If you spend enough time in Spain, at some point you may find you need to ask for help. After all, we all have accidents or health problems, natural disasters or fires occasionally happen and, if you’re not careful or in the wrong place at the wrong time, you may even end up being the victim of a pickpocket. (Let’s hope not, but it could happen).
So, if you are in Spain and need help, how do you ask for help in Spanish? Because, let’s face it, an awful lot of Spaniards do not speak great English, and you are in their country, so you really need to know.
How to ask for help in Spanish
There are several words you can use for ‘help‘ in Spanish, depending on the situation you find yourself in.
The most common Spanish word for ‘help’ is ‘¡Socorro!‘. It’s from the Spanish verb ‘socorrer‘, which means ‘to come to the aid of‘, and that’s often the best one to use if you’re in a bit of distress or have a medical problem. Spaniards will usually rush to help you, and to try to find out what’s wrong.
¡Ayúda! is similar but means ‘help me‘, and can be used if you want to be a bit more specific. It comes from the Spanish verb ‘ayudar’, which means ‘to be of help to yourself or someone else‘.
And, if you are not the one needing help while in Spain, you may hear a Spaniard shout ‘¡Auxilio! — (which is pronounced something like ah–ook-see-leeoh).You will also see the word included in the phrase ‘Primeros Auxilios’, which means ‘First Aid’, and is printed on every First Aid box.
In a tight situation, or in a bit of a crisis, any of these words will do, though, as just about any Spaniard will understand something not so positive is happening and you really do need their help.