With the global reach of organizations, companies are closer and closer than ever before. It’s common for there to be multi-national organizations that send employees all over the world. It seems there’s always someone I know traveling for business.

Why learn Spanish for business? Most emerging markets are in Latin America, not to mention that Spain is coming back from the economic abyss.

global image

Even if you’re a small business owner, the world is smaller than ever.

But what if you have to travel to do business in a Spanish speaking country? How will you be able to get through a business meeting or complete a major project?

Did you know that Spain’s growing economy is fueled mostly by tourism and exports?

Spanish is also widely spoken. If you read another previous article, you might not be surprised to learn that there are millions of Spanish speakers not only around the world, but in the US as well. You might be a local shop, but you can tap into an entirely brand new market just by learning Spanish. It’s a massive opportunity to grow and expand without a whole lot of effort.

While you might find that in business, a lot of people do speak English, if you attempt to speak in Spanish, you will probably earn a lot of respect, which may serve you well in the long run.

Top Business Phrases to Learn in Spanish

There are a lot of things to learn to do business in a Spanish-speaking country or even at home. This isn’t the be all end all list, however, these phrases are commonly used in meetings all over. These are general phrases, as industry specific phrases and vocabulary will follow.

You will be surprised that when it comes down to it, the act of doing business is pretty universal. There are negotiations, formalities, contracts, deals closing and sales happening. Imagine you’ve just landed in a country, where you don’t know the language and you’re dropped in the middle of a networking meeting. These are things you’ll encounter as you meet people, send out proposals, and most importantly, close deals.

Voy a pedirle a mi abogado que revise el contrato.

I’ll ask my attorney to review the contract.

Learning

¿Cuando nos podemos reunir?

When can we meet?

¿Tienes una tarjeta de visita?

Do you have a business card?

Envíame una propuesta.

Send me a proposal.

Usted necesita reunirse con _____. (formal) / Necesitas reunirte con ______. (informal)

You need to meet with ______.

Necesito hablar con mi socio de negocios.

I need to talk to my business partner.

¿Cómo acepta el pago?

How do you accept payment?

Bear in mind that some places hardly use checks or purchase orders. For example, in Spain, checks are a bit of a foreign concept. Here, most places use credit cards, bank transfers or cash.

¿Puedo pagar con tarjeta de credito?

Can I pay with a credit card?

Estoy trabajando a tope.

I’m working hard.

Tengo una reunión con ______.

I have a meeting with______.

¿Ha encontrado un inversor?

Did you find an investor?

¿Cuál es la tasa de empleo en esta área?

What’s the employment rate in this area?

¿Cuáles son la economía y la demografía de esta zona?

What are the economy and demographics in this area?

¿Tenemos un acuerdo?

Do we have an agreement?

Estoy escribiendo para preguntar acerca de…

I’m writing to enquire about….

Consideramos su propuesta y hemos decidido...

We considered your proposal and we decided….

Aceptamos sus términos con los siguientes ajustes:

We accept your terms with the following adjustments:

Espero trabajar con usted.

I look forward to working with you.

Aquí está mi registro de gastos para este viaje.

Here is my expense log for this trip.

Again, these are general phrases that will help you meet people and close deals (that’s what it’s all about, right?).

Basic Business Vocabulary Words

If you’re spending time in the office and working on a major project, it will be very useful to have a basic business vocabulary. You’ll at least be able to ask what happened to your red stapler, even if no one else gets the joke.

Oficina/Despacho

Office

Depending on where you are, oficina may be used or despacho. Most people will refer to oficina, although despacho tends to be used more when referring to home offices or a group of offices. For example, you can go to your law firm’s office (despacho) but an individual attorney has an oficina.

El material de oficina
Office supplies

La grapadora
Stapler

La grapadora roja

Red stapler

La fotocopiadora

Photocopier
El folio
Paper

If you just want a piece of paper, you’ll ask for “Uno folio, por favor.” If you wanted a stack of paper, say to restock the printer, you’d ask for “Una pila de papel.”

Now, if you’re looking for the newspaper, that’s a little different. While in English, we may say “Did you get the paper today?” In Spanish, you wouldn’t say did you get el folio today? You’d say “¿Recibió el periódico de hoy?”

El bolígrafo
Pen
El archivador
Filing cabinet

La carpeta
File folder
El lápiz
Pencil
Agenda de la reunión
Meeting agenda

La impresora
Printer
El acuerdo
Agreement

El Desacuerdo
Disagreement

Perder el tiempo
To waste time

Cuenta a pagar
Accounts payable

Cuenta por pagar
Accounts receivable
Activos
Assets

This is only in the context of assets in possession. If you were to say this employee is an asset to the company.”, you’d say “Este empleado es un gran recurso para la empresa.”

Pasivo
Liability

This is in the context of financial liability. If you’re trying to refer to a legal liability, you’d refer to a responsabilidad.

Capital, Equidad
Equity

Beneficio bruto
Gross profit
Utilidad neto
Net
Junta Directiva
Board of Directors

Cámara de Comercio
Chamber of Commerce

Marca comercial
Trademark

Ética de trabajo
Work ethic

Nómina
Payroll

Día de pago
Payday

Spanish Vocabulary Words for Marketing & Advertising

No matter where you are, marketing can be a major force in your company or project. These are terms that you really have to know to understand what all is going on with your project and how it’s being pushed out to the public.

The Hispanic market is largely underserved by the advertising industry and the need for Spanish marketing campaigns grows. While more luxury brands have chosen to advertise or maintain their slogans in English, a well-written phrase in Spanish can go “straight for the heart."

If you find yourself sitting in on a marketing meeting, it might be helpful to know a few key words and phrases in Spanish so you’ll be much better prepared.

Publicidad
Advertising
Relaciones publicas
Public relations

Campaña de marketing
Marketing campaign

Portavoz
Spokesperson

Marketing de medios sociales

Social media marketing

Marca
Brand

Presupuesto de marketing
Marketing budget

Bloguera
Blogger
Mercadotecnia en motores de busqueda

Search engine marketing

Optimizacion para buscadores

Search engine optimization

Sito web
Website
Home page
Portada

Spanish Vocabulary Words for Aerospace

Aerospace and manufacturing are very competitive industries in Latin America and Spain.

The Spanish aerospace industry is the fifth in Europe in terms of net sales. In fact, Sevilla’s Aerópolis is home to 47 aerospace firms, including Airbus Defence and Space.

In Latin America, the industry is expected to grow, despite the political uncertainty.

airbus beluga

That being said, there will be some important phrases to know if you’re heading up an aerospace project or happen to run into an aerospace engineer and want to ask questions about their work.

Avión de transporte comercial

Commercial transport planes

Velocidad supersónica
Supersonic speed

Aeronáutica
Aeronautics

Barrera del sonido
Sound barrier

Explosión sónica
Sonic boom

Piloto
Pilot

Avión de reacción
Jet plane

En matemáticas
In mathematics

ingenierio aeroespacial
Aerospace engineer

Spanish Vocabulary Words for Exporting & Importing

Spanish speaking countries have a massive impact on the global food industry.

"The Latin American region is an important net exporter of food and agricultural commodities, accounting for 16% of total global food and agriculture exports and 4% of total food and agriculture imports."

Even in the United States, growth of Hispanic farmers has increased by 21% from 2007 – 2012.The need for a basic understanding of Spanish in this industry is growing, whether you’re in the US or abroad.

tractor amarillo

Agricultura
Agriculture
Seed
Semilla
Campo
Field
Campesino
Farmer
Silvestre
Wild
Nativo
Native
Sembradora
Seeder
Arado
Plow (n.)
Siembra
Crop
Tractor
Tractor
Cosechadora
Combine
Tiller
Labranza
Cortadora
Mower
Pulverizador
Sprayer
Arado
To plow (v.)

Spanish Vocabulary Words for Finance

After the banking crisis of 2007-2008, countries like Spain are finally starting to recover to pre-crisis levels. Even in Latin America, where there has been an economic slowdown, there are still plenty of opportunities for growth in financial services.

Here are a few key words to know for the financial industry. You’re still going to have to deal with basic financial language, whether you’re buying a home, getting auto insurance, or trying to obtain your credit report.

Industria financiera
Financial industry

Tarifa ajustable, Tasa ajustable

Adjustable rate

Anualidades
Annuities

Seguro de coche, seguro de auto

Auto insurance

Informe de credito
Credit report

Tasa de interes
Interest rate

Hipoteca
Mortgage
Bienes raíces
Real estate
Acciones
Stocks
Bolsa de Valores
Stock market
Jubilación
Retirement
Impuesto
Tax

Know the Business Culture

As I mentioned in a previous article, it’s so important to know and understand the business customs before you leave. Days are much different than what you’re probably used to. You might be used to showing up at the office at 8am and powering though calls, meetings and emails before lunch. Then you go out for lunch and try to power through the afternoon, only to leave a bunch of work on the desk to be done the next day. You might even take home some work, too.

In a lot of other countries, the value system tends to be different. This is true in most Spanish speaking countries.

It’s not that they’re lazy, it’s just that they have different values. In the US, the values are focused more on productivity and what you do. In my experience in other countries, the values are more about who you are and what’s your family like.

It’s definitely different, and it might take some getting used to. Once you do adjust, you might have a whole new perspective on work and family.