Posted on May 27, 2019 |
When you travel to Antigua Guatemala or any other Spanish-speaking city, one of the first things you have to know is how to ask for prices and costs. Each country has its own idioms, but in general we share some basic terms.
If you are in Guatemala, you will notice that there is a way of talking when it comes to shopping that varies a little depending on the place or business type. For example, purchasing something in any regular shop is not the same as it is in the local-market for instance… asking for the cost of a handicraft to a street vendor is different than asking for the price of a dessert in a restaurant.
There is also a custom of asking for a discount or negotiating a price in Antigua Guatemala, negotiating for a discount in Guatemala is called "regatear". Regatear is common in the market, but you can not do this in a shop, restaurant or hotel where the prices are final.
The questions in English is : How much for this item?... or What is the price for this one?, but in Spanish, there are three ways to ask the same question, please attention to the differences between the three of them :
Negotiating a price or a cost at the local-market or with a street-vendor requires a different question, perhaps there is no literal translation to these, but we will try to explain each one so you can understand how and when to use them. When it comes to ‘regatear’, you should ask for the regular price first, to then say :
Whenever you pay something, if paid in cash, you would expect the ‘change’. The correct translation for ‘change’ is CAMBIO. In shops, art shop and galleries, restaurants and hotels in Antigua Guatemala, the same as a guesthouse in Antigua Guatemala, you will hear the word ‘cambio’, for example… “Aquí está su cambio” (Here, the change), or if you are in a coffee shop and wish to leave a tip, you would say “Quedese con el cambio” (Keep the change). There is another very popular word for ‘change’ in Guatemala, this is “VUELTO”. The word VUELTO comes from ‘vuelta’ or ‘regreso’ (as return). The concept behind is simple… if you pay something in cash, you are giving money to someone, that person will then “return” the difference of the value of the good that you have purchased with the cash that you have just handed. This returned money is called ‘vuelto’. The word VUELTO is commonly used at little stores, markets and by most small businesses.
As simple as it seems, understand how to ask for prices can be a bit tricky and it is good to know the small differences that apply according to the place. These details are part of the culture of Guatemala and the Spanish language.