Talking on the Phone
Making a phone call in a foreign language is a difficult task for a non-native speaker. Let's look at some helpful suggestions for speaking on the phone and review some common expressions that you might need.
Suggestions for speaking on the phone:
1. Spanish speakers answer the phone in distinct ways in different parts of the Hispanic world. In Spain, for example, the most common expression is, "Dígame." In Mexico, "Bueno," is most common. In many other parts of Latin America, "Aló" predominates.
2. When you call someone it is very common to first say, "Buenos días" or "Buenas tardes," or "Buenas noches," depending on what time of day you make your call.
3. For a formal telephone conversation you should ask for someone by using one of the following expressions:
¿Me podría comunicar con el señor Allende, por favor?
Could you put me in touch with Mr. Allende please?
¿Sería posible hablar con el director?
Would it be possible to speak with the director?
4. If you have trouble understanding the person with whom you are speaking, use one of the following expressions:
Perdón, no hablo español muy bien, ¿podría repetirlo por favor?
Excuse me, I don't speak Spanish very well, could you repeat it please?
Disculpe, no entendí lo que dijo usted. ¿Me lo puede decir más lento por favor?
Sorry, I didn't understand what you said. Can you say it more slowly please?
5. Using formal commands during a phone conversation is very common. Some of the most common expressions include:
Dígale, por favor, que me llame lo más antes.
Tell him, please, to call me as soon as possible.
Déjele un recado por favor. Pídale al se&ntidle;or Garay que me encuentre en mi despacho a las tres.
Leave him a message please. Ask Mr. Garay to meet me in my office at three o'clock.