Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

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flyeogh
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Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby flyeogh » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:24 pm

Hi. An appeal for a little help.

This winter my favourite bar/restaurant owner has persuaded me to do a very focussed English course for waiters and barmen. Most likely just 5 one-hour sessions supported by online materials and quizzes.

Now obviously such a course can only cover the basics. Maybe 12 to 15 phrasal structures.

The obvious candidates are:

"What would you like .................?", "we would like .............", "would you like ................", etc.
"Sorry, I did not understand that", "could you repeat it".
"We have ..................., I can recommend it., "can I have ...............".

I'd appreciate common phrases you think english speakers might use when in a cafe or bar. Particularly tourists who speak no spanish and may be somewhat nervous. And any anecdotes that could add a bit of lightness to the subject.

Be assured there is no money involved. If Oscar sells 6 cañas per session I'd be surprised (and he isn't limiting this to his staff - not that he can afford many lol - I should say). But with so many bars and restaurants closing around El Puerto de Santa Maria, and so much unemployment it seems worth doing. Thanks for any thoughts or help.
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jhonie99
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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby jhonie99 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:06 pm

Well, I suggest you keep it simple;

The "phrases " you quotes so far are way to verbose and completely unnecessary.

e.g.
"could you repeat it" - replace with "repeat". one word, nothing more needed.

"what would you like" becomes "food" or "drink"

Get rid of ALL "please" and "sorry" and "excuse me", etc.

"i do not understand that" becomes "not understand".

"can I have...." becomes "beer" or "coffee" etc. no extra words needed.

I'm not joking!!! basics basics basics. Nobody gives a poo about linguistic ability and politeness.
If I go to a bar I want a drink, no BS. If I go to a restaurant, I want food, no BS.

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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby country boy » Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:42 pm

Words not phrases:
Numerical Alphabet 1-10
Beer, Red Wine, White wine, coffee, Tea, Water. Whisky, Gin, Vodka, Soda, Lemonade, Coke.Crisps,Ice
Bill, Toilets.
With, And , Large, Glass, a little bit, Thankyou, Do you have, Bye Bye, Hi, Pay before you leave, Pay at the counter, no charge. Here's your bill, change.
Credit Card. I don't know.
Fresh, Local, Speciality, Delicious, Today, Extra
Days of the week, next,on

katy
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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby katy » Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:55 pm

Well done. No garlic'/beans etc.House wine. to add to Country boys sensible ones.

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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby flyeogh » Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:15 pm

country boy wrote:Words not phrases:
Numerical Alphabet 1-10
Beer, Red Wine, White wine, coffee, Tea, Water. Whisky, Gin, Vodka, Soda, Lemonade, Coke. Crisps,Ice
Bill, Toilets.
With, And , Large, Glass, a little bit, Thankyou, Do you have, Bye Bye, Hi, Pay before you leave, Pay at the counter, no charge. Here's your bill, change.
Credit Card. I don't know.
Fresh, Local, Speciality, Delicious, Today, Extra
Days of the week, next,on


jhonie99 and country boy: Sorry my mistake for not being clear. Country boy's suggestions are where they are now. Most will have had some schooling. They will have a certain exposure to English.

For them to do 5 hours in the class (as it were), plus 10 to 15 hours online, the objective is to get them using 12 to 15 phrases, in various forms, with confidence. We will try to extend their vocabulary through example but that is more down to them. But we will focus on pronunciation.

The hope is that some will want to push on with further training.

The problem with teaching pigeon English is that if they push on, then that needs to be dismantled before they can continue.

Apologises, but any further thoughts, and especially anecdotes, would be very welcome.
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flyeogh
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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby flyeogh » Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:19 pm

katy wrote:Well done. No garlic'/beans etc.House wine. to add to Country boys sensible ones.


Katy thank you. I'd missed "house wine" on the pre-learn vocabulary. And visiting country boy's list again made me think of sherry. Mustn't skip the local product :thumbup:
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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby BENIDORM » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:13 pm

flyeogh,
First I have to say from my experiences as a 'shopkeeper' in Spain and UK that both Spanish and English like good mannered and helpful people.

I have been giving free English conversation classes for quite some time now and it really depends if the 'pupils' are looking for certificates or just want to have general conversation with customers etc.
May I suggest that you teach them phrases like ..Are you on holiday , Have you been to Spain before?, Have you visited the museum etc.and suggest places for them to visit and of course talking about the weather and good shops and attractions to visit, and don't forget football ! ( of course if the customer responds it's then quite easy to expand the conversation )

We found that going that 'extra mile' with customers made them into regulars even if only for the week, and of course they recommend people and you only have to look on the likes of trip advisor to see the comments about rude staff.
Some of my pupils speak excellent English but really do struggle with pronunciation and accents and slang.!

Anyway Good Luck with your Project !

Regards,
Gordon

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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby flyeogh » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:26 pm

BENIDORM wrote:May I suggest that you teach them phrases like ..Are you on holiday , Have you been to Spain before?, Have you visited the museum etc.and suggest places for them to visit and of course talking about the weather and good shops and attractions to visit, and don't forget football ! ( of course if the customer responds it's then quite easy to expand the conversation )

We found that going that 'extra mile' with customers made them into regulars even if only for the week, and of course they recommend people and you only have to look on the likes of trip advisor to see the comments about rude staff.
Some of my pupils speak excellent English but really do struggle with pronunciation and accents and slang.!


Gordon thanks. Just the ticket.

Yes for sure pronunciation, accents and slang are key issues. But these guys and gals will be speaking and listening in role plays, both when face to face and online, so I hope with enough repetition exercises we will get somewhere.

Must admit my normal students in Spain are A2 to C1 inclusive. So be fun to see how I get on with these guys. :thumbup:
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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby wollie » Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:30 pm

The first question Oscar need ask himself is.... who are my customers? in this game it is about being aware of this and focus on them, if this works generally the rest falls into place.The problem with making it into English bar is others may feel out of place.
I am thinking i would put the info you ask on a menu and possibly Spanish/English menu with details of content in English on same.
This is a tricky one, this was my area so i know a bit about this... to keep on break even for every customer you lose we need to have two new customers...

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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby flyeogh » Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:48 pm

Wollie this is not about Oscar's bar. Or any bar or restaurant. It is about helping a few unemployed locals. But thanks for thinking of his well-being. He is a really nice guy.
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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby 1bassleft » Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:47 am

Off the top of my head, highchair - which is sortof the opposite to sillita - for young children
still mineral water/sin gas and fizzy/con gas
Outside,outdoors; inside,indoors
Can we pay by/do you take (credit, debit, cards)

Also, on an interculturalidad theme, perhaps let them know that customers tend to shout a repeated phrase not because they're angry but because they think it's understood better louder. It's a cliche, but I really have seen it; a person wanting a bag at the till, "No, a wee one. A WEE one. A WEE ONE! A WEE ONE!"

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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby flyeogh » Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:24 am

1bassleft wrote:Also, on an interculturalidad theme, perhaps let them know that customers tend to shout a repeated phrase not because they're angry but because they think it's understood better louder. It's a cliche, but I really have seen it; a person wanting a bag at the till, "No, a wee one. A WEE one. A WEE ONE! A WEE ONE!"


Thanks 1bassleft. That's a great story I can use to lighten things while getting some english across. However, I might remove the Scottish bias, or not :lol:
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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby wollie » Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:52 am

Unless at least 50% of my customers principle spoken language be English i would not introduce spoken English if i owned a bar, i have seen about 15 English speaking bars open in the last 10 years away from the coast they are all now closed.
I have being to Puerto de Santa Maria, i do not know what type of client-tell your friend has, there is a Spanish bar i sometime go to, the owner never speaks English, he spent several years working the bar trade in Palma so he has English.
I spent 25 years selling one of the world leading brands of cerveza to bars so the bar trade if tricky. that's just my opinion.

good luck with it....

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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby flyeogh » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:35 am

wollie wrote:Unless at least 50% of my customers principle spoken language be English i would not introduce spoken English if i owned a bar, i have seen about 15 English speaking bars open in the last 10 years away from the coast they are all now closed.
I have being to Puerto de Santa Maria, i do not know what type of client-tell your friend has, there is a Spanish bar i sometime go to, the owner never speaks English, he spent several years working the bar trade in Palma so he has English.
I spent 25 years selling one of the world leading brands of cerveza to bars so the bar trade if tricky. that's just my opinion.

good luck with it....


Wollie the spanish clients here, not only in Oscar's bar, will help visitors in any way they can. Just as I will. Why in a tourist area you'd treat tourists in the way you suggest baffles me.

As for inland English bars??? I assume that was a joke.

As for your owner, why doesn't he just put up a sign saying "non spanish speakers not welcome." That would save him having to be so unhelpful to people whose only crime is wanting to spend money in his establishment.

And quite how you equate a waiter learning a few words of English, to the bar becoming English, whatever that means, is beyond me.
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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby wollie » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:47 am

The owner i mention is running a very sucessful bar and loads of English go in, they are treated well as everyone is.
The general client-tell are just regular nice Spanish people in a Spanish bar and it works.

You did not say that it is a tourist area so... go for it...
I know if i owned a bar and i was going to sell 6 canas in a session i would be looking at a more radical approach...

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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby flyeogh » Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:10 am

wollie wrote:The owner i mention is running a very sucessful bar and loads of English go in, they are treated well as everyone is.
The general client-tell are just regular nice Spanish people in a Spanish bar and it works.

You did not say that it is a tourist area so... go for it...
I know if i owned a bar and i was going to sell 6 canas in a session i would be looking at a more radical approach...


wollie you inferred you knew El Puerto de Santa Maria. I thought you would know it was a tourist area.

The 6 canas, as said, relates to the one hour course given to a few unemployed, not a session.
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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby flyeogh » Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:11 am

flyeogh wrote:
wollie wrote:The owner i mention is running a very sucessful bar and loads of English go in, they are treated well as everyone is.
The general client-tell are just regular nice Spanish people in a Spanish bar and it works.

You did not say that it is a tourist area so... go for it...
I know if i owned a bar and i was going to sell 6 canas in a session i would be looking at a more radical approach...


wollie you inferred you knew El Puerto de Santa Maria. I thought you would know it was a tourist area. We also have English speaking military.

The 6 canas, as said, relates to the one hour course given to a few unemployed, not a session.
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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby katy » Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:18 am

Welcome would you like to sit is sun or shade etc. All customers in P. Santa Maria won't be British either. Once remember wandering on a back street in Madeira, a cyclist whizzed by and shouted " Welcome to our beautiful Island" I thought it very nice.
Wouldn't advise too much conversation if they do not have the skills to answer. Also some don't want to talk to staff aside from ordering.

Ps. There is a bar in the main st. Which could do with some lessons on how not to add extra drinks to the bill. Our 2 coffees had two brandies added although they did remove it when I pointed it out. The next time were were there someone else was complaining of the same thing.

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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby wollie » Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:54 am

I have being to Puerto a few times but as tourist stayed in some hotel, i do not know the area well.
If its a tourist area like costas i am surprised they have no English, this is the reason i thought it be Spanish.
The Spanish economy is in a bit of a mess and i do admire your efforts to try and help, the Spanish are good people.
My rule for the bar trade is "if you build it they will come" good food service etc.
I think the language not really that important as we have menus, others can disagree and that's ok.

Regards...

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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby flyeogh » Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:10 am

katy wrote:All customers in P. Santa Maria won't be British either.
In the Cadiz area you're looking at 95% spanish speaking. In the very centre of Cadiz you get more but that has very limited potential. In part because the cruise ships deposit non-spanish speakers, but as food and drink onboard is often free they only add to tee-shirt sales for the few hours they wander ashore.

But if the guys we help get enthusiastic and do a little more study, then they can look at the hotels who often like to see English, at some level, on the CV. It just gives them a little more scope.

Of course, apart from Oscar and I having some fun, we may achieve nothing, but at least we tried.

katy wrote: Once remember wandering on a back street in Madeira, a cyclist whizzed by and shouted " Welcome to our beautiful Island" I thought it very nice. Wouldn't advise too much conversation if they do not have the skills to answer. Also some don't want to talk to staff aside from ordering.
Good point Katy but like most things a waiter's job needs judgement. I know most Spaniards hate it if the waiter re-approaches them. They think they may be being rushed. Yet most Americans find it amazing that they need to call the waiter over. Why isn't he asking if all is good and is there anything else they want. Why isn't he being attentive? But spotting the culture, the type of character, and reacting appropriately, is a skill. With over 40 years of restaurant experience I'll leave that to Oscar 8)

katy wrote: Ps. There is a bar in the main st. Which could do with some lessons on how not to add extra drinks to the bill. Our 2 coffees had two brandies added although they did remove it when I pointed it out. The next time were were there someone else was complaining of the same thing.


Katy I'll skip that conversation with these guys. :silent: I want to live :D
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