Yeah, right! - Writings by Brian Murdock

Confesiones de un Estudiante de Español,Madrid

September 7, 2011

My Friend Spanish: Saying Goodbye

Ever since Arnold Schwarzenegger (this I love…his last name is included in Word’s spell check, but not “ain’t”) deftly proved that he was one of the world’s finest Spanish teacher, more than one newcomer to this country lands thinking that everyone says his catch phrase when departed.  Then they learn otherwise. 

        Do people say it?  Well, yes.  Do the Spanish even add the “baby” in honor ofHollywood’s finest robotic tough guy?  You bet.  That’s what I mean when I say he’s a topnotch educator if he can get native speakers to speak like him…and he’s Austrian-born. 

        How do the Spanish bid each other farewell?  Quick, five, four, three, two, one…got it.  You all said adios

        And you’re right. Though only in part.  Adios basically means “good bye”, but it also suggests you may not see that person again…that day…that week…ever.  It would be a perfectly fine way of departing from this world.  A simple, taut, well-uttered, “Bueno…adios” before dropping your head on the pillow. 

        Another option is the old “hasta luego”, which roughly translates as “see you later.”  That’s a good one and quite common.  It’s just impossible to say it the way the Spaniards do.  They say something along the lines of “Ta luego” or even to my aging ears “Talogo”.  Finally there is the indescribable grunted version which somehow everyone understands.  It’s true.  You can depart from a café, for example, and give a nice loud “Hasta luego” and no one responds because they didn’t understand you.  Then some geezer takes a final gulp of his liqueur, plants the glass firmly on the counter and mumbles “Tlo” and everyone shouts back “Venga, Pepe, adios.”  It’s perplexing…it really is.  But maybe the Spanish feel the same way when they hear “Sup?” for “What’s up?”. 

        Well, it’s Fashion’s Night Out! And they’re calling me from below the balcony.  La Moda awaits me!  I’ve got my jeans and T-shirt and ratty old topsiders to show them what a good old-fashioned preppy look is like.  Gotta go.  Ta-luego!

          Ora Pro Nobis..yet again.

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