Accommodation & Language Barrier

Posted by: BarcelonaTrip

Accommodation & Language Barrier - 05/12/00 04:46 AM

I'm going to Barcelona and Northern Spain shortly and I've got a couple of queries. Firstly, I don't speak much Spanish - will this be a major problem? Secondly, I want to book accommodation for my first night in Barcelona but am worried if I phone up with my very limited Spanish that I won't get very far. Please advise!

PS - Excellent web site, glad I found you!
Posted by: MadridMan

Re: Accommodation & Language Barrier - 05/12/00 05:53 AM

Hello BarcelonaTrip! (interesting screen name)

Welcome to the group and congratulations on your upcoming adventure to Barcelona!! WOW! I love Barcelona ALMOST as much as I do Madrid...well, the truth is, I love Sevilla more than Barcelona, but Barcelona is 3rd. ANYWAY......

Limited knowledge of Spanish can sometimes be a problem. In these cases, I might suggest going through a kind of reservation service/system like that at - I just found them yesterday and they have a LARGE selection of hotels in Madrid, Barcelona, and all the larger cities in Spain along with other locations in Europe. The website is in English so you won't have any problems.

Thanks for the compliment about! I appreciate it. 8-)


Posted by: Antonio

Re: Accommodation & Language Barrier - 05/12/00 03:34 PM

Hi MadridMan,

I've just check the "" website and I think they are yet other people trying to make easy money from us (hostales).

I really hate this kind of business consisting of earning money through a commission system. We work very hard every day (I'm sure you know it) and I think it's not fair to earn money only by a booking system. When I check the bookings I receive from home, I have to pay per second of connection. If I don't charge my customers for that, I think nobody should charge them just to make a reservation.

This is not the first "booking" service I've seen. Fortunately and thanks to the internet, I hope we can manage to set up our own booking system (mainly through e-mail) with no charge for our customers.

I've only checked the places they advertise in Madrid and most of them are quite expensive. In fact, most are hotels not "hostales".



The best tips from your favourite hostal in Madrid.
Hostal Chelo at
Posted by: Balise

Re: Accommodation & Language Barrier - 05/17/00 01:55 AM

BarcelonaTrip ... this is what I did when I wanted to book a room at a Hostal in Madrid. I don't speak Spanish; I know only a teensy bit. Most hostals I've read about or seen on the WWWeb have fax machines, so I faxed my reservation query. In this way, I was able to use my Spanish phrase book to formulate my request. And also, when the Hostal responded, I could translate their fax at my leisure.

This worked out beautifully. Also, it's much cheaper to send an international fax than to make an international call.

Posted by: harrison

Re: Accommodation & Language Barrier - 09/12/00 03:36 PM

An even quicker way to translate your message from English to Spanish-or reverse, is to log on to < > type in your message and send. When your reply comes back in Spanish-or whatever-then paste it into the translator, hit translate and there you have it. Wow! Is that neat or what?
Posted by: Puna

Re: Accommodation & Language Barrier - 09/12/00 05:06 PM

Absolutely - great find Harrison
Posted by: steveaqui

Re: Accommodation & Language Barrier - 09/13/00 01:32 PM

In Barcelona there in no need to speak Spanish at all.In fact being able to speak Spanish can be a disadvantage in some places-but not all.There is a regional language spoken:Catalan and Spanish is not always welcome. But English is.
In the North of Spain you will find place where hardly any English is spoken and other places with limited. In general its not the same as the south. A very nice thing.
Posted by: joecur

Re: Accommodation & Language Barrier - 09/15/00 04:49 AM

there is a lot more english spoken in Barcelona than in other parts of Spain that we visited- in fact it was the only place people tried to speak english to us(we spoke only spanish on our trip, somewhat less than flawlessly I imagine, but it worked fine)...
Posted by: Nuria

Re: Accommodation & Language Barrier - 09/15/00 11:02 AM

Isn't that weird that Catalanes wouldn't speak any Spanish even if thier lives depend on it but they would speak English?
There is a thing between Catalanes and Madrilenos and in general we don't like each other so much. I am from Madrid and one of the things that upset me the most about Catalanes is the language, if I go to Barcelona first they will trash my car and second I wouldn't be able to speak with them unless I speak English. The funy thing is that they CAN speak Spanish but they don't want to. If there is a Catalan reading this...could you tell me why in general Catalanes don't speak Spanish? By the way, other than that I think Catalanes and Cataluņa are very nice

[This message has been edited by Nuria (edited 09-15-2000).]
Posted by: MadridMan

Re: Accommodation & Language Barrier - 09/15/00 11:19 AM

BarcelonaTrip!! I'm hoping you're still getting the notices when someone replies to your originally posted message (back in May). So what happened?? What did you do when/if you called the hotel or did you just find another where you could reserve a room online?? We want to know!!!

Saludos, MadridMan