Putting a smile on the faces of locals during your Stag weekend requires very little effort, and it makes all the difference to those pulling your pints, serving your breakfast or listening to your unique brand of charm while waiting in a nightclub toilet queue at 3am.
Here are some easy-to-remember, quickfire words and colloquialisms specific to the various Stag destinations we offer, giving you a guaranteed head start on forging positive communications with your hosts, and helping to grease the wheels of your weekend’s overall success and enjoyment.
Call it Karma, call it courtesy, call it whatever you like, but a bit of forward thinking in this department goes a long long way to how you remember the trip in 5 or 10 years’ time…
If you’re in Bratislava, try saying Prosim (Pros-eem) when you ask for something. It means “please”, and it will go down extremely well. Similarly, when you receive whatever it is you’ve requested, try saying Díky (Dee-Kee), or ďakujem (da-koo-yem), both of which mean “thank you” in Slovakian. You could use only those two or three words and still ‘Wow’ the locals, such is the low expectation of most countries with regards to English-speaking Stag parties trying their language. If a few beers gives you more courage, try saying Jedno Pivo Prosim (Yed-no Pee-vo Pros-eem), which is “a beer, please”, and if you’re really in full charm mode how about trying si krásna (shee krashna), which is Slovak for “you are beautiful”. Learn all four of these terms and you’ll be handed the keys to the city before you leave.
In Bucharest, the Romanian term for “please” is vă rog (var roj), whilst “thank you” is vă mulţumesc (var mul-choo-mesh). Again, just using those two phrases will make you incredibly popular with your hosts, but if you want to go further then we recommend trying eşti frumoasă (esh-tee froo-mo-ass-ya) – “you are beautiful” – or doriţi să danseze? (dor-ee-tee shad an-say-zay) – “would you like to dance?” – or the rather gorgeous sounding noapte buna (no-ap-tay boo-na), which is the Romanian word for “goodnight”.
Should you find yourself in Tallinn, it will please all Estonians immensely if you try saying Tere (Te-ra), which simply means “Hi” or “Hello”. If you follow that up with eith or both of Palun (Pa-loon) and Aitäh (eye-tar), which are the words for “please” and “thank you” respectively, you are well on the way to becoming an honorary Estonian. Next up from those would be the rather straightforward Beer, Palun (beer, pa-loon) which of course means “beer, please”, and for the ambitious charmers amongst you why not have a crack at Kas soovite tantsida? (cash soo-vee-tay tant-see-da?), which is “Would you like to dance?”
Germany now, and for Stags partying in Hamburg, Berlin, Cologne, Munich, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf or Stuttgart, we asked our female colleagues in these locations to suggest phrases they especially like to hear being tried out by non-Germans. These include wie gehts? (vee gates?), which means “how are you?”; es war sehr lecker (ess var ser lecka), which is “that was delicious”; eine sehr schöne Stadt (eye-na ser shur-ne stat), which means “this is a beautiful city”; and the ultimate chat up line du hast ein schönes Lächeln (doo hast eye-n shur-ness lur-keln), which is German for “you have a beautiful smile”. If you want to keep things even simpler and still put over a positive image during your stay, there is also Danke (dan-ke) and Bitte (bee-ter) which are “thank you” and “please” respectively.
Perhaps you are headed to Poland on your next Stag? If you say Dzien dobry (jin dob-ray) in Krakow – meaning “hello” or “good morning” – or Dziękuję (jen koo-ye) in Poznan – meaning “thank you” – it will lead to smiles and nods of appreciation from your predominantly-attractive Polish hosts. Likewise, try saying Dobranoc (dob-ra-nots) – “goodnight” – in Wroclaw, or Rozumiem (ro-zoo-mee-em) – “I understand” – in Warsaw, and you will be met with genuine gratitude and admiration. For those intent on a major charm offensive, perhaps you could try this phrase in Gdansk, or indeed any of the five Polish locations we offer: Wyglądasz pięknie (vee-glun-dash pee-enk-ny-ay), which is a lot easier to say that it looks at first, and which simply means “you look beautiful”. Guaranteed winner!
The Hungarian language is fascinating, and offers so many beautiful turns of phrase. You don’t have to master it with an A level course before your Budapest Stag do to merit the respect from the locals either. Simply try out a few of these words and see what happens to the face of the street vendor, bar person or guide when you do: szia (see-a), which is “Hi”; kerek (ke-rek), which means “please”; koszonom (ko-sho-nom), which is “thank you”; Egeszsegedre (eg-esh-e-ged-ra), which means “Cheers!” when you raise your glass for a toast; and alsoSzeretne táncolni? (sh-er-et-ne tan-sol-nee), which means “would you like to dance?”
Slovenia next, and if you are lucky enough to spend time in Ljubljana, we highly recommend you try a few of these local phrases at some point, even if they are accompanied by the sort of customary finger pointing and exaggerated facial expressions that tend to accompany someone speaking in a foreign tongue when they’ve no real certainty of how it sounds to the recipient: Zdravo (z-dra-vo), which means “Hi” or “Hello”; Lepa si (le-pa see), which might sound a bit like “leprosy” but which does in fact mean “you’re beautiful” in Slovenian; Ljubim te (loo-beem tay), which means “I love you”, so needs to be used wisely; and also Zelim si te (ze-leem see tay), which is another one that should only be used if you are sure you mean it, and that is “I want you”. Fun times to be had if you master those four terms…
Many of you will already have been to Prague at some point, and many will no doubt go again, such is its pulling power for Stags especially. Next time you go, how about saying Prosím (pro-seem) when you ask for a beer, burger or lap dance. This means “please” and is recognised in many Eastern European locations as well as the Czech Republic’s capital. You can also see some of the overlap between Slovak and Czech with the word for “thanks”, which is dík (deek), or Jsi krasna (t-shee krash-na), meaning “you are beautiful”, as well as jedno pivo prosim (yed-no pee-vo pro-seem), meaning “a beer, please”; and also with Polish when it comes to phrases like dobre rano (dob-ray ra-no), which means “good morning”, dobrou noc (dob-row nots), meaning “goodnight” or jak se mate? (yak say ma-tay), which is Czech for “how are you?” and will go down a storm if you try it.
Rounding off our Eastern European suggestions are a few words in Croatian and Bulgarian, if you’re heading to either country for a long weekend and looking for simple ways to impress your hosts. For Zagreb, we recommend dobro jutro! (dob-ro joo-tro), which is “good morning”, Bok! (bok), which means “Hi!”, and Hvala (h-va-la), which is Croatian for “thank you very much”. For Sofia, please try one or more of these and see how appreciative the locals are when they hear you try their language: Dobro utro (dob-ro oot-ro), which means “good morning”, Kak si? (kak shee), which is “how are you?”,Doviždane (do-viz-dan-ye), meaning “goodbye”, Nazdrave (naz-drav-ye), which is one of our favourite Eastern European words and means “Cheers!”, and the rather painful sounding but very polite and courteous word for “excuse me”, which is Prostete (pros-tet-ay). All of these are guaranteed to help improve your time in either country and none of them require a PhD in language.
Finally, we come to two of the mainstays of hedonistic Stag celebrations over the years, and two countries with ample charms of their own. In the Netherlands’ capital of Amsterdam, if you want to put a smile on the face of your guide, bar person or taxi driver, try saying Alsjeblieft (al-shi-bleef-t), which means “please”. You might also want to try Dankjewel (dan-kye-vel), which sounds lovely and has more than a touch of crossover with German. It means “thank you” in Dutch. Another one requiring very little brain power to master is the word for “good morning”, which is Goedemorgen (gerd-er-mor-gen), and there is also Fijne dag nog(Fee-ny-ay dag noj), which means “have a nice day”. A few words and you just might make the day of the over-worked, over-stressed, under-paid Dutch man or woman you just spoke to!
Last, but by no means least, here are a few Spanish words to fall back on if you’re partying in Benidorm any time soon and looking for ways to make a good impression: Gracias (grass-ee-ass), which of course means “thank you”, Buenos Dias (bwen-oss dee-ass), meaning “good morning” or “good day”, Hola (ho-la), which means “Hello” or “Hi”, Adios (ad-ee-oss), meaning “goodbye”, and Una Cerveza, Por Favour (oo-na ser-vay-za, por fav-or), which is Spanish for “a beer, please”.
Try even one of these words on your next Stag, and you just might find what goes around comes around, with improved service, a kinder tone of voice and a winning smile greeting you in return.
Or just carry on shouting in English, louder and louder, while doing a manic mime that may make the local you’re talking to think you’re saying anything from “I need the toilet, desperately” to “I have just escaped from an asylum. Back away and call the Police immediately.”
Your choice, really.