Spanish Business Language and Culture

Next to Chinese, the Spanish language has the second highest number of native speakers throughout the entire world with around 400 million people. So it's no surprise that Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the United States and is a major language for business and career options worldwide.

In general, Spanish is a must if you want to work or develop business relationships in Spain or Latin America. In this article, we'll be talking about business language, culture, etiquette, and customs in Spain specifically. Learning how to speak and act in professional and business settings will definitely come in handy!

By learning about business Spanish and culture, not only will you be able to better communicate with potential business partners and colleagues, you will also have a better understanding of the country's customs and traditions.


What You Need to Know About Spanish Business Culture

Spain has a very rich history that spans over many centuries. As it began to flourish over the years, so too did the influence of Spanish culture begin to grow stronger and more prevalent throughout the world.

Just like with any other country, Spain has a certain set of values and customs that you'll do well to take note of and take some time to understand what's typically socially acceptable when it comes to professional and business settings.

1. Meeting Someone for the First Time

Spanish business etiquette is usually very friendly and even casual, so just try to relax and act naturally. Spanish people have always been characterized as being very warm and easy to get along with, so this is the type of approach that you should have while in the country. You can see this reflect in their greetings when they meet someone for the first time.

When meeting someone for the very first time, it is expected for you to perform a handshake as you normally would. For men, it's not uncommon for them to give you a pat on the shoulder or even give you a hug after the handshake. If this happens, simply reciprocate accordingly.

If you've spent any amount of time in Spain, you've probably already noticed that it is quite common for Spanish people to give kisses when greeting someone. Resist the urge to show off your knowledge of Spanish culture by giving someone a kiss during a business function. It may not be appropriate for that specific time and place so refrain from doing anything that might make you come across as rude. If a greeting kiss is appropriate for that particular setting, let the Spanish person be the one to initiate then just follow up in like manner.

2. Standard Business Etiquette

Just like in any other country, you are expected to act somewhat differently and more professionally when you are in a business setting than when you are in a normal social setting with your peers or friends.

One of the main things that Spanish people tend to value very highly is trust. That's why having business connections and contacts is so important in Spain. If you think about it, of course you would trust someone you met through a reliable referral over, as far as you're concerned, a random person you're meeting for the first time.

So depending on the situation, it might be a good idea to get to know someone first before trying to strike up a business deal with them. If you rush it and try to set something up before they have time to warm up to you, they might get scared off simply because they don't know you and have no way of knowing whether or not they can trust you.

Once you've put in significant time and effort to really get to know someone, and they've also had the chance to learn more about you, then you can start getting down to business. You'll be glad to know that all this work wasn't for nothing. In Spanish business culture, it's quite common for business relationships, once established, to span across many different jobs and companies. The reason for this is because Spanish people tend to value the relationships they've formed with certain individuals more so than the companies they work for.

The Importance of Business Spanish

Whenever you work abroad, you should always consider learning the language of that country. Learning business Spanish while in Spain is no exception. Not only does it help you communicate more effectively with potential business partners and clients, you will have a better understanding of the country's culture as a whole. While this is by no means a short-term endeavor and would take months if not years to achieve, the reward is most definitely worth it.

Spanish business-people would surely appreciate if you take the time to study their country and learn their language. It shows genuine interest and effort on your end and will more likely lead to a stronger business relationship. And let’s face it, when you work with a company or customers in that region, it's important for you to have things run as smoothly as possible. With knowledge of the Spanish language, you don't need to worry about the language barrier as you'll be able to properly express yourself and also understand what other people are saying.

If you're completely new to the Spanish language as a whole, it would be a good idea to start from the bottom up and learn the basics first. The good thing about Spanish is that it is a Romance language that uses the same Latin alphabet as the English language so you don't need to learn a completely new writing system. With Glossika, you'll be able to learn how to speak Spanish fluently in a natural way in a fraction of the time. This will give you a strong foundation for learning business Spanish.

We've listed out a few examples of business Spanish phrases and sentences that you can expect to come across during your business trips in Spain. This will give you a taste of what you can expect to learn with Glossika.

English Spanish
Nice to meet you. Encantado de conocerle.
Here's my business card. Esta es mi tarjeta de visita.
I'd like to meet with you tomorrow. Me gustaría reunirme con usted mañana.
What day is good for you? ¿Qué día le va bien?
Will you be at work tomorrow? ¿Estará en el trabajo mañana?
Are you free now? ¿Está libre ahora?
Can I talk to you? ¿Puedo hablar con usted?
I'll be right there. Allí estaré.
What's your schedule like? ¿Cómo es su horario?
Could we change it to next week? ¿Podríamos cambiarlo a la próxima semana?
When do you want to meet? ¿Cuándo quiere quedar?
Where do you want to meet? ¿Dónde quiere quedar?
I'll see you there. Le veo allí.
What did you need to see me about? ¿Por qué quería verme?
Please be more clear. Por favor, sea más claro.
May I ask what it's regarding? ¿Le puedo preguntar sobre qué?
That's not a good day for me. Ese no es un buen día para mí.
I'm afraid I can't. Me temo que no puedo.
May I speak with ...? ¿Puedo hablar con...?
May I ask who's calling? ¿Puedo preguntar quién llama?
Would you mind calling back later? ¿Le importaría llamar más tarde?

🇪🇸🇲🇽 More Spanish Learning Resources

In the end, it’s safe to say that learning more about business Spanish and culture is crucial if you want to work or do business in Spain. With Glossika, you'll be on your way to familiarizing yourself more and more with the Spanish language until you're completely fluent and can carry out a conversation in professional settings without the slightest bit of difficulty.

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