Learn Spanish by taking public transport

Personas en una parada de ómnibus, en La Habana. Foto: Otmaro Rodríguez / Archivo OnCuba.

1. Learning Spanish the Cuban way

Do you want to learn Spanish in Cuba by taking public transport? It may sound weird, but believe us, it’s totally possible! Cubans are super-friendly and outgoing, so you’ll always have the chance to talk to them and learn some new phrases. And the best part? You can do it while waiting for the bus!

In Cuba, people spend a lot of time waiting for public transportation, which means that you’ll have plenty of opportunities to interact with locals. You can meet people of all ages and backgrounds, and who knows, you might even make some new friends!

2. Cuban Phases

Now, let’s talk about some of the phrases that you’ll hear while waiting for the bus. First up, “¿El último?” This one is used to find out who was the last person to arrive at the bus stop, so you know who you’re standing behind in line. You can also ask the person in front of you, “¿Detrás de quién estás?” which means “Who are you behind?” This way, you can keep the line in order and make sure that everyone gets on the bus in the right order.

If you want to know what time the bus will arrive, that’s a tough one. Buses in Cuba are notoriously unpredictable, so you might not get a clear answer. But you can always ask, “¿Hace mucho que pasó el último?” which means “Has it been a long time since the last bus passed by?” This way, you can get an idea of when the next one might arrive.

3. Tips for travelling in Cuba

Once you’re on the bus, there are a few more phrases that you’ll need to know. For example, “Chofe, abre atrás…” which means “Driver, open the back door…” This is used when someone hasn’t been able to get off the bus or if there are people waiting to get on through the back door.

When it’s time to get off the bus, you can ask the people in front of you, “¿Se queda en la otra?” which means “Are you getting off at the next stop?” If they say yes, you can stay where you are. If not, you’ll have to ask for permission to move forward and get off the bus.

Overall, taking public transportation in Cuba can be a great way to practice your Spanish and get a taste of the local culture. So don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with a friendly local next time you’re waiting for the bus