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I speak a lot with a girl in Venezuela and want to return her affection a little without jumping strait to "hola mi amor!" (which is not descriptive of our relationship... yet).

It is being said to someone I am good friends with, like a lot, and would likely date in the semi-distant future.

Basically words that would communicate affection, to confirm to her that we are on the same page, but not words that would be used exclusively between lovers or novios. (I am not trying to speed the relationship up, just keep it on course)

hope that made some sense =)

  • Posted May 16, 2008
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6 Answers

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Hola, Pancho. (Pancho is to Francisco as Bobby is to Robert.)

You need to write exactly what you want to say, and then we can try to translate it for you. If it's a lot, you need to try translating it yourself first, and we can make corrections.

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you could say: Hola linda... which would be like Hello pretty...
Cariño= honey (but I think that would be too much for you)

um, why don't you write in English what you want to say... That would be a lot easier... I could tell you many phrases but I don't know exactly what you want so...
would be easier if I translate =)

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Muchos Gracias James y Vicky.

Sorry, Since some short phrases are harder to translate word for word I had thought it would

be easier you to leave things open ended, not harder!

A few examples might be

hey hun
hey beautiful
hello dear [hola querida]?
hello my dear (this construction in English makes a bit like a casual greeting)

...Of course depending my tone of voice when I say most of those in English, it could sound

like it was being used in a serious committed relationship or just said by two people who like

each other a lot.

I don't think cariño would be going too far, it has come up a few times in recent conversation (hola cariño).
On the other hand, A very good friend of mine who is from Ecuador said to me "gracias cariño", and I KNOW she wasn't meaning it with any of the relational overtones an English speaker would normally associate the word...

I'll flip things around then and ask for clarification on a few Spanish words and phrases:

hola mi cariño VS. hola mi querida , which one is stronger? or is it that simple smile

querido VS. querida , the dictionary for querida notes "mistress" as one part of the meaning. I have a feeling my total lack of knowledge on Spanish grammar is catching me here and its not a masculine / feminine issue at all.

how strong is Amado/a? Since amante is a lover (likely an affair), and both words look like they came from the same root as amor, I'm assuming very strong...

hola linda = hello pretty" would hello beautiful be "hola bella" or "hola linda"? (slightly different overtones I think in English, but seems likely they could be combined in Spanish.

usage of guapa? dictionary has it as slang for beautiful girl, but I'm guessing theres some more shades of meaning there that I'm not seeing.

"mi precioso" - I am assuming this would be used for fairly serious endearment, not a "light" word.

I noted a usage for "corazón" as "dearest". If one were to use corazón in speaking about another person, I gather this would communicate extreme fondness and or romance.

Thanks for your patience! Hope that makes things a bit easier smile


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I know this isn't what you want, but I really think you should start by taking a class in Spanish, or at least study on your own. The words of love can be tricky, even for native speakers, and it will help you enormously to have at least a tenuous grasp of Spanish.

For example, you say "querido VS. querida , ... I have a feeling my total lack of knowledge on Spanish grammar is catching me here and its not a masculine / feminine issue at all." But it IS a gender issue, and if you call your female friend querido it will sound very awkward.

To get you started, though, I suggest you just call her querida. It's a nice word that isn't too strong (since you say your relationship is still in the early stages), and can be used with a wide range of intensity. Once you progress in your Spanish and your relationship, you can move on to more intimate terms such as mi vida and mi amor.

Good luck with the Spanish and the gal!

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Gracias James.

I have already begun aggressively studying Spanish. However I never learned formal English grammar rules (or the terminology behind them!) because I was a voracious reader when I was young and instinctively knew how it should "sound." Unfortunately, I never learned the reasoning behind why it sounded that way (the rules), since I already knew how to say it properly. Because of this, my initial progress in Spanish has been very slow, but will take off at an exponential rate once I have heard enough of the language to get a feel for how things should sound. (which is not nearly soon enough!)

jaja, sí, the language of love can be tricky even to English speakers, and it appears to me that Spanish has more shades of meaning than English! Sadly a more thorough grasp of Spanish is far enough away that I will have to make do as best possible until then. =)

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You obviously have a good command of English, and I am certain that learning Spanish will teach you a lot about English grammar rules, which is a nice bonus!

Read lots in Spanish (try kids' books at your library), and if you have questions, ask them here!

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