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Lesson Transcript

Buying Prepaid Cell Phone Cards in Mexico
Most people wouldn't or couldn't step outside without their cell phones, and some countries might not be covered by your local cell phone carrier. Even if your carrier covers Mexican territory, the fees could be too expensive, so you should consider buying a prepaid phone card for your cell phone.
These prepaid cell phone cards are sold in kiosks and phone operator offices. You can find different phone operator offices in any mall or supermarket. These packages include a SIM card with PIN and PUK codes, and of course a Mexican phone number. You can insert the SIM card into your mobile phone, and use it with your new Mexican cell phone number. How easy is that! That is what we will focus on in this lesson.
The Spanish expression for “prepaid cell phone card” is tarjeta de prepago.
Let’s break it down.
tar-je-ta de pre-pa-go
Once more:
tarjeta de prepago
The first word, tarjeta, means “card”.
(slow) tar-je-ta.
Then we have the word de, which means “of”
At the end there is the word prepago, which is translated as “prepaid”.
(slow) pre-pa-go.
The whole expression is:
tarjeta de prepago
Remember it refers to a SIM card, that offers you access to a prepaid service.
Therefore, in order to ask "Do you sell prepaid cell phone cards?" say: ¿Vende tarjetas de prepago?
Let’s break it down:
¿Ven-de tar-je-tas de pre-pa-go?
Once more:
¿Vende tarjetas de prepago?
The first word, Vende, is translated as “do you sell”
(slow) Ven-de.
Next we have the phrase tarjetas de prepago. As we learned before, it means “prepaid cards” in English. In this case, the word tarjeta is in plural: tarjetas, to fit in the context of the sentence.
(slow) tar-je-tas de pre-pa-go
tarjetas de prepago
Altogether, we have "Do you sell prepaid cell phone cards?"
In Spanish: ¿Vende tarjetas de prepago?
The answer to this will be sí which is “yes” or no which is “no”. If they do have the cards, you'll want to ask for one.
Let’s try to ask for “one prepaid cell phone card”.
Una tarjeta de prepago, por favor.
(slow) Una tar-je-ta de pre-pa-go, por fa-vor.
Una tarjeta de prepago, por favor.
Una means “one” in a feminine form.
Once again:
Una tarjeta de prepago, por favor.
Usually, the new prepaid cell phone cards have 100 pesos. If you plan on using the phone a lot, that probably won't be enough for you. In that case you’ll have to recharge it. In order to do that, say:
Quiero comprar tiempo aire.
This literally means, “I want to buy air-time”, and does not make any sense in English. But that is the common way to ask to recharge your prepaid cell phone card in Mexico.
(slow) Qui-e-ro com-prar ti-em-po a-i-re.
Quiero comprar tiempo aire.
The first word, quiero, means “I want”
(slow) qui-e-ro.
Next we have the verb comprar, which literally means “to buy”.
(slow) com-prar.
It’s followed by the word tiempo, which means “time”
(slow) ti-em-po.
At the end we have the word aire, which literally means “air”.
(slow) a-i-re.
Once again:
Quiero comprar tiempo aire.
We know that we can not translate this sentence literally, but in English the meaning would be: “I want to recharge my prepaid cell phone card”.
Then, he or she will ask you the number. You can just write it down, or you can practice saying the numbers in Spanish, one by one.
Let’s imagine you want to recharge your account with “100 pesos”, or cien pesos. In that case, you say:
Quiero hacer una recarga de cien pesos, por favor.
Let’s break it down:
Qui-e-ro hacer una re-car-ga de ci-en pe-sos, por fa-vor.
Once again:
Quiero hacer una recarga de cien pesos, por favor.
Quiero, as we learned before, means “I want”
Hacer is the verb “to do”
(slow) Ha-cer.
Next we have una recarga, that means “a recharge”
(slow) una re-car-ga
una recarga
De cien pesos is literally translated as “of hundred pesos”.
(slow) De ci-en pe-sos
De cien pesos
And finally por favor, which means “please”.
Here’s the entire sentence:
Quiero hacer una recarga de cien pesos, por favor.
This literally means, “I want to make a hundred pesos recharge, please.”
For a “200 pesos” recharge, you just have to change the value in the sentence. Instead of cien, say doscientos.
(slow) dos-ci-en-tos.
The whole phrase will sound like this:
(slow) Qui-e-ro ha-cer una re-car-ga de dos-ci-en-tos pe-sos, por fa-vor.
Quiero hacer una recarga de doscientos pesos, por favor.
To close out today's lessons, we’d like you to practice what you have just learned. I’ll provide you with the English equivalent of the phrase and you’re responsible for shouting it out loud. You’ll have a few seconds before I give you the answer, so !buena suerte! which means “Good luck!” in Spanish.
“Pre-paid card.” - tarjeta de prepago.
“Do you sell prepaid cell phone cards?” - ¿Vende tarjetas de prepago?
“One prepaid cell phone card, please.” - Una tarjeta de prepago, por favor.
“I want to recharge my prepaid cell phone card.” - Quiero comprar tiempo aire.
“I want to make a hundred pesos recharge, please.” - Quiero hacer una recarga de cien pesos, por favor.
Alright! That's going to do it for this lesson. Hasta luego.