Most Important Mallorcan words you need to learn
On Mallorca, the official languages are Spanish or ‘Castellano’ and Mallorcan ‘Mallorquí’. If we say that the Mallorcan language is a farmer-ish dialect of Catalan, we might provoke some arguments with locals. But as nobody local is going to read this (ed note: and this was written by a local), it’s just what it is. Its sound is a bit unpleasant, and the locals outside the city prefer to speak at a higher volume (understatement). Don’t worry, they’re probably not fighting. If you ask a local to speak slowly, they will probably speak just as fast but just a lot louder.
There are even 15 different accents/dialects of ‘Mallorquí’ on the island itself. Depending on which of the 4 words options you use for a ‘pea’ (xítxerro, estiregassó, pèsol, pitxo) one can tell what part of the island you are from. The accents do the trick as well, but we won’t get into that part.
As part of the experience on your trip, we’d recommend you to learn these phrases/words in Mallorcan, just for some fun and to draw a smile on the local’s face (and maybe get a free ‘chupito’ (shot) after your lunch). Instead of including the pronunciation, which is kind of a difficult task, we've made a video! Bona sort (Good luck)!
- UEP! Just to say ‘HEY’ or in an act of surprise or to salute. The entire phrase would be ‘UEP, com anam?’ Hey, how are you doing? Of course, there’s also the normal option of ‘Hola’, but that’s the standard option… VERY USEFUL on the road, this is how we say hello to fellow cyclists going the opposite way, or obviously when you pass next to one dropping him/her… “ueeeepp!!!)
- Bon dia = Good morning! (say it like you’re about to burp, or on a deep voice…)
- Bona tarda = good afternoon. After lunch (regardless of the time you had lunch)
- Bona Nit = good night.
- Adéu! Just ‘goodbye’, which literally means, ‘to God’. The short version is ‘DEU’ (short and loud, and in a deep voice, like BON DIA!)
- Gracis is ‘thank you’. Very similar to ‘Gracias’ in Spanish. ‘Moltes gracis’ thank you very much. You’re welcome, de res.
- Per favor = please. Like in Italian but lacking the final ‘e’, and then use the burping effect again.
- Cafè amb llet = Coffee + milk in format half-half
- Tallat = Coffee with just a splash of milk, like a Macchiato BUT, big but here, Mallorca is not Italy, so do not expect a perfect “caffè” everywhere you stop, and a cortado sometimes becomes a small café amb llet which is definitely not a macchiato. End of rant.
- Cafè Americà = Americano = Espresso + hot water added.
- Cappuccino, You got that, a Cappuccino... and typical from Mallorca,
- a Rebentat = coffee with liquor like for example the local ‘Herbes’
- Pamboli = an open face sandwich. Check our post about where to get the best ones.
- Tot recte = all straight
- Esquerra = left
- Dreta = right (not that we think you could get lost…)
- Ensaimada = a sweet coiled pastry served for breakfast... the Mallorca equivalent of a croissant.
There you go, now you know how to say hi, goodbye, how to order a sandwich and a coffee, and how to tell directions to other cyclists that are lost. We think you're sorted… Maybe you want to know a little more about pa-amb-olis now, or the coolest cycling cafés, or check that awesome drone video we filmed a few years ago...