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Aug 1, 2006, 7:46 AM

Post #1 of 3 (5556 views)


Telephone Useage in Mexico

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Hello All.

Here is a rather long posting about how to use the telephone in Latin American Countries including Mexico. It is courtesy of

Language Link Online
Your Passport to Spanish Learning Adventures Toll Free 800.552.2051

I would suggest you print this posting and keep it near your telephone. You will find it very useful.
Adiios. Jerezano.

Telephone Vocabulary – Although very often making a telephone call is one of the first things you need to do in using newly acquired Spanish, it is an area filled with idioms. It’s very important to listen carefully to how a native speaker talks on the phone so that you can get the phraseology.
There are many ways of answering the phone, and these vary depending on which country you are in. Bueno (with inflection sounding like a question) is used in Mexico. In Spain you will hear Dígame. In some countries you hear a version of hello, Aló. This is an easy thing to listen for right away, wherever you are.
Don’t forget to start your communication with a polite greeting of Buenos días or whatever time of day is appropriate. The next issue is to identify yourself. Forget about “this is so and so”. To identify yourself, either say Soy John Smith or even better, Habla John Smith (John Smith speaking), and you might add de los Estados Unidos or wherever. There are many ways of asking to speak with someone. Me gustaría hablar con…necesito hablar con, etc., but you can get the same idea across by just saying Con el señor García, por favor. You can also ask if someone is there by saying ¿Está Juan, por favor? You may be asked to reidentify yourself, ¿De parte de quién? or ¿Quién le llama, por favor? Use the same phrases as above…habla el Sr. Smith or soy John Smith. You may be asked ¿Cuál es su apellido (last name)? ¿Cómo se escribe? (how is it spelled)
If you have a wrong number, the person will say Usted está equivocado (mistaken). You can apologize and say Lo siento, estoy equivocado (a).
The person replying back may say No se encuentra. (He’s not around.) Then you can ask ¿Cuándo (a qué hora) regresa, por favor? Or it may be appropriate to ask, ¿Tiene usted el número de su celular?(cell phone) or in Spain – su móbil? You might need, Repita el número, por favor. Or Más despacio (slower), por favor, as someone is giving you the number.
To tell someone you called, you can say Gracias, entonces llamo más tarde, indicating that you’ll call back later. If you want to leave a message, you say, dígale que llamé, por favor (tell him or her I called) or dígale que me llame, por favor. Note the difference in the forms of llamar here – llamé with an accent means I called, llame without the accent is the command form asking someone else to call you. Mi número es …..El código (area code) es …
The responding person may use a phrase such as Ahorita te lo paso, or Se lo paso. This is like saying I’ll get the person right away to the phone. You can respond with Gracias, muy amable (you’re very kind).
In trying to pass along information or a request, keep your language simple. A good phrase might be
Hay una demora – There is a delay (this can cover missed flights, change of flights, etc.)
Iba a ….llegar (any other infinitive) – I (or he or she) was going to arrive, pero ahora llego el lunes, el 2 de agosto a las 8 de la mañana (and remember that mañana por la mañana means tomorrow morning), en el vuelo (flight) #--- de Continental de (from) Houston. Other needs might be such as Necesito el número de ---, por favor. Me gustaría hacer una reservación para mañana a las 8 de la noche para 6 personas.
A few other miscellaneous phrases –
Necesito enviar un fax, por favor. Nunca recibo el tono de fax (I’m not getting the fax tone.). Often in Latin America especially you need to alert the person to change the phone to a fax mode.
¿Cómo se marca el número de aquí? How do you dial from here?
¿Me permite or puedo hacer una llamada (a call), Sería posible usar el teléfono para una llamada local?
¿Dónde puedo comprar una tarjeta de teléfono (card). ¿Se puede usar (can it be used) en Guatemala para hacer llamadas a los Estados Unidos? ¿Cuéntos minutos me quedan? (How many minutes do I have left (are remaining to me)?
Cobrar – to charge a fee, tarjeta de crédito – credit card
Gracias por llamar. Thanks for calling. Hablamos mas tarde. We’ll talk later.
Please do remember to be courteous on the phone and throw in lots of gracias, por favor and muy amable.
Speaking to someone this way will get you much more cooperation in accomplishing your mission. It’s also common to use a lot of señor, señora, y señorita…as sir, madam and miss.

(This post was edited by jerezano on Aug 1, 2006, 9:25 AM)


Aug 1, 2006, 11:37 AM

Post #2 of 3 (5541 views)


Re: [jerezano] Telephone Useage in Mexico

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This is great, Jerezano, mil gracias. It answers a lot of my questions.



Aug 2, 2006, 8:43 AM

Post #3 of 3 (5508 views)


Re: [jerezano] Telephone Useage in Mexico

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Hello all,

There have been some recent questions about telephone useage here in Mexico. This new thread should help answer those questions.

Adiós. jerezano.
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