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I encourage anyone who is interested in bringing a team to Panamá to take a look at the FAQs below.
See common Spanish phrases, with recorded examples, along with humourous translation tips below.
If there is a question you would like answered, but don't see it there, please let me know.

I encourage team leaders to contact Assemblies of God World Missions, and especially the Short-Term Trips page.
Prior approval and insurance coverage are mandatory to receive US teams in country.
For youth pastors, visit the AG Ambassadors in Missions (AIM) site.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) for Teams ministering in Panamá

Click on any question in the following list to see the answer. If your question isn't answered here, please contact us.

What languages do they speak in Panamá?     [TOP]

What about translation?    [TOP]

Here are a few of my suggestions to make translation of testimonies, teaching and preaching more effective:

* Testimonies:

* Translation:

* Check out this humorous look at translation on a missions trip.

What are Immigration visa requirements to enter Panamá?     [TOP]

What about crime safety?     [TOP]

How is the food and water in Panamá?     [TOP]

What about hotels?     [TOP]

How much does transportation cost?     [TOP]

What's the weather like?     [TOP]

What is appropriate dress for different occasions?     [TOP]

What about money, overall trip expenses?     [TOP]

What about electrical power?     [TOP]

What about: taxes, tipping, taxis, window-washers, beggars?     [TOP]

What do you as a missionary want us as a team to know most of all?     [TOP]

Thanks for your interest in bringing a team to minister with us in Panamá. Feel free to contact or e-mail us.


Spanish Phrases     [TOP]

Click on the Spanish phrase link in the left column to hear a recording in wave format.

The English translation is in the right column.

Spanish phrase English translation
Dios le bendiga God bless you (formal)
Dios te bendiga God bless you (informal--to a child)
A Su Nombre -- Gloria! ¡To His Name -- Glory!
A Sus Hijos -- Victoria! To His Children -- Victory!
¿Dónde está el baño? Where is the bathroom?
¿Cómo se llama? What is your name (formal)? - or - What is it called?
¿Cómo te llamas? What is your name (informal--to a child)?
Hermano, Hermana Brother, Sister (in Christ, or in the same family)
¿Cómo se dice? How do you say?
¿Qué es esto? What is this?
¿Cuánto cuesta? How much does it cost?
Más barato cheaper!
¿Cuál tamaño? What size?
pequeño, mediano, grande, equis large, extra grande (sizes) small, medium, large, extra large, extra large
¡Hola! ¿Cómo está? Hi! How are you (formal)?
¡Hola! ¿Cómo estás? Hi! How are you (informal)?


Tips for Translation     [TOP]

Hopefully the following will never happen to you when you come to minister with us here in Panamá. But it has happened to others...

I hope you enjoy this little skit. Feel free to use it for your team preparation.

TEAM MEMBER (looking directly at Translator, and not at the audience, speaking too fast) TRANSLATOR (confused or lost at times)
Tell them I am just tickled to death to be here. (long pause) I'm not sure why but he said something about scratching himself until he dies.
When you asked me at lunch to speak to you today, I had butterflies in my stomach. At lunch I ate some flies that got into my stomach before speaking today.
But now I'm really happy to have this opportunitiy to be with you. It's OK. I'm really happy to have a chance to eat with you.
I'd like to talk with you today about the contextualization of theology in the Third World setting. I'd like to talk to you about a text from another world.
But first let me share with you my testimony. First I want to share my .....???
When I was a kid... When I was just a small goat...
I didn't understand the implications of what Christ did for me when he died on the cross. I did not understand what happened when Christ died at the intersection.
But then He convicted me of sin through His Holy Ghost. But a ghost arrested me for it.
I had been a real lady-killer. I lived a life of sex, booze, and drugs. I had killed a lady. (another pause) I'm too embarrassed to translate the other part he just said. But then he took medicine and got better.
He set me free. I was let go.
He made me a new creature. I was made into a new animal.
(excited, faster and LOUDER) Now I have a new life. My past is forgiven. I am part of the body of Christ. They are my family. I'm so excited. I want to tell you, and everybody, all about it! He's very happy. Please clap for him.

My thanks to the Project Compassion Team for allowing me to use, and edit, this material they gave me.