It’s entirely possible to get by on your Menorca holidays without speaking good Catalan or even Spanish. The tourist market is so well developed here, alongside the history of British occupation, that almost all Menorca villas are serviced by towns and villages where English will be easily understood and competently spoken.
However, as many visitors to the island will tell you, an attempt to speak a little Menorquí (the island’s dialect of Catalan) or standard Español is not only good manners, but will communicate a degree of humility and interest that will enhance your experience of the islands. As anyone who has lived abroad will tell you, languages are actually very easy to learn once you are immersed in them; and though you may spend no longer than a few weeks here, your Menorca holidays will benefit enormously from attempting a few of these choice phrases:
(N.B. The main difference between Menorquí and Catalan is the use of ‘es’ and ‘sa’ for masculine and feminine instead of ‘el’ and ‘la’).
Do you speak English? – Parles anglès ?
I don’t speak Menorquí - No parlo el Menorquí
Where are you from ? D’on ets ?
I’m from England Sóc d’Anglaterra
My name is .. Em dic ..
What is your name ? Com et dius?
How are you ? Com estàs?
Fine, and you ? Bé, i tu?
Sorry Ho sento
Pardon ? Mana ?
Excuse me Perdona
Thank you Gràcies / Moltes gràcies / Mercès
You’re welcome De res
I want to buy .. Vull comprar ..
What is it called in Catalan ? Com es diu això en català ?
How much is it ? Quin preu té ?
Do you accept credit cards ? Accepteu targetes de crèdit ?
Where is .. ? On és..?
Where are .. ? On són..?
How do I get to .. ? Com puc arribar a…?
What sandwiches do you have ? Quins entrepans teniu ?
Is there a table free ? Hi ha alguna taula lliure ?
A table for four, please Una taula per quatre, si us plau
It’s my round A aquesta ronda convido jo
What would you like to drink ? Què vols beure ?
Do you have a map of .. ? Té un mapa de…?
How long does it take to get to .. ? Quant de temps cal per arribar a ..?
Cheers/Good health! Salut! Txin txin!
Bon appetit Bon profit! Que vagi de gust!
Good luck Bona sort! Molta sort!
With all these phrases under your belt your holidays in Menorca should be filled with local life and colour, Bon profit!