Need-to-know Business Spanish

Chinese is the language with the most speakers, but Spanish is arguably the most widely spoken language worldwide. Today, over 500 million people across the world speak the language. As a result, it is becoming increasingly popular for companies to list ‘Spanish’ as a job requirement for many positions, especially within marketing and sales.

As you know, learning a new language is never easy. More so if you wish to master it at a professional level — and Spanish is no exception. Hence, below, I will share a list of useful words and phrases to boost your vocabulary (regardless of your proficiency.)

You may already know the basics such as ‘Jefe,’ ‘Empresa”, ‘Reunión,’ ‘Contrato,’ and ‘Cliente.’ But, to excel in the business world, you will need to familiarize yourself with more complex terms, including:

• Accionista (shareholder)
• Activo (asset)
• Audiencia (target audience)
• Bienes de consumo (consumer goods)
• Bolsa de Valores (stock market)
• Capital (equity)
• Comprador/a (buyer)
• Endosar (endorse)
• Estado Financiero (financial statement)
• Fabricante (manufacturer)
• Factura (invoice)
• Impuesto (Tax)
• Ingreso/Ingreso Neto (income/net income)
• Inventario (inventory)
• Licencia/Permiso (license/permit)
• Marca Comercial (trademark)
• Papeleo (paperwork)
• Pasivo (liability)
• Préstamo (loan)
• Reembolso/Reintegro (reimbursement)
• Sociedad/ Sociedad Colectiva (partnership)
• Socio (Partner)
• Venta al detal (retail)
• Fecha de vencimiento (due date)
• Mayorista (wholesaler)
• Sindicato (union)
• Tasa de interés (rate of interest)

These may not be all the terms you need to be considered ‘fluent’ in Spanish at a professional level. Nonetheless, knowing and understanding how and when to use these words will make a huge difference.

Now, let’s continue with phrases that will make your life easier when writing a business e-mail or scheduling a meeting:

  1. ¿Cuándo nos podemos reunir? – When can we meet?
  2. Estoy disponible para reunirme el… – I can meet with you on…
  3. Te escribo para confirmar que… – I am writing to confirm that…
  4. Necesitaría consultarlo con mi socio. – I would need to speak with my business partner.
  5. Por favor envíanos una propuesta. – Please send us a proposal.
  6. Aceptamos los términos y condiciones. – We accept the terms and conditions.
  7. Espero atento(a) a tus comentarios. – I look forward to hearing back from you soon.

It is important to note that Spanish is a very rich and dense language. Thus, it will take a lot of time and effort on your part to fully grasp it. But, in case you are planning on applying to a marketing or sales position, I also came up with a list of phrases that in my experience, have proven to be incredibly useful:

  1. El lanzamiento del producto esta pautado para… – The product’s launch is scheduled for…
  2. El departamento ‘XYZ’ se esta encargando. – The ‘XYZ’ department is taking care of it.
  3. La factura fue enviada el… – The invoice was sent on…
  4. Debemos mejorar nuestro servicio al cliente. – We need to improve our customer service.
  5. Hemos recibido quejas en relación a… – We received several complaints regarding…
  6. Debemos desarrollar una campaña para las redes sociales. – We need to develop a social media marketing campaign.
  7. Hubo un problema con… – There was a problem with… There is a wide range of useful resources available online, most of which are free.

So, if you truly want to be proficient at Spanish, I suggest you take some Spanish classes by Skype.

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