Language primer

When you come to the Mexican Caribbean you have the opportunity to learn not just one but two new languages: Spanish and Maya, the language spoken throughout the Yucatán Peninsula. Stay posted for more pointers.



Hello –> Hola
Good morning / good day –> Buenos días
Good afternoon –> Buenas tardes
Good evening / night –> Buenas noches
How are you? –> Cómo está usted?
Very well thank you –> Muy bien, gracias
See you soon –> Hasta luego
That’s all right –> Está bien
Don’t worry –> No se preocupe

The Basics

Yes –> Si
No –> No
Please –> Por favor
Thank you –> Gracias
You’ re welcome –> De nada
No thank you –> No gracias
Sorry –> Perdone
What’s your name? –> Cómo se llama?
My name is … –> Me llamo …
I’m hungry (thirsty) –> Tengo hambre (sed)
I’m tired –> Estoy cansado
I’m ready –> Estoy listo
Leave me alone –> Dejame solo por favor
Just one minute –> Un minuto por favor
One moment please –> Un momento por favor
Come in –> Adelante
It’s cheap (expensive) –> Es barato (caro)
It’s cold (hot) –> Hace frío (calor)
It’s too much –> Es demasiado
I (don’t) like it –> (No) me gusta
I’m not sure –> No estoy seguro
I don’t know –> No sé
I think so –> Creo que sí
That’s all –> Es todo
Thank you for your help –> Gracias por tu ayuda
Taxi please –> Taxi por favor

Language Problems

Do you speak English? –> ¿Habla inglés?
Do you understand me? –> ¿Me entiende?
I don’t speak Spanish –> No hablo español
Please speak slowly –> Hable más despacio por favor
I don’t understand –> No entiendo


Where is (are)? –> ¿Dónde está (están)?
When? –> ¿Cuándo?
Who? –> ¿Quién?
Why? –> ¿Por qué?
What? –> ¿Qué?
How much is (are)? –> ¿Cuánto es (son)?
How far? –> ¿A qué distancia está?
I want (would like) –> Quiero …
What is the matter? –> ¿Qué pasa?
Can you help me? –> ¿Puede usted ayudarme?
Can you show me? –> ¿Puede usted enseñarme?
Can you tell me? –> ¿Puede usted decirme?

In Restaurants

I have booked a table –> Reserve una mesa
May I see the menu? –> Quisiera ver el menú por favor
I’d like… –> Quiero …
A little more –> Un poco más
What will you drink? –> ¿Qué desea beber?



Spanish –> Hola
Maya –> Oola

How are you?
Spanish –> ¿Cómo estas? or ¿Qué tal?
Maya –> Ba’ax ka wa’alik
(bah’ahsh ka wah ahl eek)

I’m fine
Spanish –> Estoy bien
Maya –> Ma’alob

Spanish –> Adios
Maya –> Tak sáamal
(tahk saahm-ahl)

See you tomorrow
Spanish –> Hasta mañana
Maya –> Tak sáamal
(tahk saahm-ahl)

Take care, good luck
Spanish –> Que te vaya bien, Buena suerte
Maya –> Ka xi’ik teech utzil
(kah shee-eek teehch ootz-eel)


Spanish –> Si
Maya –> Haah

Spanish –> No
Maya –> Ma’

Thank you
Spanish –> Gracias
Maya –> Dios bo’otik

I’m happy
Spanish –> Estoy contento
Maya –> Kiimak in wool

I’m thirsty
Spanish –> Tengo sed
Maya –> Hach uk’ahen
(hahch oo-kah-hehn)

I’m hungry
Spanish –> Tengo hambre
Maya –> Hach wi’iheen
(hahch wee’-ee-heehn)


How much does it cost?
Spanish –> ¿Cúanto cuesta?
Maya –> Baahux u tohol
(bah-hoosh oo toh-hohl)

Spanish –> ¿Qué?
Maya –> Ba’ax

When, which day?
Spanish –> ¿Cuando, que día?
Maya –> Ba’ax k’in
(bah-ahsh k’eeen)

Why, what for?
Spanish –> ¿Por que?
Maya –> Ba’ax ten

What’s your name?
Spanish –> ¿Como se llama?
Maya –> Ba’ax a k’aaba’
Bah-ahsh ah k’aahb-ah’

What time is it?
Spanish –> ¿Qué hora es?
Maya –> Ba’ax oorah?
(bah-ahsh oohr-ah)

Weather & Elements

It’s raining
Spanish –> Está lloviendo
Maya –> Tun k’áaxal ha’
(toon k’aahsh-ahl-hah)

Spanish –> Lluvia
Maya –> cháak (also ha’)
(Cháahk or hah)

Spanish –> sol
Maya –> k’iin

It’s hot
Spanish –> hace calor
Maya –> k’íilkab or hach kilcab

It’s cold
Spanish –> hace frio
Maya –> ke’el or hach ceel ziiz

I’m cold
Spanish –> Tengo frio
Maya –> Ke’eleen

Spanish –> nublado
Maya –> nóokoy

Spanish –> viento
Maya –> iik’

Spanish –> Estrella
Maya –> Eek’


Spanish –> Norte
Maya –> Xaman

Spanish –> Sur
Maya –> Nohol

Spanish –> Oriente/este
Maya –> Lak’in

Spanish –> Poniente/oeste
Maya –> Chik’in


Spanish –> Ayer
Maya –> Ho’olheyak

Spanish –> Hoy
Maya –> Behla’e’

Spanish –> Mañana
Maya –> Saamal

Day after tomorrow
Spanish –> Pasado mañana
Maya –> Ka’abeh

Spanish –> Año
Maya –> Ha’ab

Sunset, dusk
Spanish –> Atardecer
Maya –> Bin ka ak’abtal
(been kah ahk’-ahb-tahl)

Spanish –> Noche
Maya –> Aak’ab

Spanish –> Medianoche
Maya –> Chúumuk áak’ab
(chooom-ook aahk-ahb)

Spanish –> Amanecer
Maya –> Sáastal

Spanish –> Día
Maya –> K’iin

Spanish –> Manana
Maya –> Hatzkab k’iin
(hahtz-kahb k’eeen)

Spanish –> Medio dia
Maya –> Chúumuk k’iin
(chooom-ook keeen)


Visitors to the Mexican Caribbean may have seen this word and wondered what it meant, and if you are a driver you may have already found out the hard way! Tope is the word for speed bumps or sleeping policemen. You’ll find topes in front of schools and in residential areas and as you enter and leave villages such as those along Highway 180 to Chichén Itzá and Mérida.

Pronounced “antoheeto,” this is a word used collectively to describe the Mexican finger food such as tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas and tamales we all know and love so much. The verb antojar means to crave or be in the mood for something.

4 replies
  1. Kathy Ballensky
    Kathy Ballensky says:

    Language Primer is GREAT idea!! Thanks. I know some Spanish, but I don’t get to practice at home and get better at it by the end of my Hacienda week and then I go home.


    • jgreen
      jgreen says:

      Dear Kathy: Thank you for your comments about our Language Primer, I’m glad you find it useful. We will be adding more words soon, stay posted.

  2. Julie Flory
    Julie Flory says:

    Language primer is great. I copied it to a word document and will keep in my travel purse. Learning came easier 35 years ago, but never too late to learn! Thanks.

  3. Gloria
    Gloria says:

    Hi, I’m from Mexico. I was looking for a mayan word and I found your site. It’ s really helpfull, i like the way you got the right pronunciation about Mayan words, and I know this cause my dad is from Yucatan and he speaks Maya.
    Thx for sharing( i dont know if it’s the right way to say this) what you learnt. Hope you’ ll come back soon.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.