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Hola, Isla!
Your Essential Spanish Guide

No hablas español? No problemo!

The majority of islanders you’ll encounter speak at least some English. Hotel reception, tour operators, waiters and bartenders in the touristy places on Isla Mujeres are usually fluent. But once you get off the beaten track, the “English” becomes more “Spanglish” so leaning a few phrases will help, plus it’s a whole lot of fun!

Handy Translation Apps
Download Google Translate app for your phone and be sure to download Spanish so you can get translations offline. You can translate signs using the camera, translate bilingual conversations on the fly – a little awkward but it works and of course just by typing or speaking English to get the Spanish translation. Free and easy to use and if you sign into your google account you can save translated words and phrases for future reference.

There are loads of other apps available and for iPhone users Apple has a built-in translator app available on iOS 14 or higher. Supports real-time conversation, text, and speech translation

But since you’re already here – take this opportunity to learn a few basic phrases. And remember, even a ‘hola’ or ‘gracias’ goes a long way. It’s like smile – easy to give, always appreciated and best of all, a bridge to new friendships!

The Local Lingo Snapshot

Greetings & Goodbyes

Basic Words & Phrases

Questions & Statements


A Word About Gender Nouns

In traditional Spanish, many words have a gender. Words ending in ‘o’ are usually masculine, while those ending in ‘a’ are feminine. While north of the border carefully navigates the world of pronouns, Spanish nouns are confidently flaunting their gender. In Spanish, a friend is not just a friend. Depending on who you’re talking about, it could be ‘amigo’ (masculine) confidently strutting its ‘o’, or ‘amiga’ (feminine), gracefully embracing its ‘a’.

That said, there is a growing awareness and movement towards gender neutrality in the Spanish language. In its simplest form, just replace the ‘o’ or ‘a’ with an ‘e’ or an ‘x’. Sure, most will think you’re just giving the words a new twist, but hey, it’s always good for a chuckle. 🌈🇲🇽

Isla Mujeres Pubelo Magico

Dive into Isla Magic

Explore Our Directories

isla sleep dir

Sweet Dreams

Looking for the perfect place to drop your bags?

isla food dir

Foodie Bliss

Eating your way around the Island

isla do dir


Isla Activities: Sun, Fun, and Unforgettable!

isla events dir


Isla Traditions, Festivals and Cultural Events

isla service dir1


Isla's Services: From Welcome to Wow!

Exceptionally Practical

Careful when wishing someone Feliz Año Nuevo (Happy New Year). If you mispronounce “Año” (ah-nyo) and say “Ano” (ah-no), you’re actually saying
Happy New Anus!