I am a huge nerd for language if you didn’t already know. One of my favorite parts of being in Spain is discussing commonly used phrases with my Spanish friends and comparing them to their English counterpart. Some phrases don’t translate directly, and sometimes I find myself in situations where I just can’t find the words to express myself in English, and the Spanish language provides a more fitting response.
Let’s take a look at few of my favorite phrases:
TODO EL MUNDO
= “all the world”.
This phrase is commonly used in place of “everyone.” When I was in Spanish classes, I learned to use “todos” for “everyone,” but I think “Todo el mundo” just adds a little extra flair to this expression.
Ex. Todo el mundo va a la fiesta.
All the world is going to the party.
Honestly, I don’t know the direct translation for this word, but it’s along the lines of “liven up.”
This expression is used when you’re trying to cheer someone up or animate them to do something.
Ex. Estabas sentando en la sofa todo el dia. ¡Anima!
You’ve been sitting on the couch all day. Let’s go! Liven up! Cheer up! Animate yourself! etc. etc.
This is another expression that does not have a direct translation. It is something like, “all out,” “to the utmost,” “as much as possible.”
I’m not sure I always use it correctly, as it’s more of a colloquial expression. However, from my understanding, this is another way to animate a person or a group.
Ex. (tomando chupitos en una fiesta) ¡a tope!
(taking shots at a party) ¡a tope!
This expression is used when you are saying goodbye to someone but will see them later. I do not remember learning this phrase in Spanish class. I only remember “hasta luego,” or “see you later.” Hasta ahora and hasta luego can be used interchangeably. Needless to say, I was very confused the first time I heard this expression.
Ex. Voy al mercado. Hasta ahora.
I’m going to the market. See you later.
= “how strong”
This saying can be used for many situations. It has a positive connotation and indicates that you think something is cool or that you are surprised in a good way. This expression doesn’t always refer to strength like it’s direct translation suggests.
Ex. Mirra a las estrellas brillantes. Que fuerte.
Look at the bright stars. How cool.
This expression is special because it is unique to Fuerteventura. A teacher in my school taught me this phrase when I told her I studied negocios (business) in college. This saying is used when you make a good deal.
Ex. Yo compré esta cabra por solo 10 euros. ¡Que bisnes!
I bought this goat for only 10 euros. What a good deal!/What a steal!
These are only a few of the many phrases that I have learned here in the Canary Islands and the ones that come to the top of my head first. My arsenal of vocabulary is growing, and I am eager to keep learning.
Do you have any favorite phrases in Spanish or another language? I would love to hear them in the comments below! 🙂