Phone Vocabulary: How to Make a Call in Spanish
These days, learning how to call in Spanish is crucial if you want to master the language. We’re on the phone all the time, and making calls is a common activity in a Spanish-speaking environment.
I know from experience that making phone calls in another language can be intimidating. For that reason, in this post I’ll explain how to make a call in Spanish by introducing you to common greetings and farewells, phone-related vocabulary, and formal and informal scenarios.
Finally, we’ll recreate together a couple of calls in Spanish to help you visualize how you can start making calls in Spanish today!
Why Learn How to Call in Spanish?
One of the most challenging things to do in another language is making a phone call. Even now, as a native Spanish speaker who makes a living by writing and teaching in English, I still hate to have phone conversations in English!
The issue is at the center of how human communication works. When you talk face-to-face with another person, their body language is a helpful tool. You may look at their mouth, facial expression, and hand gestures to understand what they’re saying.
All of that is obviously lost in phone conversations. When these conversations take place in a language that is not your native one, this can be challenging.
However, knowing how to call in Spanish is one of those things you just need to learn. So, let’s get to it!
How to Make a Call in Spanish
To learn how to call in Spanish, you first need to learn the ways to say hello and goodbye in Spanish. Later, we’ll turn to phone-related vocabulary and look at common real-life scenarios.
How to Say ‘Hello’ in Spanish
Several different ways to say hello on a Spanish phone call exist. Check out 5 examples of words you can say in Spanish when picking up the phone. They are all equivalent to the English “hello.”
Although, hola means “hello,” its use as a phone call starter isn’t as common as in English.
Literally translates as “say it” or “say it to me,” but a more accurate translation would be simply “hello” or “yes?” It’s one of the most common opening words in a phone call in Spanish.
This one is a Mexican addition and although it literally means “well?,” it’s more like a “yes?”.
Literally meaning “yes?,” it’s also common to hear throughout Latin America.
Used mostly in Caribbean and South American countries such as Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Colombia, it also means “hello.”
How to Say Goodbye in Spanish
Now that you know how to start a call in Spanish, let’s learn how to end it.
Literally “goodbye,” it’s the most common way to end a phone call in Spanish.
Hasta luego, nos vemos
Translating to “see you later,” these are also a common ways to end a phone call or a face-to-face meeting.
Similar to hasta luego, but this one means “see you soon.”
These words coming from the Italian and English languages respectively, are widely used in Spanish as informal farewells.
Adding a gracias or “thank you” before saying any of the previous farewells is common in phone conversations.
If you want to learn more about greetings and farewells in Spanish, check out this article on the topic.
Now let’s learn some useful phone-related vocabulary that you’ll need later for your phone conversations.
|El número telefónico||Phone number|
|El teléfono celular (Latin America)||Cellphone (US)|
|El teléfono móvil (Spain)||Mobile phone (UK)|
|La llamada||Phone call|
|La llamada local||Local call|
|La llamada internacional||International call|
|La guía telefónica||Phone guide|
|La contestadora automática||Answering machine|
|El mensaje de voz||voicemail|
|El mensaje de texto||Text message|
|La línea telefónica||Phone line|
|contestar||To answer, to pick up the phone|
|colgar||To hang up|
|Enviar, mandar (un mensaje)||To send (a message), to text|
|esperar||To wait, to hold on|
Common Phone Interactions
When learning how to call in Spanish, it’s always useful to learn a few common phone interactions. Let’s see some of them:
¿Puedes contestar/atender/coger el teléfono por favor?
Can you answer the phone please?
¿Puedo hablar con ______?
Can I speak with ______ ?
Sí claro, ¿de parte de quien? / Sí claro, ¿quién habla?
Yes, of course. Who’s calling?
No se encuentra, ¿puede llamar más tarde?
S/he is not here, do you want to call later?
No se encuentra, ¿quiere dejar un recado?
S/he is not here, do you want to leave a message?
No cuelgue, por favor.
Don’t hang up, please.
Un momento, por favor.
A moment, please.
Gracias por llamar.
Thank you for calling.
Llamame mas tarde.
Call me later.
Usted tiene el número equivocado.
You have the wrong number.
Está ocupado. / No comunica.
The line is busy.
Formal vs Informal Scenarios
It’s not the same to call in Spanish your boss or your best friend. So, let’s take a look at some formal and informal scenarios.
|Buenos días, ¿podría hablar con ____?|
Good morning, may I speak with _____?
|Hola, ¿está _____?Hello, is ____ there ?|
|Buenas tardes, mi nombre es _____. ¿En qué puedo ayudarle?Good afternoon, My name is _____. How can I help you?||¿Qué necesitas?What do you need?|
|Disculpe, ¿con quién tengo el gusto?|
Excuse me, what’s your name?
|Muchas gracias por su ayuda, ¡que tenga un buen día!|
Thank you very much for your help, have a nice day!
|Gracias, adiós. |
Thank you, bye.
|¿Podría repetirlo por favor?|
Can you repeat it, please?
|¿Me lo dices de nuevo?|
Can you say it again?
Example Phone Calls in Spanish
Finally, let’s imagine you have to call in Spanish and let’s see how a couple of conversations may evolve.
– Buenas tardes, ¿se encuentra Carlos González?
– Sí, ¿de parte de quién?
– Soy Miguel López, llamo sobre la oferta de trabajo.
– De acuerdo, un momento por favor.
– Muchas gracias.
– Good afternoon, may I speak with Carlos González?
– Yes, who’s calling?
– My name is Miguel López, I’m calling about the job opening.
– Okay, one moment, please.
– Thank you very much.
– Hola, ¿está Erika?
– Sí, ¿quién le habla?
– Soy José.
– Hola José, espérame un momento por favor.
– Gracias señor, que esté bien.
– Hi, is Erika there?
– Yes, who’s calling?
– I’m José.
– Hi José, give me a second please.
– Thank you sir, have a nice day!
There you have two examples of phone conversations in Spanish. Obviously, conversations can go many different ways, and you need to be ready to keep up with the call no matter how it evolves. The only way to do that is with practice.
Are You Ready to Call in Spanish?
You now know Spanish greetings and the farewells, phone-related vocabulary, and different possible scenarios. All you have to do now is to start making calls in Spanish and practice what you have just learned. Sign up for a free class with one of our certified native speakers from Guatemala and start practicing how to call in Spanish today!
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