling?
– Yes, a lot! How about yourself?
– Quite a lot. ¿Which is your favorite city?
Avoid Politics and Religion Everywhere
Whatever you do, don’t try to make small talk about politics or religion anywhere in Latin America.
These topics don’t go well with this kind of conversation as they involve delicate information.
Basic Spanish Conversation Questions
Perhaps the best way to start a conversation in any language is asking questions.
The previously mentioned list of conversation starters includes many useful Spanish conversation questions and here you have some of the most common ones:
¿Puedo hacerte una pregunta?
Can I ask you a question?
¿De dónde eres?
Where are you from?
¿A qué te dedicas?
What do you do for a living?
¿Con quién estás aquí?
Who are you here with?
¿Cuál es tu comida favorita?
What’s your favorite food?
¿Te gusta viajar mucho?
Do you like to travel a lot?
¿Qué haces en tu tiempo libre?
What do you do in your free time?
¿Cuáles son tus pasatiempos?
What are your hobbies?
How To Respond To Show Interest
Sometimes the issue with small talk is that it’s hard to show interest in something that may not be that important.
For that reason, you might find useful these little questions and phrases that help you to show interest in what the other person is telling you:
¡No sabía eso!
I didn’t know that!
¡Tienes que estar bromeando!
You have got to be kidding me!
¿Y luego qué pasó?
And what happened next?
Spanish Conversation Examples
Now, let me share with you two brief examples of small talk conversations in Spanish:
– ¡Qué buen clima hace hoy!
– Tienes razón, ya era hora de que dejara de llover.
– Cierto, la tormenta de ayer estuvo terrible.
– Sí, llovió a cántaros.
– What nice weather we have today!
– You’re right, it was about time it stopped raining.
– True, yesterday’s storm was terrible.
– Yes, it rained cats and dogs.
– ¿Puedo hacerte una pregunta?
– Sí, dime.
– ¿De dónde eres?
– De Argentina, ¿y tú?
– Yo soy de México.
– ¿Y qué haces aquí?
– Can I ask you a question?
– Yes, sure.
– Where are you from?
– Argentina, and you?
– I’m from Mexico.
– And what do you do here?
Practice Small Talk In Real Time
As you can see, engaging in small talk in Spanish isn’t as hard as you may have thought before reading this article. Now, it’s time for you to practice small talk in Spanish with native speakers or other Spanish learners, so you can actually develop a feeling for this kind of conversation and improve your small talk skills in Spanish.
Sign up for a free class with one of our certified, native Spanish speaker teachers from Guatemala. They teach over 24,000 actively enrolled students every month, offer flexible scheduling, and tailored Spanish programs, and will be more than happy to engage in small talk with you.
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“It’s great being able to interact with native speaking people and having a conversation with them not just doing all the work on paper. It’s also an amazing opportunity to speak with native Spanish-speaking people without having to travel to a native Spanish-speaking country.”
“HSA offers very affordable, quality, one on one classes with a native speaker. My son has greatly benefited from taking classes. We have seen his confidence increase as well as his pronunciation improve, because he learns from a native Spanish speaker. HSA has quick, personal customer service. I have appreciated the one on one interaction and teaching that my son gets from his teachers. He has gotten to know his teachers, which has increased his confidence in speaking Spanish. Our family has been very pleased with our experience so far!”
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“Getting to know wonderful teachers who care about me and my growth in language and education. Evelyn Gomez and Erick Cacao are two of the most extraordinary people I have ever met, and talking with them in Spanish at the beginning of classes is always so fulfilling and greatly contributes to my happiness, joy, and wellbeing.”
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