Spanish Proficiency Exercises
Role-play: Call to make an appointment to see the manager.

Simplified and native speakers:

• Simplified example
• Carlos M.
• Stefano F.
• Analucía M.
• William R.
• Jorge C.

.m4v (iPod) downloads
Click red links to download .m4v files for use in iPod:

• Simplified example
• Carlos M.
• Stefano F.
• Analucía M.
• William R.
• Jorge C.

Subscribe to iTunes podcast: sup09
Subscribe to podcast: sup09

Key vocabulary for this task

Example phrases for this task

Grammar points for this task

Simplified Example
"Si necesito reunirme con un gerente..."
Carlos M.
Puerto Rico, San Juan
"Sí, Buenos días señorita..."
Stefano F.
Perú, Lima
"Si necesito tener una reunión con un gerente..."
Analucía M.
Colombia, Bogotá
"Buenas tardes. Si es que quisiera una cita con el doctor Gonzalo..."
William R.
Honduras, Tegucigalpa
"Aló. Muy buenas tardes..."
Jorge C.
México, Nuevo León, Monterrey
"Hola, bueno días, hablo para hacer una cita..."
arreglar   to fix
ahorrar   to save money
asegurar   to secure, to ensure
brusco (adj)   rude
cariñoso (adj)   loving, kind
cita (f)   appointment
concertar una cita   to schedule an appointment
empresa (f)   business
filtro (m)   filter
gerente (m)   manager
ingeniero (Ing.) (m)   engineer
jefe (m)   boss, chief
paciencia (f)   patience
platicar   to chat
por tal o cual   so and so
presionar   to pressure
previo (adj)   previous
reunirse   to meet
tratar   to treat someone, to try something
último recurso (m)   last resort
Para reunirse con un gerente de alguna empresa es imperioso hacer una cita con su secretaria. In order to get together with a manager of some business making an appointment with his/her secretary is imperative.
Generalmente las secretarias son la clave para tener acceso a los gerentes. Secretaries are generally the key to getting access to managers.
Para hacer una cita es posible llamar por teléfono a la secretaria o acudir en persona a las oficinas del gerente. In order to make an appointment it's possible to caal the secretary or visit the manager's office in person.
Otra posibilidad es utilizar el correo electrónico o hasta el fax para comunicarse con la secretaria o el gerente mismo. Another possibility is to use email or even fax to get in touch with the secretary or the manager him/herself.
A veces funciona muy bien invitar a comer a la persona que se desea ver para asegurar una pronta respuesta. Sometimes it works well to invite the person that you want to see to lunch in order to assure a quick response.
Generalmente hay que insistir mucho para poder concertar una cita con un gerente. It's usually necessary to insist a lot in order to set up an appointment with a manager.
Hay que saber tener paciencia. You have to know how to have patience.
El trabajo en una empresa puede ser tedioso. The work of a business can be tedious.
Los gerentes tienen mucha responsabilidad a su cargo. Managers are in charge of a lot of responsibilities.
Hay que hacer las cosas personalmente para que salgan bien. You have to do things your self in order for them to turn out well.
Talking on the Phone

Without a doubt, making a phone call in a foreign language is one of the most difficult tasks for a non-native speaker. This anxiety comes not only from the reduced sound quality that a telephone conversation implies, but also the speed with which natives of the language speak on the phone. Furthermore, you may not know the appropriate vocabulary for your specific call. In what follows we will first look at some helpful suggestions for speaking on the phone in general, and secondly, we will review some common expressions that you might need to speak about your health.

A. Suggestions for speaking on the phone:

1. Spanish speakers answer the phone in distinct ways in different parts of the Hispanic world. In Spain, for example, the most common expression is, "Dígame." In Mexico, "Bueno," is most common. In many other parts of Latin America, "Aló" predominates.

2. When you call someone it is very common to first say, "Buenos días" or "Buenas tardes," or "Buenas noches," depending on what time of day you make your call.

3. For a formal telephone conversation you should ask for someone by using one of the following expressions:

¿Me podría comunicar con el señor Allende, por favor? Could you put me in touch with Mr. Allende please?
  ¿Sería posible hablar con el director? Would it be possible to speak with the director?

4. If you have trouble understanding the person with whom you are speaking, use one of the following expressions:

Perdón, no hablo español muy bien, ¿podría repetirlo por favor? Excuse me, I don't speak Spanish very well, could you repeat it please?
  Disculpe, no entendí lo que dijo usted. ¿Me lo puede decir más lento por favor? Sorry, I didn't understand what you said. Can you say it more slowly please?

5. Using formal commands during a phone conversation is very common. Some of the most common expressions include:

Dígale, por favor, que me llame lo más antes Tell him, please, to call me as soon as possible.
  Déjele un recado por favor. Pídale al se&ntidle;or Garay que me encuentre en mi despacho a las tres. Leave him a message please. Ask Mr. Garay to meet me in my office at three o'clock.