SPANISH PHRASES I LOVE & ADORE

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.


¡ANIMA!

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.

¡A TOPE!

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!

HASTA AHORA

=”until now.”

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.

QUE FUERTE

= “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.

QUE BISNES

=”what business”

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! 🙂

Un Saludo,

Mags

Views from a recent trip to the south of Fuerteventura

MY FAVORITE MEMORY WITH MY UNCLE TOM

Hearing bad news about a family member while I am so far away from home is one of my worst fears. This week, my Uncle Tom passed away suddenly from a heart attack. I don’t really know the best way to process this information, but because I can’t be with my family right now, I want to share with you one of my favorite Uncle Tom memories:

When my brother, Mike, and I were little, we would sometimes spend summer weeks with our Uncle Tom while my parents went on vacation by themselves (rude of them). We didn’t mind that my parents were away though because we always had fun when we were with Uncle Tom.

One summer day, Uncle Tom wanted to take me and Mike to the pool. For whatever reason, his swim club was closed when we arrived, so Uncle Tom cultivated a Plan B. He drove us to the nearest Hilton instead. Uncle Tom escorted us straight through the lobby of the Hilton and to the hotel’s pool. Because we were not Hilton residents, we did not have a room key to access the pool deck. However, there was an open notebook near the entrance of the pool that listed room numbers, and with his quick wit, Uncle Tom peeked at that list before telling the lifeguard on duty our “room number” and stating that his wife will be coming down shortly with the room key. I was so excited to join this acting expedition, but I think Mike almost peed his pants. The lifeguard let us into the pool area, no questions asked, and we swam for a while until my brother couldn’t take the pressure any longer. We eventually left the pool in fear of tarnishing his good conscious.

On our way out of the hotel, we must have made a wrong turn because we found ourselves, wrapped in our towels, with dripping wet bathing suits and squishy flip flops in the midst of a wedding reception.

I will always remember my Uncle Tom how he was on that day; adaptable, clever, and entertaining.

I only wish during the past couple of years, I spent more time with my Uncle Tom. He was a big part of my childhood, making the most delicious deep fried turkey on Thanksgiving (almost blowing the house up on numerous occasions) and always bringing the best dessert to Christmas Eve dinner. The week before I left for the Canary Islands, I had dinner with all of my Philadelphia relatives, including Uncle Tom. I sat next to my Uncle Tom, and we had intentional time to catch up after a busy 4 years of college with not too much time spent together. I’m lucky I had this moment, and I wish so much that it was not the last one.

Uncle Tom, my Mom, Mike, and me in Rittenhouse Square Park on the wedding day of my Aunt Heather and Uncle Chris.

Reach out to your loved ones you haven’t spoken to in a while. See how they are doing. Remind them you love them.

Un Saludo,

Mags