Camino Spanish & Galician

Galician is a Romance language (i.e., from Latin) spoken by about 3 million people in Spain’s northwestern region of Galicia. Although it’s most closely related to Portuguese—which is spoken south of the border—it shares many similarities with Castilian Spanish, including sounds and spelling.

While on the Camino de Santiago you will encounter and befriend fellow pilgrims of many nationalities and many languages, particularly as you get closer to Santiago de Compostela. You might have learnt a bit of Spanish before but did you know Galicia has its own language? It is called ‘galego’, in Galician. Even a tiny knowledge of Galician will help you get around and navigate menus, maps, etc. If you happen to speak Spanish, you’re already 80% of the way to understanding Galician, and I’m serious! Getting a grasp on the grammatical and phonological differences will turbo boost you up to 90%.

Santiago de Compostela is the capital of Galicia, as such, you will encounter many signs and businesses using Galician (galego), as well as native speakers. When written, Galician looks quite similar to Portuguese as they share the same roots.

CAMINO SPANISH AND GALICIAN

SPANISHGALICIANMEANING
Buen Camino! This is the one sentence you will always remember. It is the meet and greet between pilgrims, and between pilgrims and locals.
Bo Camiño / Bon Camiño Once you are in Galicia you might hear this instead! As it is in Galician language. As you enter Galicia, you’ll see the Camino is referred to as: Camiño de Santiago.
Ultreia! It is a less known version of ‘Buen Camino!’ but the sentiment remains the same: safe journey to Santiago!
PeregrinoMale pilgrim
PeregrinaFemale pilgrim
BicigrinoMale bike pilgrim
BicigrinaFemale bike pilgrim
Me gusta… el pulpo I like… octopus. Of course you can replace ‘octopus with any other food of your choice! Calamares (squid), pollo (chicken), caldo gallego (Galician stew), ensalada (salad)…
No me gusta… el pulpoNon me gusta … o pulpo I don’t like… octopus.
Me encanta … el pulpoEncántame … o pulpoI love… octopus
Me duelen los piesDóenme os pés My feet are sore
Necesito… un caféI need… a coffee but you can easily replace coffee with…
Un descansoA little rest or break
Por favorPlease
Muchas graciasMoitas grazas Thank you very much!

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USEFUL SPANISH FOR THE CAMINO

ENGLISHSPANISH
I’m looking for… Estoy buscando
I’d like to… Quisiera
Where is…? Donde está…?
How much is …?Cuanto cuesta…?
Where are the toilets? Dónde están los servicios?
Does anyone here speak English? Hay alguien que hable inglés?
HelloHola
Good morning Buenos días
Good evening Buenas noches
Bye/See you Adiós
PleasePor favor
Thank you Gracias
You’re welcome De nada
Sorry/Excuse me Perdone
What’s your name?Como te llamas?
My name is Me llamo
It’s a pleasure to meet youEncantado/a
Where are you from? De dónde eres?
I am from…Soy de…
Can I have a … beer please? Una cerveza por favor?
Could you help me please? Puede ayudarme, por favor?
I’m allergic to… Soy alérgico/a a…
ATM Cajero
How do I get to…? Como puedo llegar a…?
Is it far? Está lejos?
Go straight ahead Vaya derecho
Turn leftTuerza a la izquierda
Turn right Tuerza a la derecha
I am lost Estoy perdido/a
Where is the …hospital? post office? Bus station? Dónde está… el hospital? correos? estación de bus?

Santiago de Compostela is the capital of Galicia, as such you will encounter many signs and businesses using Galician (galego), as well as native speakers.

USEFUL GALICIAN FOR THE CAMINO

ENGLISHGALEGO
Does anyone speak English? Alguén fala inglés?
Hello Ola
Good morning Bos días
Good afternoon Boas tardes
I’m allergic Son alérxico (male) alérxica (female)
What’s your name? Cómo se chama?
I am from… Son de… Canada, Estados Unidos (USA)…
What time is it?Qué hora é?
What time does the bus leave? A qué hora sae o bus?
What time does the bus arrive? A qué hora chega o bus?
TodayHoxe
TomorrowMañá
I’m looking for Estou buscando…
OTHER TRANSLATION OPTIONS INCLUDE:

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Delicioso: Camino Cuisine

The many routes of the Camino de Santiago cross different regions (in some cases countries), each with its own traditions, culture and food. If you are walking the Camino de Santiago along the French Way, from the French border, here are some classic dishes and traditional produce you will be able to taste.

Camino Fun Facts

The history of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela stretches back more than 1000 years to the discovery of the body of Saint James during the reign of King Alfonso II (792-842)…

Camino Reading

Your spiritual journey can begin long before you begin walking the Camino de Santiago with a great travel book. Here is a list of some of our favourite books to read prior to your travels.

Camino Music

One of the biggest cultural differences between Galicia and any other place in Spain is in its musical tradition. It has long been thought that Galician music owes its roots to the ancient Celtic history…

Camino Movies

“The Way” is probably the most popular movie about the Camino de Santiago. The story follows a loving father and son plot, detailing the journey of Thomas Avery (actor Martin Sheen) along the Camino…

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