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All Aboard! Important Practice Vocabulary in Spanish for Navigating the Rails in Spain


Whether or not I’m rolling alongside the Costa Brava on a small cercanías (native suburban prepare), or hurtling between Barcelona and Madrid on an AVE (high-speed prepare), I can’t get sufficient of prepare journey!

It’s rather more comfy than an airplane, and for Spanish learners there’s one other bonus—one thing about being on the rails makes individuals extra talkative, and so this can be a nice option to follow your language abilities.

Learn on to study some important prepare vocabulary in Spanish to organize in your subsequent journey!


A Fast Background on Practice Journey in Spain

Earlier than we begin prepare vocabulary in Spanish, it’s essential to cowl the fundamentals of prepare journey in Spain.

Spain’s nationwide prepare firm is Renfe, and it runs the beforehand talked about snappy and trendy AVE trains to a lot of Spain’s main cities in addition to heading out to some different nations. Extra cities are lined by conventional long-distance trains (together with some in a single day sleeper trains), and there are short-distance connections on the cercanías.

Prepared to start out studying prepare vocabulary? Let’s get began!

Shopping for Tickets for Spanish Trains

In Spain, tickets could be purchased in particular person at ventanillas
 (ticket home windows) at prepare stations, on the official prepare website of Renfe or through non-public portals which can be extra useful however might have fewer choices (like seat choice): Trainline and Rail Europe.

Some advanced route info can be discovered on the German prepare firm’s web site,

In the event you’re not able to strive Renfe’s full Spanish website, you may change the language to English. The train-geek hero at Seat 61 has a information to the quirks of Renfe and offers extra data like seat consolation and choices.

Nonetheless you purchase your tickets, right here’s among the important vocabulary to know:

— ticket

— reference quantity

todas (estaciones)
— all (stations)

You’ll see the time period todas after some metropolis names, like Madrid (todas)
 This selection is normally preferable. It permits you to see choices for all trains going to Madrid, and never simply to a selected station in Madrid.

Metropolis names on the Renfe website aren’t translated, so it’s a must to enter Sevilla as an alternative of Seville, for instance.

— departure metropolis

— arrival metropolis

The tickets out there on trains can depend upon the route, however are typically:

— primary

— “decide & combine” (lit. “select”)

— premium

You possibly can see extra details about the kinds of seats out there with these tickets right here.

There are numerous tarifas
, or fare charges, for every class and route. These permit for various choices with respect to exchanges, refunds and ticket choice.

As soon as chosen on the web site, yow will discover the situations of the ticket. A few of the most essential situations to know are:

elección de asiento
— alternative of seat

sin elección de asiento
— with out seat alternative

— modifications

— cancellations

indemnización por retraso
— refund in case of delay

In the event you’re buying from a ticket window, overlook the yo quisiera
(I would love) that you will have realized from a textbook or phrasebook. The best method to purchase one thing is to simply say the identify of the factor and tack on a por favor
 (please) on the finish.

Spanish individuals are more likely to talk this manner themselves (typically leaving off the please, however in case you’re a fumbling foreigner it by no means hurts to be additional well mannered).

Un billete para Madrid, por favor.
— A ticket to Madrid, please.

— outbound journey

— return journey

ida y vuelta
— ticket with return

el próximo tren
— the following prepare

Voy a pagar en efectivo.
— I’m going to pay with money.

Voy a pagar con tarjeta de crédito.
— I’m going to pay with a bank card.

— Thanks.

Word that international bank cards and particularly American playing cards might not work at Spanish prepare stations. Nonetheless, you’ll have the ability to discover a money machine at many bigger stations.

Spanish You Want for Discovering Your Practice and Your Seat

Received your ticket in hand and able to board the prepare? Right here’s the signage vocabulary and among the phrases and phrases you may want in an effort to get there.

— prepare station

— departures

— arrivals

— platform

— observe

— automotive

— seat (adopted on the ticket by your seat quantity/letter mixture)

¿Dónde está … ?
— The place is… ?

You may even see the next warning printed in your ticket. Be there a bit forward of time!

Cierre del acceso al tren dos minutos antes de la salida.
— Entry to the prepare closes two minutes earlier than departure.

sala de espera
— ready room

¿Cuándo sale el tren a Sevilla?
— When does the prepare to Seville depart?

In a crowded space like a prepare station, it’s important to know what to vocalize in an effort to clear a path and let individuals know that you just’d wish to get by means of.

— Excuse me/be careful/coming by means of

Phrases and Phrases for a Clean Journey

Plopped into your seat and able to benefit from the trip? Don’t do it in silence! Spaniards are, to place it mildly, a talkative bunch, and that is all the higher in your language abilities. Be at liberty to talk to your neighbors.

Hola, ¿qué tal?
— Hiya, how is it going?

Bien, gracias.
— Nicely, thanks.

¿De dónde vienes?
— The place are you from?

¿Adónde vas?
— The place are you headed?

Voy a Barcelona.
— I’m going to Barcelona.

Soy de Francia.
— I’m from France.

¡Qué guay!
— Superior!
(As in English, you may and will make use of this liberally, particularly in case you don’t perceive a dialog nevertheless it appears vaguely pleasing and you prefer to it to proceed.)

In the event you don’t need to threat beginning a rambling dialog that you just’ll by no means have the ability to escape from, wander right down to the café/bar automotive for a snack and check out your Spanish on the market. Right here’s some helpful vocabulary:

— café/bar automotive

bar móvil
— “cellular” bar, an worker who comes by means of the automobiles on some lengthy distance trains with a extra restricted collection of meals and drinks

la carta
— the menu

el menú
— a meals/drink combo deal, typically a packaged sandwich and a drink

un café solo
— espresso

un vino
— wine

un agua
— water

una cerveza
— beer

una tortilla
— omelette with potatoes

un plato caliente
— a sizzling dish

un plato frío
— a chilly dish

One of the vital helpful methods to study Spanish prepare vocabulary is by listening to it utilized in context. España Complete has an informative video information about high-speed prepare journey in Spain. You would additionally strive trying to find among the phrases listed on this publish on FluentU to listen to how they’re utilized by native audio system.

A few issues to recollect

Keep in mind that among the nations or areas served by Renfe converse different languages. Attempt to not assume that individuals will chat in Spanish with you. This is applicable to the Renfe trains that flow into in Galicia, the Basque nation, France and Catalonia.

On the very least, study “howdy” and “please” within the native language when touring in these areas, and don’t presume that individuals’s language or id is Spanish.

Signage may also be primarily or secondarily in these languages, normally along with Spanish and English.


Feeling able to hop onto a prepare, and higher your language abilities within the course of? I hope that this publish has given you an excellent jumping-off level.

I can’t presumably cowl each single phrase you’ll ever want on the rails, however I do hope that this will get you rolling in the precise route.

And One Extra Factor…

In the event you’ve made it this far meaning you most likely take pleasure in studying Spanish with participating materials and
will then love FluentU.

Different websites use scripted content material. FluentU makes use of a pure strategy that helps you ease into the Spanish language and tradition over time. You’ll study Spanish because it’s really spoken by actual individuals.

FluentU has all kinds of movies, as you may see right here:


FluentU brings native movies inside attain with interactive transcripts. You possibly can faucet on any phrase to look it up immediately. Each definition has examples which have been written that will help you perceive how the phrase is used. In the event you see an attention-grabbing phrase you don’t know, you may add it to a vocab listing.


Evaluation a whole interactive transcript beneath the Dialogue tab, and discover phrases and phrases listed beneath Vocab.


Be taught all of the vocabulary in any video with FluentU’s strong studying engine. Swipe left or proper to see extra examples of the phrase you’re on.


The very best half is that FluentU retains observe of the vocabulary that you just’re studying, and provides you additional follow with troublesome phrases. It will even remind you when it’s time to evaluation what you’ve realized. Each learner has a very customized expertise, even when they’re studying with the identical video.

Begin utilizing FluentU on the web site together with your pc or pill or, higher but, obtain the FluentU app.



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