As a digital nomad in Mexico, I created these short animations of conversations in Spanish inspired by real-life everyday scenarios. I hope these scenes help you prepare for some common situations when living in a Spanish-speaking country as an English speaker.

Shopping for my Size

If you are living in a Spanish speaking town, you will sooner or later need to go shopping for clothing. This conversation is a common interaction when shopping for clothing. I struggled with this the first few times I was looking for an item. It seems like a simple request but when your on the spot, it’s easy to come up with a blank.

Spanish Conversation – Shopping for my Size

Some important words and phrases to practice:

Shirt – la camiseta

Dress – el vestido

Pants – los pantalones

Shoes – los zapatos

Size – talla

Can you help me – ¿Me puedes ayudar?

Where are the dressing rooms? – ¿Dónde están los probadores?

Tools used in this animation:

Graphics – Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Character Animator, Adobe Premiere.

Audio – Audacity

Text to Speech –

Getting Smaller Bills at the Bank

Although Mexico is a very modern place, you will frequently want cash on hand to buy things from smaller mom-and-pop vendors. And often they prefer exact change. Given the cost of many things, a 500 bill can wipe them out of all their change on hand. You can get pesos easily at ATMs but you will be lucky to get smaller bills than 500’s. In my experience, it’s a good idea to break those large bills into smaller ones if you can. If you used an ATM connected to a branch office with customer service, I recommend taking your large bills inside and asking them to exchange for smaller denominations.

Spanish Conversation – Smaller Bills

Mexican Peso cash denominations:

20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1,000 pesos

Cash money – effectivo

Coins – monedas


One of the greatest service that you could find on almost any block is the Lavanderia or Laundry Service. As a digital nomad, I didn’t always have a washing machine. But even if I did, it’s so affordable and nice to drop off your bag of clothes and pick them up the next day nicely wrapped and folded. One thing I learned about the translation of “Manana” is that it could get confusing unless you clarify. Manana could mean tomorrow but it could also mean the morning. I imagen that this confusion could happen in plenty of other situations as well. Let me know if there’s a better way to not mistake the meaning. This script covers a typical process of taking your laundry in to get washed. They will weigh your load to come up with the price. You’ll give them a name. And you’ll get a receipt that you don’t want to lose if you want to get your laundry back.

Spanish Conversation – Lavanderia

Keep the Change

There are many ways to say “Keep the change”. This is just one way. Here are a few more ways:

“Quédate con el cambio.”

“Guárdate el cambio.”

“Quédese con la vuelta.”

“No hace falta que me des el cambio.”

“Déjate el cambio.”

Spanish Conversation – Keep the Change

Ordering Coffee

I get nervous enough ordering coffee at an English-speaking cafe. So ordering a simple black coffee at a busy coffee shop in Mexico for me was intimidating enough. Get comfortable with your favorite beverage name before you order and you’re 90% there. Get your ears familiar with this simple script where a customer orders coffee in Spanish.

Spanish Conversation – Coffee Shop