Mallorcan words to know if you travel to Mallorca
In Mallorca there are two official languages: Castellano and Catalan. But here in Mallorca, we speak a dialect from the Catalan. The dialect changes some words compared with standard Catalan, and if you are a local you can notice perfectly if somebody speaks Catalan or Mallorquin (our dialect). Here are some essential Mallorcan words, expressions and phrases that will help you if you travel to Mallorca to get around the island, to make friends and to get more out of your experience of coming on holiday.
This is one of the most popular words in the Mallorcan language. It is very peculiar as it is impossible to translate because it doesn’t mean anything in particular, but we use it in many cases. Crazy, isn’t it? The closest word we can translate it to in English is “Hey”.
Let’s see some example:
- To say hello: “uep, com anam?” means “hi, how are you?” You really have to use this one when saying hello.
- It could be used in the sense of surprise. “Uep Toni, com has canviat” could be translated as “how have you changed toni” and the “uep” emphasises the feeling of surprise. For example, if you haven’t seen Toni for a while, and when you see him (by the way Toni is a name for a boy) you realise he has changed.
- “Uep, aixó está a punt de caure” meaning “careful, it is about to fell down”
In summer time if you are going for a swim to the beach or to the pool, and you want to sound as a local, then tell “men vaig a pegar un capfico” which means “I’m going for a swim / to get into the water”.
Saying hello and bye
These are some basic words to learn if you travel to Mallorca. These are used for the official greeting and salutations. We are sure that locals would appreciate you using them:
- How do you say hello in Mallorca? “hola”
- How do you say Goodbye in Mallorca? “adéu”
- Good morning: “bon dia”. If you want to be even more local, then use “uep, bon dia, com anam?”
- Good evening: “bon vespre”
On a matter of basic words, “gracis” is used for “thank you”, “de res” as “you are welcome” and “perdona” is used for excuse me.
Time for a funny word! “Rei” and “reina” mean literally “King” and “Queen”. How do we use these words in Mallorca? We use them as a name of affection, like you might use “love” or “darling” in English: “thanks darling”, for example. By referring to someone as “king” or “queen” (“rei” or “reina”) you are colloquially speaking with respect or affection. Don’t use this is a very formal situation.
Time to go to have something to eat
While English is widely spoken in most of the bars and restaurants in Mallorca, you might feel tempted to ask for the menu using some local words “Puc veure el menu?” (“May I see the menu?”). Please note that during the week in many local bars and restaurants they serve a “menu del dia”, which consists of a 3-course meal with drinks for great value for money (10-14€). Just before to start eating, we will say “bon profit” to wish all the diners a good meal. In English, it is often the French version of this that is adopted with “Bon Appetit”. If you are asked if you are enjoying the meal and you have a positive answer say “aixo es mel” which means that the food is delicious (this literally translates as “this is honey”!).
When it comes time to pay “Es comte per favor”. This will be lot better than just to make the gesture that you wish the bill by signaling the staff to close your check.
Another expression is “me pots possar un _____?” used for ordering anything you want: a drink, a coffee, a sandwich… We are sure that if you use it, it will blow the waiter away. And you can add at the end “per favor” which means “please”.
The above things we’ve mentioned about dining out are quite general, but if you want to actually eat a typical dish from Mallorca and order it in the local language then you have to ask for “pa amb oli”. Literally translated, this means “bread with oil” and is one of the most delicious and popular dishes you will find in Mallorca. It is a very basic and simple dish of rustic bread with locally produced oil and a topping such as “jamon” (“ham”) or “formatge” (“cheese”).
An expression when you are tired: Ses Cames me fan figa
If you come to Mallorca and you go on a walk, cycling, on a multiactivity… or on any activity that involves to do some exercise, and at the end of the day you are tired, you can use this expression. It means you are very tired.
So for example, imagine you have been on a cycling route and you are back at the hotel. When you go to the reception, you ask for your room key and the receptionist will ask you “how are you?” or “how was your day?”, you can answer them with this expression. We are sure, they will be impressed!
Going to a local market
If you go to a local market in Mallorca, you can learn some useful phrases such as “qué és això?” which means “what is this?” This can be very handy especially at the fruit and vegetable area because many of the products have the labelling in Mallorquin. Another expression is “Que val aixo?” or “Qué costa això?” or “quant costa?” which is the expression to ask for the price of the article.
Daixonar I aixo
If you manage to use these 2 expressions in Mallorca, you will get the pro level! In Mallorca when we don’t find the word to use, we have a solution, we use “aixó”. Loosely translated it means “this”. And furthermore, we convert it into a verb, “daixonar” when we can find the right verb to use. Are you lost?
Let’s do an example:
- If we want to say “pass me the salt” we would normally say “pasam sa sal”. But if we can’t remember the verb “pasam” for any reason, we can use “aixó” as a solution, so we will say “daixonem sa sal” which means “pass me the salt”.
- If you are already lost, then you will get even more lost now. When we don’t have word for the verb and neither for the salt, we say “daixonem es d´això” which means “pass me the salt” but thanks to the context of the situation, we perfectly understand it. In English you would rarely say “thingy me the thing” but it’s how the Mallorquin people sometimes speak.
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