Spanish is the official language in over 20 countries worldwide. Spanish speakers offer a massive global market, with over 577 million Spanish speakers. International businesspeople would do well to have a grasp of the language or risk losing a sizeable market share.
Using Spanish phrases correctly can earn you bonus points when negotiating a business deal with Spanish speakers. Even when the bargaining is being carried out in English, having some Spanish phrases up your sleeve can help clarify matters during moments of uncertain translation. Check out these 20 handy phrases for español para los negocios (business Spanish).
1. Soy estadounidense
If you’re from the US, people from other countries may find it odd if you refer to yourself as an “American.” Saying you’re an American may imply your country is the only “America” while the rest of the Americas are inconsequential.
It makes more sense internationally to say “Soy estadounidense,” which translates to “I’m from the United States (of America).”
In written communication, you may begin your letter with “Querido” or “Querida,” for male and female recipients respectively. Using “querida” is similar to using “Dear” in English. However, Querido/Querida is too casual for formal business. Instead, boost your written communication skills by using “Estimado” or “Estimada” (for male and female respectively), which literally means “Esteemed.”
3. Mi español es malo
If you only know a little Spanish, you may drop a line or two of Spanish so fluently that your Spanish associates switch to negotiating in Spanish. Our onsite negotiation skills training experts advise that you let the meeting know of your language limitations. You could warn everyone by letting them know “Mi español es malo,” which literally means “My Spanish is bad.”
4. ¿Puedes hablar más despacio?
Whether your Spanish-speaking colleagues are speaking in Spanish or in English, accents and the pace of spoken words can distort meanings. To ease understanding, you may want to request them to slow down their speech. “¿Puedes hablar más despacio?” means “Can you speak more slowly?”
5. Enviar un correo electrónico
During a business meeting, you may want to ask a Spanish speaker to send you some details via email. The correct phrase would be “Enviar un correo electrónico.” Though, by removing the word “electrónico,” you can sound more like a native speaker.
6. ¿Cuando nos podemos reunir?
Organize your schedule with this phrase, meaning “When can we meet?”
7. ¿Tenemos un acuerdo?
In negotiation skills training, businesspeople learn to avoid assumptions and miscommunication. Confirm or clarify negotiation positions by asking “Do we have an agreement?”
8. Aceptamos sus términos con los siguientes ajustes:
In business skills training, negotiators learn to adjust their initial offers to claim more value. Communicate changes to an offer or make a counteroffer with the above phrase, translating to: “We accept your terms with the following adjustments:”
9. Espero trabajar con usted
At the close of a deal, show your enthusiasm by declaring “I look forward to working with you.”
10. Hola, es un placer conocerle
Skillful communicators know to use polite language in their negotiations. Respond to introductions with “Hola, es un placer conocerle,” which means “Hello, it’s nice to meet you.”
11. La demanda está vinculada a la oferta
Following their business training, most negotiators don’t readily reveal their trade secrets. Without giving too many details, explain your contract and pricing with this phrase, meaning “Demand is linked to supply.”
12. Déjame tener tu tarjeta de visita
When you want to contact someone at a later date, use this phrase to politely ask for their business card. The phrase translates to “Let me have your business card.”
13. Déjenme presentarme
Start off meetings with new acquaintances by letting them know who you are. “Déjenme presentarme” means “Let me introduce myself.”
14. Cuánto cuesta eso
Skilled negotiators work with clear terms and conditions. Clarify prices by asking “How much does that cost?”
15. ¡Le entrego un perdón!
Ask someone to repeat what they said. “¡Le entrego un perdón!” is similar to saying “pardon” in English. A simpler phrase is “¡Disculpe!” A more formal phrase ideal for business negotiations would be “¡Puede repetirlo!”
16. ¿En qué trabajas?
Clarify someone’s role by asking “What’s your job?”
17. Me encanta café. ¿Quieres ir a tomar una taza?
Are you in the mood for a casual coffee break in between negotiation meetings? Do you want to talk to someone separately in an unofficial setting? You may say “Me encanta café. ¿Quieres ir a tomar una taza?” This translates to “I love coffee. Do you want to grab a cup?”
18. Tengo otra oferta por un precio más bajo
A key tenet in negotiations skills training is to know when to let your prospective buyers/sellers bid against each other. “Tengo otra oferta por un precio más bajo” means “I have another offer for a lower price.”
19. ¿Podrías reservar la sala de conferencias?
Request someone to reserve the conference room when you schedule a negotiation meeting. “¿Podrías reservar la sala de conferencias?” translates to “Could you reserve the conference room?”
20. ¿Está autorizado a firmar este contrato hoy?
Determine whether you’re dealing with the decision-maker. “¿Está autorizado a firmar este contrato hoy?” translates to “Are you authorized to sign this deal today?”
Learning some basic Spanish can make your business relationships more meaningful. Learning your business collaborators’ native language can result in more effective communication and better contracts.
With a large worldwide Spanish-speaking population operating in business, you could risk losing a huge potential market if your negotiators can’t relate with Spanish-speaking partners.
Need more assistance? We invite you to download our FREE Spanish Survival Crash Course, which through audio files and e-books will help you speak basic Spanish!