This article is all about small talk in Spanish! So, if you want to get rid of those awkward silences and master what I call El arte de la charla casual (the Art of Small Talk in Spanish), you should definitely keep reading!
Small Talk in Latin America
Small talk is a very important part of Latin American culture and it works wonders if you want to ease your way into an important topic, try to boost your confidence into a job interview, or break the ice with someone you want to get to know better.
Anyway, te voy a ayudar con tus charlas casuales en español (I’ll help you with your small talk in Spanish). To do that, we’ll practice some chunks, that is, common phrases in Spanish you can learn by heart because they will always work and you don’t have to change them ever. Vamos a ver (let’s see):
The first thing you want to do is introduce yourself, so let’s review some ways to do that:
- Hola, me llamo Juan. ¡Mucho gusto! ¿Cómo te llamas? (Hello, my name is Juan. Nice to meet you! What’s your name?)
- Un placer, Claudia. Yo soy Juan. (A pleasure, Claudia. I am Juan.)
- Creo que no nos han presentado. Mi nombre es Juan, ¿y el tuyo? (I believe we haven’t been introduced. My name is Juan, and yours?)
I do have a whole video about introductions actually:
Talking about your nationality, your hobbies, or your family
After introducing youself, you’ll probably start talking about some personal information, like hobbies, family, or nationality. Here are some phrases you can use to do that:
- Yo soy de Venezuela. ¿Tú de dónde eres? (I’m from Venezuela. Where are you from?)
- ¿Qué edad tienes? Yo tengo 33 años. (How old are you? I’m 33 years old.)
- Yo soy profesor. ¿Tú en qué trabajas? (I’m a teacher. What’s your job?)
- ¿Qué te gusta hacer en tu tiempo libre? (What do you like to do in your free time?)
Talking about the weather
So, what if you do not feel comfortable about sharing personal information yet? Well, we can talk about the weather. Muy básico, lo sé (Pretty basic, I know), but a lot of small talk starts with the weather since it’s an easy topic to talk about.
- ¿Qué te parece el clima de hoy? (What do you think about today’s weather?)
- Lindo día, ¿no? (Nice day, isn’t it?)
- Qué calor hace, ¿no te parece? (It’s hot today, don’t you think?)
- ¿Te gusta la primavera? (Do you like the Spring?)
If you want to know more about how to talk about the weather, check Cory’s video about it. She’s got some great chunks prepared for you!
Talking about current events
Another common thing to make small talk about is any major current event. Let’s learn some chunks about it:
- ¿Te enteraste de la situación de la COVID en Estados Unidos? (Did you hear the news about Covid in the U.S.?)
- Leí/escuché/vi que Messi se iba del Barcelona. (I read/heard/saw that Messi is leaving Barcelona.)
- ¿Sabes alguna nueva noticia del Playstation 5? (Do you know any news about Playstation 5?)
Why don’t you leave a comment and let me know what kind of questions you’d ask to make small talk? Let’s go!
Expressions in Spanish
Of course, small talk is not only about you talking all the time. The other person will probably ask you or give you some relevant information about the topic in question. You can always use O.K., as it works exactly like it does in English, but if you want to step up your small talk game, you’ll want to impress them by using some expressions in Spanish, so let’s go over them:
- Ah, ¿sí? (Oh, yeah?)
- ¿En serio? (Really?)
- ¡Vaya! (Wow!)
- ¡No manches! (literally, don’t stain it!) — If you’re in Mexico, this is a way to express incredulity, like saying “You’re kidding, right?”
- ¿Me estás cargando? (literally, are you charging me?) — Same as the previous one, but only used in Argentina
Starting a conversation
For a casual approach to anyone, below are some questions you can ask to start the conversation:
- Disculpe, ¿está ocupado este asiento? (Excuse me, is this seat taken?)
- Perdón, ¿sabe a qué hora abre este lugar? (Excuse me, do you know what time this place opens?)
- ¿Desde cuándo conoces a Felipe? (How long have you known Felipe?)
- Oye, ¿te molesta si me siento acá? (Hey, do you mind if I sit here?)
- Y, ¿qué te parece esta fiesta? (So, what do you think about this party?)
- ¿Qué te parece Buenos Aires hasta ahora? (How do you like Buenos Aires so far?)
Flirting in Spanish
Let’s imagine you’re at a party. The music is great, you look like a million bucks, you’re looking at her, she’s looking at you, and you start to smoothly walk towards her, what do you say?
- Hola, belleza. No te había visto por aquí antes. ¿Ya probaste el pico de gallo? (Hello, gorgeous! Haven’t seen you around before. Have you tried the pico de gallo salad yet?)
No, pero en serio (No, but seriously). If you’re feeling confident and you’re in a place suited for such interactions, here are some chunks you can use to see if there’s some spark going on there:
- Estás muy guapa or estás muy guapo. (You look gorgeous) — feminine and masculine
- Hueles muy bien. ¿Qué perfume usas? (You smell very nice, what perfume are you using?)
- ¿Me darías tu número telefónico? (May I have your phone number?)
- ¿Te gustaría bailar conmigo? (Would you like to dance with me?)
- Hola, ¿te puedo acompañar? (Hello, may I join you?)
Por cierto (by the way), the belleza thing? That was a joke, don’t EVER use that, please. Well, it has never worked for me…
FREE Spanish Training
¡Muy bien! Now you know how to make small talk in Spanish and please don’t be shy! Use what you have learned today the next time there is an opportunity for some small talk in Spanish. If you’d like to get more information about the different topics you can speak about with someone, feel free to check out the other videos from me and the other Spring Spanish teachers on our channel!
Now, if you want to go beyond the Spanish small talk, we have a free Spanish training on our website where you'll discover the method we use in our Spring Spanish Academy to teach students to speak fluent Spanish. You also get some free sample Spanish lessons there that come straight from our Academy!