How Do You Say…?

Hola! Bonjour! Hallo!

Do you recognize these languages?  Spanish (Hola), French (Bonjour), and Dutch (Hallo) are the most common languages in the Caribbean.

While you are traveling, it can be a daunting feeling when you are lost and do not know the language.  While English is commonly spoken in the Caribbean, it is often broken.  Also, the native islanders feel appreciated by any effort to use the local language.

When I travel, I have found several apps to be helpful to bridge the potential language barriers.  Below, I reviewed a couple of my favorite translating apps.  For easy reference, I also included a few commonly used phrases that I personally like to use!

Top 3 Apps

  1. Google Translate (free) – has 90 languages, can be used offline, and did I mention it is free? 🙂
  2. TripLingo (free plus charges) – has formal, casual, and slang versions of phrases, has tip sheets for local etiquette, you can only get 20 phrases per language in the free version, otherwise it is $9.99/month.
  3. iTranslate ($4.99) – you can slow down the playback so you can learn how to pronounce the phrase correctly. You can save phrases as favorites, which is good for phrases you would have to repeatedly look up.

For trips to the Caribbean, I would suggest using TripLingo. I think it is great that it offers different versions of phrases. Also, 20 phrases seems to be enough to get by and then you do not have to pay $9.99/month. Google Translate is always useful wherever you are and it can supplement TripLingo. Which one will you try?


Dominican Republic


¡Hola! Me llamo Jillian!

That is pretty much all I remember from Spanish class, so writing this post is learning for me to! 🙂

The Spanish speaking islands are the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. The basics to know are:

The Basics 

Hello- Hola

Bye- Adios

Good Morning-Buenos días

Good afternoon-Buenas tardes

Good Evening- Buenas noches

How are you?- ¿Cómo está? Response: Good, Thank you-“bien, gracias”

Please- Por favor

Thank you- Gracias

When you are out in the town use these phrases 

Do you speak English?- ¿Habla inglés?

I want, I don’t want – Yo quiero, yo no quiero

Where is – ¿Dónde está?

How much does it cost – ¿Cuánto cuesta?

Where is the bathroom? – ¿Dónde está el baño?

When you are out at the restaurant you can use these words

I need – Yo necesito

Beer – Cerveza

Coffee – Un café

Water – Agua


The Dutch islands are: Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, St. Eustatius, and Saba. The basic phrases are:

The Basics 

Hello- Hallo

Bye-  Doei

Good Morning- Goedemorgen

Good Afternoon- Goedemiddag

Good Evening- Goedeavond

How are you?- Hoe gat het met je?

Please- Alstublieft

Thank you- Dank je

When you are out in the town use these phrases 

Do you speak English?- Spreek je Engels?

Where is the bathroom, please?- Waar zijn de toiletten, alsjeblieft?

How much does this cost?- Hoeveel kost dit?

When you are out at the restaurant you can use these words

Menu- de kaart 

Breakfast- het ontbijt 

Lunch- de lunch 

Dinner- het diner

The bill, please- Mag ik afrekenen 


French speaking islands: Guadeloupe, Haiti, Martinique, St. Barthelemy, and St. Martin.

The Basics 

Yes/No – Oui/Non (wee/non)

Please- S’il vous plaît (seel voo play)

Thank you- Merci (mer-see)

Excuse me- Excusez-moi (exkoo-zay mwah)

Hello- Bonjour (bonzhoor)

Goodbye- Au revoir (oh ruh-vwar)

How are you?- Comment allez-vous? (kom-mon talay voo?)

Very well- Très bien (treh byan)

I don’t understand- Je ne comprends pas  (zhuh nuh kompron pah)

Do you speak English?- Parlez-vous anglais?  (par-lay voo ong-lay?)

I’m sorry- Excusez-moi (exkoo-zay mwah)

When you are out in the town use these phrases 

How much does this cost? C’est combien s’il vous plaît? (say kom-byan seel voo play)

Do you speak English?- Parlez-vous anglais?  (par-lay voo ong-lay?)

When you are out at the restaurant you can use these words

menu- le menu  (men-oo)

breakfast- le petit déjeuner  (puh-tee day-zhuh-nay)

lunch- le déjeuner (day-zhuh-nay)

dinner- le dîner (dee-nay)

The bill, please- L’addition s’il vous plaît. (l’adee-syon seel voo play)


Hope you learned something today. Until next time, goodbye! Au Revoir! Doei! Adios!