Culture around Spanish language

32 Most Common Names in Latin America & Spain

A part of the culture of each country is hidden behind the names of its inhabitants. The etymology behind the most common names in Latin America and Spain can tell you about the history of not only each country, but of each people.

Over the centuries we can see that the most common given names in Spain vary very little and that even today we still prefer to be traditional and preserve the culture that defines us.

There are some organisations that help you to know the history of each name or surname so that you can learn a little more about your origins or those of a person important to you. Sit down and read today’s article about the identity of people in Spain and Latin America.

Common Male Names in Spain

As time goes by, we see that most common first names in Spain are repeated almost year after year and through generations. Although we are in a time when foreign names are on the rise, most families still choose to preserve the exclusive and original identity of their origins:

1. Antonio: there is no Spanish family without an Antonio! However, its feminine variant, Antonia, is not so common.

2. Manuel: in regions such as Andalusia, this name is poetry.

3. José: biblical names are still a classic.

4. Francisco: a name that accompanies great Spanish literary figures, such as Francisco de Quevedo.

5. David: has gained ground in recent years to enter the list of the top ten most popular names for men.

6. Juan: as with our number one, there is no family that does not have a Juan among its members.

7. Javier: a mixture of phonemes in a singular name.

8. Hugo: nothing traditional about it but has become very fashionable.

Most Popular Female Names Spain

The most frequent names for women in Spain have evolved further since many of the traditional names have negative connotations because they are derived from the patron virgins of each municipality.

9. María: I’m sure you’ve guessed this one. The explanation is that, at the time of baptism, the priests “advised” that girls should have this name, now it’s just a tradition.

10. Carmen: a name that is becoming more and more common among Spanish girls.

11. Ana: a very international and beautiful name.

12. Laura: names with diphthongs add a musical rhythm that makes you fall in love.

13. Isabel: it seems a bit obvious because of the historical background.

14. Sofia: royalty made it fashionable.

15. Pilar: the patron saint of Spain gives her name to many girls in the country.

16. Dolores: traditional name par excellence that gave rise to the diminutive Lola, widely used internationally.

Most Popular Boy Names in Latin America

It is difficult to generalise when talking about Latin America, as it is made up of many countries in a vast territory, but here is a list of common names found in many Spanish-speaking countries in the New World.

17. Carlos: exported from Spanish royalty, very common in many countries.

18. Luis: a name with a diphthong that adds a sweet rhythm to any man who bears it.

19. Alejandro: an international name with a very powerful meaning.

20. Miguel: usually passed down from father to son in a gesture of tradition and tenderness.

21. Pedro: biblical name that identifies a multitude of boys in Latin America.

22. Fernando: very common combined with another middle name.

23. Eduardo: name coming from the Spanish high society and very widespread in the New World.

24. Joaquín: at last, a name with a hiatus makes it to the lists.

Common Names for Women in Latin America

Many of the most common names for women in Latin America coincide with those in Spain, nevertheless we have been a little more poetic so that you can understand the diversity of Latin America:

25. Carolina: an international name in its Spanish variant.

26. Andrea: although in some Mediterranean countries it is used as a masculine name, in Spanish it is a woman’s name.

27. Gabriela: like other names on the list, it is imported from Spanish high society.

28: Natalia: very popular name, especially in the southern countries.

29: Valentina: imported from Italy.

30. Patricia: name with a catchy rhythm.

31. Daniela: there is also the masculine variant, Daniel, very extended that could be easily added to the male list.

32. Jessica: most probably influenced by the United States.

iScribo in Cultural Diversity

Many names in Spain and Latin America are combined to form compound names, such as José Antonio or Ana María. A long time ago, people of a higher social status would name their kids with up to seven names, that’s right, seven! One was the name they wanted to give the baby, followed by the name of the father or mother, grandfather or grandmother, priest who baptised the baby, godfather or godmother and even an uncle or aunt.

This also coincides with the compound surnames that are still used today by people with noble titles. iScribo embraces the cultural diversity of Spanish. Our tool detects different registers and corrects your documents according to your linguistic needs. Have you tried it yet? Tell us about it in the comments.

Spanish as a language

Rules for Masculine and Feminine in Spanish

Learn what determines masculine and feminine in Spanish today. Some words just need to change the ending to the root but others follow a completely different pattern.

The rules for masculine and feminine in Spanish are easy if you learn them in a logical order. In this article we are going to focus on nouns, adjectives and determiners. Read on so you don’t miss out on the most basic tricks that will always work for you.

Gender of Nouns in Spanish

As a general rule, masculine nouns end in -o (perro, libro – dog, book) and feminine nouns end in -a (playa, motocicleta – beach, motorbike).

As an exception, nouns ending in -e are sometimes masculine and sometimes feminine. To find out which gender they are, you will have to practice:

Masculine: padre, hombre, valle (father, man, valley.)

Feminine: madre, noche, torre (mother, night, tower.)

You will also find that almost all nouns ending in -ción and -sión are feminine: canción, ilusión (song, illusion.)

How to Make Adjectives Feminine in Spanish

In this case it is easier because the adjective will agree with the same gender as the noun.

For example, if we have “árbol” (tree), a masculine noun, the adjective that accompanies it will also be masculine: “viejo” (old).

The exceptions (of course, there are always exceptions to the rule in Spanish) are made up of adjectives that are invariable in gender and number, for example: “grande” (big), “excepcional” (outstanding):

Ayer vimos una película excepcional.

(Yesterday we saw an exceptional film.)

El coche de Pedro es excepcional.

(Pedro’s car is outstanding.)

The Masculine and Feminine in Articles

As with adjectives, determiners agree in gender and number with nouns in Spanish.

Whether they are determinate or indeterminate, we will agree the determiners with the noun:

La estrella que ves en frente brilla más a final de mes.

(The star you see in front of you shines brighter at the end of the month.)

Un barco velero siempre navegará más despacio.

(A sailing ship will always sail more slowly.)

When we have gender neutral nouns in Spanish, i.e. gender-invariant words, we agree the determiners according to the context:

El miembro del parlamento llegó tarde.

(The member of parliament was late.)

La miembro del club de madres ha organizado un acto benéfico.

(The member of the mothers’ club has organised a charity event.)

iScribo And Inclusive Language

Although we have to generalise with the use of masculine to proceed to the formation of the feminine in Spanish, there are always some tricks to use neutral words that include the whole. Although most languages follow masculine patterns, it is always in our hands to help with the social evolution of the language to the most inclusive way. Do you know how to use the masculine and feminine in Spanish? Our spelling and grammar checker corrects your documents in real time – it’s the best way to help you write perfect Spanish! Have you tried it yet? Tell us about it in the comments.

Culture around Spanish language

16 Useful Phrases for Shopping in Spanish

Shopping in Spanish language is a fun experience. Every trip should include a shopping day strolling through boutiques to discover what’s hot in the country you’re in these days.

Travelling with friends? Even better, a great day of shopping is always more rewarding if it is shared. At iScribo today we teach you some useful phrases for shopping in Spanish with a guide to help you succeed in a funny day after tourism. Mind the planet! Don’t forget to shop sensibly.

Useful Spanish Shopping Words

1. ¿Dónde se encuentra la tienda de deportes?

(Where is the sports shop?) Or the perfume shop, your favourite fashion shop… It doesn’t matter, you can always change the noun to suit your tastes.

2. Buenas tardes, ¿tienen este pantalón en la talla cuarenta?

(Good afternoon, do you have this pair of trousers in size forty?) Replace the trousers by any other garment or accessory and by your size. Also, remind to convert the size with an accurate chart, sizes differ from countries.

3. Disculpe, ¿esta camiseta está en color rojo?

(Excuse me, is this T-shirt in red?) Choose your favourite colour and the garment you like the most.

4. ¿Me puede indicar dónde se encuentra la sección de caballero?

(Can you tell me where the men’s section is?) Or women’s, children’s, accessories… You have a range of possibilities depending on what you most need or what you are looking for.

5. ¿Dónde está el probador?

(Where is the fitting room?) Of course! You should check that the garment fits you well because when you finish your holidays it will be difficult to return it.

To Be Fashionable

6. ¿Qué accesorios se llevan esta temporada por aquí?

(What accessories are in season around here?) Dress like the locals! There’s nothing more fun for a tourist than immersing yourself in the culture of the country you’re in.

7. Busco unos zapatos que combinen con todo.

(I look for shoes that go with everything.) Sometimes the simplest thing is the most practical. You can apply this philosophy to any country.

8. ¿Qué me recomienda que me lleve?

(What do you recommend I take?) There are times when it is difficult to choose or you just don’t feel like it. Let yourself be carried away by the recommendations of the shop staff, you won’t regret it.

9. Necesito un sombrero pequeño, ¿dónde puedo encontrarlo?

(I need a small hat, where can I find one?) Don’t forget that the sun is treacherous in the summer months and protect your head from sunstroke.

Let’s Be Practical

10. Perdone, ¿cuándo empiezan las rebajas?

(Excuse me, when do the sales start?) Of course, the summer sales are to be taken advantage of, so find out when the shops have wonderful discounts.

11. Este pantalón, ¿lo tienen que tela más fina?

(Do you have other trousers with a thinner fabric?) Don’t be surprised by the summer heat with a fabric that is not appropriate for this season.

12. ¿Cuánto cuesta este artículo?

(How much does this item cost?) More than useful information.

13. ¿Se puede pagar con tarjeta o tiene que ser en efectivo?

(Can I pay by card or do I have to pay in cash?) Find out about payment methods to avoid last-minute surprises.

14. ¿Puedo probarme esta prenda?

(Can I try on this garment?) For hygienic reasons, there are items that you cannot try on, so it is better to ask before you make a mistake.

15. ¿Me puede dar el recibo?

(Can I have the receipt?) Many people call it a ‘tique’, which is a synonym for receipt. You will need it if you regret what you have bought or if you have tried it on again and you are not convinced.

16. Muchas gracias por su ayuda.

(Thank you very much for your help.) When you help us with our purchases, you are making our task easier than we think. Always be kind, you will see that the results are better and there is nothing like making someone’s day.

iScribo and the Correct Use of Spanish

Speaking and writing well in Spanish is essential wherever you are to preserve and spread the good use of the language. There is nothing more gratifying than a long day of shopping knowing that you have used the language as it deserves to be used. These are small, everyday tests that encourage you. Writing and speaking Spanish well is in your hands. Try our Spanish spelling and grammar checker. It also suggests improvements and synonyms, so you can learn as you write. Use it with any type of document and Spanish register, you will see that its results will surprise you. Have you tried it yet? Before you go, can you tell us in which Spanish-speaking countries you have been shopping?

Culture around Spanish language

20 Tips In Spanish For Going to a Restaurant

Whether it is for business or pleasure, when visiting a country, going to a local restaurant is highly recommended, sometimes even mandatory. Do you want to go to a restaurant? There are phrases to order in a restaurant in Spanish that can be key to a completely satisfactory experience.

Language problems can lead to miscommunication and, therefore, an unpleasant situation that could have been avoided.

Read on to discover some tips on how to order food in a restaurant in Spanish so you only have to worry about preparing for your trip. Discard and avoid all the unnecessary stress of being in a foreign country and stepping out of your comfort zone. Eating abroad can be an unforgettable experience as many of the memories we create often come from the cuisine.

First Steps

Do you wonder how to ask for something at a restaurant in Spanish? Decide what type of restaurant you want to visit – you can ask someone who has already traveled to that country or friends you know who live there.

1. ¿Qué restaurante me recomiendas?

(Which restaurant do you recommend?)

2. ¿Hay algún restaurante cerca que sirva comida típica?

(Is there a restaurant nearby that serves typical food?)

Once you know where to go, we are going to give you some tips on booking a table in a restaurant in Spanish as you don’t want to wait, sometimes a long time, for the terrace to become free:

3. Me gustaría reservar una mesa para hoy a las 20 horas para tres personas.

(I would like to reserve a table for today at 8 pm for three people.)

4. La reserva es a nombre de Pedro Martín y mi número de teléfono es 123 456 789. Gracias.

(The reservation is in the name of Pedro Martin and my telephone number is 123 456 789. Thank you.)

Once at the Restaurant

5. Buenas tardes, tengo una reserva a mi nombre.

(Good afternoon, I have a reservation in my name.) This way you won’t have to wait for an available table.

6. ¿Nos puede traer agua mineral, por favor?

(Can you bring us some mineral water, please?) Water is a must for a meal.

7. ¿Tiene la carta de vinos?

(Do you have the wine menu?) If you wonder how to order how to order in a restaurant, think first that there is nothing more typical than accompanying a meal with a good local wine.

8. ¿Cuáles son las especialidades de la casa?

(What are the house specialties?) You’ll want to try the local specialties.

9. ¿Tienen algo fuera de carta?

(Do you have anything off the menu?) The local market always surprises the locals with some fresh product to prepare something special that day.

During the Meal

10. ¿Puede traernos otra botella de vino?

(Can you bring us another bottle of wine?) Conversations and after-food conversation in Spain, for example, can last a long time!

11. ¿Podría pedirle otro plato para acompañar este?

(May I ask for another dish to go with this one?) Don’t leave with an empty stomach…

12. Perdone, ¿sería posible pedir este plato sin cebolla?

(Excuse me, would it be possible to order this dish without onions?) Most restaurants adapt to the tastes and needs of the diners.

13. ¿Cuál es el postre típico de la zona?

(What is the typical dessert of the area?) Try what they recommend, it is always the best.

14. ¿Nos puede dar la carta de postres?

(Can you give us the dessert menu?) You will surely find some homemade liqueur to go with your favorite sweets.

15. ¿Tienen café descafeinado?

(Do you have decaffeinated coffee?) Maybe you don’t need more energy for the rest of the day.

Before you Go

16. Muchas gracias por todo, la comida estaba buenísima.

(Thank you very much for everything, the food was great). A good meal in the best company is always appreciated.

17. ¿Nos puede traer la cuenta, por favor?

(Can we have the bill, please?) The most unpleasant part of a meal… isn’t it?

18. ¿Podemos pagar por separado?

(Can we split the bill, please?) A trendy thing to do.

19. ¿Podemos pagar con tarjeta?

(Can we pay by card?) The most convenient way to go out nowadays.

20. ¡Hasta la próxima, volveremos pronto!

(See you next time, we’ll be back soon!) There is nothing more satisfying for the restaurant than expressing gratitude. But, mind you, say it only if you really mean it and intend to come back, there is no need to lie.  

iScribo and the Diversity of Spanish

Bear in mind that each Spanish-speaking country is different, so when it’s time to go to a restaurant, think that the vocabulary of a restaurant in Spanish varies from one area to another. For example, in Spain we call the person who works in the restaurant and serves the food “camarero/a” while in Venezuela they are called “mesero/a”.

Remember to always ask and communicate with kindness no matter what country you are in. Spanish-speaking countries generally make their living in the service sector, so the workload is usually high. iScribo helps you improve your written Spanish, which you can then practice speaking. And you, do you know more phrases to order in a restaurant in Spanish? Have you ever identified the difference in words from one Spanish-speaking country to another? Have you already tried iScribo? Tell us about it in the comments.

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