Spanish for Business Communication: Essentials You Must Know

Learning of foreign languages is extremely important for business development, because the process of globalization is very fast today. Spanish language is considered one of the most impactful and easy languages to learn for business. However, even if you want to start learning Spanish, you should not do it on your own, especially if you need business Spanish. In this case, you will need a professional Spanish teacher who will help you not only grasp the basics of Spanish grammar but also pay attention to some peculiarities of business communication with Spanish people.

The Peculiarities of Business Communication with Spaniards

Business communication always differs from everyday interaction, because business partners pursue their own goals. In addition, it is extremely important to make a nice first impression, because it influences the whole process of business negotiations. Good knowledge of Spanish language is your advantage in negotiations with Spaniards, because all of them like their mother tongue. However, you should pay great attention to the following peculiarities:

Face-to-face communication.

Although the invention of the Internet made everyday interactions much easier, many people still prefer face-to-face communication, and Spaniards are among these people. Therefore, if you want to solve a serious issue that needs a long discussion, you should be ready for the meeting with your Spanish partners. Otherwise, it will be very difficult to avoid different problems, because Spaniards like close contacts with their partners, and you must know about it. So, face-to-face communication with Spanish partners should be at the first place for you if you want to get excellent collaboration.


Nowadays, Spanish language is considered the most impactful and easiest language to learn for business needs. However, even this simple fact is not a reason to neglect Spanish grammar. Spaniards are very proud of their culture and language as well; they may excuse you for some light mistakes, but if your level of Spanish leaves much to be desired, it would be better to choose English or any other language for negotiations. By the way, many Spaniards know not only English, but French or German too. So, you have relative freedom of choice while interacting with them.

In addition, try not to lay excessive emphasis on the pronunciation or grammar mistakes of your Spanish partners. First, it is very impolite. Second, Spanish people are very quick-tempered and may not excuse such behavior. Hence, it is necessary to avoid such situations, especially if you want to continue and develop your business relationships.

Moreover, all Spaniards speak their mother-tongue very fast. You, as a non-native Spanish speaker, can hardly maintain such a rate. Therefore, ask them politely to speak slowly and don’t forget to excuse for the rate of your Spanish as well.      

The necessity to wait for an answer.

Another peculiarity of business communication and negotiations with Spaniards is that you should be very patient. Although people from Spain and Latin America are considered hotblooded persons, it doesn’t mean that they are fool or indiscreet. Therefore, if you want to get the results of negotiations quickly, you may forget about it. Unfortunately, Spanish people like to think a lot, especially if a potential decision is important to them. So, you will have to wait for an answer for a long time, and you should be ready for it.

In addition, you should be ready to answer all their questions about your business suggestions, because they are very attentive to different details and don’t like any hidden pitfalls. So, try to be sincere, and you will have excellent Spanish business partners.  

Non-verbal communication.

It is important to say some words not only about language itself, but also about non-verbal communication. Spaniards are very sincere people and prefer to get the same business partners; therefore, try not to avoid direct eye-contact. Otherwise, it can be evaluated as a sign of your deception. Moreover, it is necessary to avoid some gestures that are typical for Americans. For example, American “O.K.” (a circle of the first finger and thumb) is considered obscene in Spanish-speaking countries. Therefore, never use this gesture in communication with Spaniards.

As you can see, Spanish language and business communication in it are not that simple as they seem. However, you may learn Spanish just for fun with the help of different channels on YouTube.


Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.