After looking at medical visits and more enjoyable trips to a bar or restaurant, I thought that this week I would examine going to the bank and the vocabulary and expressions you may need. No one likes standing at the counter getting more and more embarrassed because their Spanish has let them down, therefore the more you practice before you go, the less likely it is that this is going to happen. I´m going to start with some vocabulary and then work in some phrases and give you an idea of how to improve your overall Spanish as well as your bank vocabulary.

In this type of situation you are likely to encounter many unfamiliar words and phrases. These words might include: savings account – la cuenta de ahorros; current account – la cuenta corriente, receipt – el recibo, chequebook – talonario, to deposit – ingresar, to withdraw – sacar, overdraft – descubierto, make a payment – hacer un pago, expiration date – fecha de vencimiento, monthly installment – cuota mensual, method of payment – forma de pago, interest – interés, transfer funds – transferir fondos, exchange rate – tipo de cambio.

Now I want you to think about what you need to do in the bank. Let´s imagine that we want to pay some money into your account, and the ATM isn´t working!  I want you to think about what you would say in English, as this method will help you improve your confidence but remember that the Spanish have many more verbs that they use than we do and so we can´t always translate word for word. When we do it, it can sound a bit strange to a Spanish native but they will always understand you as long as your accent is good enough.

I want you to write a script of your trip to the bank, and I want you to write it in English at first. It may look something like this: BANK TELLER: – Hello, good afternoon. YOU: – Good afternoon. I´d like to deposit some money in my account please. TELLER: – Ok, do you have your account number? YOU: – Yes, here it is. TELLER: – How much do you want to pay in? YOU: – Five hundred euros please. TELLER: – Ok, one moment please. Five hundred euros, is that right? YOU: – Yes that´s correct. TELLER: – Ok, that´s done. Do you need anything else? YOU: – No thank you, bye.

Before you read on, try writing the above out into Spanish. Think about verb tenses and vocabulary. Then when you have finished read my translation, bear in mind there may be differences and I hope that you are aware enough of your Spanish to know when and how you can differ from my version. Make sure you have written out your transcript before reading on.

Cajero –  hola, buenos días, – buenos días, quiero ingresar dinero en mi cuenta por favor, Cajero – vale, ¿tienes tu número de cuenta? – sí, aquí está Cajero – ¿cuánto quieres ingresar? – quinientos euros por favor Cajero – vale, un momento por favor, quinientos euros ¿verdad? – sí, está bien. Cajero – vale ya está hecho, ¿algo más? – no, gracias. Hasta luego.

I hope you wrote something similar to the above, but remember that the Spanish aren´t normally as polite as we like to be. It’s just their nature and as long as you realize that this is just how they are, you won´t consider them rude. Don’t forget to keep on practicing and I’ll see you next week!


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