In our first or second week in Granada, one of my friends from IES came to me and said “Haley, I don’t understand it. Whenever I see my neighbor in the street I say hi and she says ‘Hasta luego!’ I don’t understand…does she not like me?”
The only reason I wasn’t as perplexed as she was was because I’d encountered something similar before. Five years ago I lived in Oaxaca, Mexico for a summer. I remember walking through the town the first day, and having every single person who walked by me say, “Adios!” I remember the questions I asked myself: Was this their weird way of saying they already didn’t like me? That they were glad we were each going our separate ways? I still remember exactly how they pronounced it: Adiooos! Musically, with an extended ‘o’ and an upward swinging pitch that emphasized the last syllable.
The way they pronounced it was actually pretty important, because it clarified that the salutation/goodbye is actually a contraction of the phrase “A Dios.” The phrase literally translates to ‘to God’, but means something more along the lines of ‘Go with God.’ What they were doing was blessing me as I passed.
‘Hasta luego’ is similar, I explained to my friend. It’s an expression that not only makes more sense when you’re passing in the street, since hi or hello is more of an introduction and invitation to conversation, but it also expresses a nice sentiment when you think about it. ‘See you later’ implies I will see you later. The ‘hasta luego’ makes separations only ever temporary.
More Blogs From This Author
<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Haley Stewart was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, and is currently a Comparative Literature Major at Williams College in Massachusetts. She was lucky enough to be in a Spanish Immersion program from preschool thru high school, an experience which left her a fluent Spanish-speaker, a lover of Latin-American literature and an avid traveler. She's used her Spanish in many ways since, from teaching computer classes in Oaxaca, Mexico, to volunteering at an organization for low-paid farm workers in Oregon, to her classes on Spanish literature and history at Williams. Haley's most recent travel experience, a month and a half long trip to England on a travel fellowship from Williams, hiking alone through the beautiful Lake District in the footsteps of the Romantic poet Wordsworth, has left her even more excited to explore Granada. A lover of Federico Garcia Lorca for many years, Haley looks forward to not only walking, but living, in a city full of such poetry, music and magic.</span></p>