Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

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wollie
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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby wollie » Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:28 am

Not related to topic so i hope ok to say.

I have a friend who was in New York a few weeks ago.
2 brandies. 2 bottles Heineken and 2 coke + $70.
me gusto Espana mucho...

Gasman
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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby Gasman » Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:39 am

Depending on your group of waiters' current level of English, which as you say may vary a bit, be careful of giving the less skilled too much in the way of general conversation - as we all know, it is all well good to start a chat in a foreign language, and then when you get the reply, be totally stumped, and then look a fool, so both you and the responder get embarrassed. It sounds like an introductory course for most of the waiters/staff, so stick to the necessary bits for them to do their jobs, and then as you say, they may well go on to more conversational stuff.

I agree that the first thing is to get a menu written in English so the customer has a base to work from and then the staff can learn with you, the words (as heard rather than as written!!) - then the basic phrases like "can I take your order now" rather than pidgin "Order?" is much more polite and makes the course worthwhile. On the subject of Menu - if there is a chalk-board with the day's specials etc - make sure it is well-written in English as well as Spanish. And as someone else suggested, sad but true is the fact that it is not only the English-native-speakers who will benefit from this service, but also the rest of the world who have English as a second language.

As you say, this is going to be a useful exercise not just for your friend's bar, but others in Puerto SM - go for it and persuade your students to approach their potential customers cheerfully, with respect, and politeness - as Katy says, an accurate bill really does help, but then if the waiter can understand a complaint and work it out, so much the better! Get the staff also to know the words relating to the bill - numbers, euros, cents (rather than centivos), Eye-vee-ay IVA = english VAT vee-ay-tee, a lot is in the pronunciation!

To add to the other suggestions above ...
Start off with Hola - and then Hello follows rapidly - "Hola, Hello" How are you?
What would you like.
Can we eat here.
Yes of course.
On the menu today, we have ..... list of foods.
How much is ....
No, sorry.
Do you have draft beer - here you can have a discussion on types of beers and how they come - pump, can, bottle, glass, litre, thirty-three centiliters ... with pictures!
Drinks - now that is a word for the spanish to pronounce!
What can I get for the children?
Are children allowed in the bar?
How would you like your tea - cold milk, lemon - and here you can discuss the proper way to make tea - the tea bag does not arrive in the saucer beside a cup of cooling water!!!! If they can accept a british way of offering tea, they may get repeat visitors!!!
Coffee - to explain the different spanish offerings of coffee - expresso, largo, americano!! I still dont understand them yet!
Can we sit in the window? on the terrace? under an umbrella?
Table, chair, high-chair, cutlery, knives, forks, spoon, teaspoon, glass, cup, carafe (it is not the same in english and spanish!), half, plate, dish - a display of the items listed here might help the visual aspect to link with the vocabulary.

For the beginners you will need to explain some basics of english grammar but on the whole go for learned phrases to start with. For instance the way of asking in english with DO as the beginning is so different from the spanish way that it needs some attention and is a great start to get rid of the pidgin aspect of speech.

Also for basics you need the prepositions ... and question words
where why who when what how
but in on under out and also so too however again about with much many

Have fun - keep it cheerful, and make them laugh at themselves and relax. Role play should be a good way to learn to interact, repeat and learn the phrases, and keep up and active. There is nothing worse than sitting at a line of desks with a book leering at you - adults need to learn actively.

flyeogh
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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby flyeogh » Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:52 pm

Thank you Gasman. Excellent stuff. Your effort is very much appreciated.
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Manchesteral
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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby Manchesteral » Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:12 pm

Most of the English speakers in Calahonda tend to use phrases such as "av yer got sausage an chips mate" or "ave yer got Boddies bitter" if the normal tone of voice is not acceptable then they often believe that shouting the same phrase or speaking very slowly will somehow enhance the quality of the request :-) :-)

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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby flyeogh » Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:54 pm

Manchestral as much as I'd like to give them lessons in English this course is for Spaniards :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Glad to say here we get a more educated type. But one waiter did ask me why the client said "by the neck" and what a "dead soldier" was. But I think that these oddities and your quotes would need an entire course to themselves. Now there's an idea :wink:

But you have triggered an idea. The sidra glass. "I thought I was getting cider!!!!" :x
El raton de watford

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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby katy » Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:11 pm

I like the place, some good restaurants there and generally waiters much more polite than the CDS. We thought of moving there once. It has a good feel to it.

Gasman, very well thought out, good points.

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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby flyeogh » Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:47 pm

OK good folks, we have the structure and are now creating the audios for the online lessons. The online pre-vocabulary pages (including a few suggestions from here) and audios are complete. Hopefully we can do a dry run with a couple of guinea pigs before the month is out. So, thank you for the input. It was helpful.

We didn't get any anecdotes from here but a true story we will be using from elsewhere:

A guy, with very basic level spanish visits Barcelona with his wife and parents. Upon entering a restaurant he cannot resist showing off. He thinks he has ordered 4 pizzas. The waitress returns with a dozen beautifully presented oysters. Only the mother likes oysters, so she eats them all. The son is somewhat embarrassed until he sees the smile on his father's face next morning.

(I assume pieza being similar to pizza had something to do with it :lol:)

We may come back to see if any couples with regional accents could record some brief mpg3s. But will get version one out first. Many thanks :thumbup: .
El raton de watford

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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby 1bassleft » Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:26 pm

Keep the thread updated; what worked well, not so well and the feedback. My wife taught French (mostly GCSE, but some adult classes) and I've taught some various subjects. Not saying that makes us The Oracles, but we might recognise a common problem and have a suggestion. We've also had Spanish lessons which are structured (not phrase-book type) and started off at the beginning. The school year has re-started and, slightly disappointingly, it's back to the beginning but already there's that differentiation problem ranging from Mrs 1bl, who knows it all, through me (glad of a refresher and ability to look mildly intelligent) to "why am I here? I only wanted to know how to buy carrots" types.

Did you notice I avoided mentioning Wee bag wanter's nationality? I also once saw an English bloke sounding like that Alan Partridge moment, "Bill, Bill, BILL, BILL... he's not heard me... BILL! BILL!....BILL!" I was wondering where Bill was, then I tugged the camerera's arm and told her the geezer wanted la cuenta.

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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby flyeogh » Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:30 pm

1bassleft certainly I'll post an update. As for judging what works well, depends to some extent on who is interested enough to last the course, and what they do with their learning afterwards. But we will dry run this with a couple of guinea pigs before we go for 6 to 8 students.

I normally do one-to-one lessons, A2 to C1, so the target is a bit new. But I have a colleague with over 30 years of experience I can call upon.

Obviously at this level I will have to use spanish which is something I normally would avoid. When I give lessons to my spanish family, which is extensive, I stamp out any spanish. Although they get revenge when I absent mindedly drop in some spanish :oops:

Hats off to your wife and her French. I had any nice thoughts towards that language knocked out of me before I was 16. Took twenty years before I tried spanish. But I least I proved my old French teacher wrong :wave:

At the end we might throw the online parts (probably 80%) open to anybody. The only issue is once I go above 200 users on my Learning Management System I'd have to pay for the service. And my spanish family and current students have already used up 20 slots. So if anyone can offer free hosting?

Don't ask don't get :P
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Gasman
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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby Gasman » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:05 pm

Take a look at why you got to hate French - presumably at school - and try to avoid the pitfalls. Try to use phrases that come easily, that they may have heard before, and do as much as you can out-loud, rather than written - at least initially, then show them the written version too. They are going to have to use such language as they pick up in a work setting, probably very rarely needing to see it written down - apart from the menus and the bills - so the odd spelling mistake is irrelevant ... important bits are learning the useful phrases, knowing what they have just said !!!, and knowing enough background vocabulary to be able to follow conversation and even join in where relevant.
Looks like you are on the right track - do keep us informed as to how it goes and let us know if we can help.

PS love the one about BILL BILL BILL - typical bluuuurry tourist !

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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby 1bassleft » Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:10 pm

Sorry to be a letdown, flyeogh, but the only hosting I can offer is to mosquitoes (which they've been taking freely this year).

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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby Manchesteral » Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:47 pm

Now I will open up the can of worms, Been following this topic for a few days now and I really feel the most of the comments are not relevant.
I am not a full time resident (I live in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria) but during my 45 year love affair with Spain (Peninsula and outlying territories) my experience has been as follows: most waiters are far too busy to conduct a conversation, they want it short and sweet !
"Hola, buenas dias/tardes" etc, they're not interested in your assumed command of the language, they want to serve you and get on with it! "Una cerveza de tropical (local Canarian brew) or San Mig or whatever" most of them will NOT ask you what strength beer you want or whether you want a glass or not, they will deliver it to you in the fashion they believe is correct !! if you are going to ask for sin ajo or any other specific request be very sure you know what you're saying because different regions will interpret your request in a different way, the only way to be confident and sure is to be very proficient with the language !

My local friend, who, by coincidence is named Oscar has schooled me in the following manner, "most Spanish speakers don't actually give a hoot regarding your command of the language, they just want to know what you want, so keep it simple" and that's my view also and I know it works !!

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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby 1bassleft » Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:39 am

Al, you know the OP was asking for suggestions about teaching Spanish waiters common English phrases that tourists might say, not the other way round? Your post read like it was in the opposite direction. Suggestions like, eg, highchair or fizzy water were put forward as a fair number of English speakers struggle to come up with an alternative*

Day-trippers and first-timers can feel more comfortable in a restaurant where English is understood, and more so if a few pleasantries are exchanged.

* I was in a St Malo hotel next to a wine shop (I didn't book it specifically for that reason) and got a couple of bottles of red in, then realized I didn't have a corkscrew so continued my purchasing with the vielle femme at the counter. "et aussi, je voudrais acheter..." what the heck is a corkscrew? I mimed crossing my legs together, making pulling motions with my left hand, holding an imaginary cylinder with my right hand, accompanied by mwup, mwup, mwup! noises. Because of the woman's expression, un tire-bouchon is something I'm unlikely to forget.

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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby flyeogh » Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:11 pm

Thanks for the input so far. Now I'm looking for several volunteers. The course has about a hundred example conversations between a waiter, and one or two customers. Being the only native English speaker in my family I could do with some help. I don’t want to bore the students to death listening to my voice. Also the conversations are always better with the speakers having different voices.

It is simply a matter of two (a few need three) people recording a short mp3 using 'sound recorder' if you’re on Windows, or the equivalent for Linux and Apple. Takes 5 or 6 minutes each one.

Ideally two copies of each. One at a slow deliberate pace, and one at normal speed. Both saved as distinct mp3s and emailed to me.

A sample dialog:

Waiter: Can I help you?
Customer: I would like a beer. A cold beer.
Waiter: No problem. Draught or bottled?
Customer: Draught please. And can I see the menu?
Waiter: Yes.
Customer: I want the pork, with chips and salad.
Waiter: Do you want a starter?
Customer: No thank you.
Waiter: OK

Most are much shorter having only two or three lines.

I’ll only ask for a few from anyone who helps as I appreciate it takes time, but also I’d like a variety of accents and voices. A splattering of Scottish and American accents would be great.

If you’d like to help, please send me a private message and I’ll send you my email with a few more details. The scripts will become available over the coming weeks.

Thanks
El raton de watford

anyroads
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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby anyroads » Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:06 pm

Talking about "Scottish"...

I remember being in Yates Wine bar in the Strand many moons ago ( now a tapas bar ! ) and hearing a Scottish patron asking the Spanish barman, for a "double across the card " ( me neither ) and looking at him strangely when he had no idea what he was on about....

Seems it was a half of bitter and a whisky chaser.

We learn something different every day !

anyroads

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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby Manchesteral » Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:16 pm

1bassleft wrote:Al, you know the OP was asking for suggestions about teaching Spanish waiters common English phrases that tourists might say, not the other way round? Your post read like it was in the opposite direction. Suggestions like, eg, highchair or fizzy water were put forward as a fair number of English speakers struggle to come up with an alternative*

Day-trippers and first-timers can feel more comfortable in a restaurant where English is understood, and more so if a few pleasantries are exchanged.

* I was in a St Malo hotel next to a wine shop (I didn't book it specifically for that reason) and got a couple of bottles of red in, then realized I didn't have a corkscrew so continued my purchasing with the vielle femme at the counter. "et aussi, je voudrais acheter..." what the heck is a corkscrew? I mimed crossing my legs together, making pulling motions with my left hand, holding an imaginary cylinder with my right hand, accompanied by mwup, mwup, mwup! noises. Because of the woman's expression, un tire-bouchon is something I'm unlikely to forget.



I got the original context of the post, my response was meant to be ironic and p1sstaking, why on earth should we arrogant foreigners expect our host to speak English !!

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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby 1bassleft » Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:09 pm

That explains why I didn't spot the irony :wtf: . So, the only point to learning a language is so that you can visit that country and carry out basic functions? Never the reverse - to be a useful member of staff able to assist tourists enjoy the establishment? Much as I agree people setting up home or having a long-term stake in Spain ought to learn Spanish (their loss if they don't imho), you've upped the stakes a bit by enforcing the rule on day-trippers and first-timers. *beep* (whose half-time talk is entirely in French, possibly) reportedly didn't field any French speakers on the ticket line for a Champions League clash with League Un opposition. Quite right, too, blimmin' audacity of those people wanting to watch a football match in London without learning English first. Or possibly an own goal by *beep*'s marketing dept.

There are a heap of Spanish people learning English at the school where I'm learning Spanish, many to increase their employability. tbf to the notorious monoglots of the British abroad, I don't come across many arrogantly upset if English is not understood, but grateful when it is.

EDIT: uploading has just revealed to me that a north London football club that used to be managed by M. Wenger is beeped out. Is the forum administrated by Tottenham supporters? :D

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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby wollie » Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:20 am

Manchester, i have to say i totally agree with you on this one...

As for your football club i am thinking there are a few letters that make a word similar to a persons rear end, i assume a combination of letters automatically trigger "beep"
I have often being "beeped" i have to say that sometimes for words that average 10 year old speaks everyday, its more strict now than it used be as i used a crude word a few years ago and it got through and later blocked.
I assume this is because of EU rules and will change after Brexit...

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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby flyeogh » Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:15 pm

Update: I now have 4 volunteers. One from here. So, a big thank you to them all.

I still could do with an American, Irish and/or Scottish accent.

The course is gaining interest and I'm beginning to think we may be successful. I'll update later.
El raton de watford

anyroads
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Re: Common tourist phrases in bars and cafes

Postby anyroads » Mon Oct 15, 2018 11:11 pm

I happen to be a season ticket holder of the "Beeping" team.

anyroads


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