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Menos Mal

1
vote

What is the best English translation for the phrase "menos mal". I have seen "thank goodness", "it could have been worse" and "thank heaven". Or are all three correct depending on context'

6207 views
updated DIC 6, 2011
posted by Eddy

10 Answers

2
votes

They could all be correct in certain situations, but for me, the most general-purpose translation of this is "(it's a) good thing."

40 minutos para salir y menos mal porque me tienen hoy.... ¡¡la cabeza loca!!
40 minutes until I leave and it's a good thing, because today they are driving me nuts!

¡Uy, estos tacos son horribles! Menos mal que son gratis.
Ah, these tacos are horrible! Good thing they're free.

updated DIC 7, 2011
posted by 00bacfba
1
vote

Gus said:

At least, but it does not work in all cases

El carro esta viejo menos mal que trabaja

the car is old, at least it works.

In Spain we would say something like:

Este coche está viejo/es viejo. Pero al menos anda.

This would be "at least" .

I don't see how you can use at least for menos mal.

updated DIC 7, 2011
posted by 00494d19
1
vote

Gus said:

El carro esta viejo menos mal que trabaja

Nitpicking O'clock here: you need either a colon or a full stop after "viejo"; otherwise, it is almost impossible to read.

updated DIC 7, 2011
posted by lazarus1907
1
vote

Does any one thinks that "menos mal" changes meaning depending on how it is use'

updated DIC 6, 2011
posted by 00769608
1
vote

You could always try with "fortunately" "luckily" for "menos mal" too, but I think that James' option is likely to be the most versatile one (when it comes to translations, I think twice before arguing with him).

But in any case, it is best to understand exactly how words work in a language rather than memorizing translations. This interjection is used to express relief because there is something positive that can prevent some potential or expected problem.

updated DIC 6, 2011
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

lazarus1907 said:

Gus said:

El carro esta viejo menos mal que trabaja

Nitpicking O'clock here: you need either a colon or a full stop after "viejo"; otherwise, it is almost impossible to read.

Taking up your lead here Lazarus, you have typed neither.

updated NOV 17, 2008
posted by Eddy
0
votes

menos mal is very interesting phrase ( to me,anyway)
I'll think about it during the day. I might come out with something.
Like my mother used to say, "qué será, será".

Heidita said:

Gus said:

At least, but it does not work in all casesEl carro esta viejo menos mal que trabajathe car is old, at least it works.

In Spain we would say something like:Este coche está viejo/es viejo. Pero al menos anda.This would be "at least" .I don't see how you can use at least for menos mal.

>

updated NOV 14, 2008
posted by 00769608
0
votes

Thank you

lazarus1907 said:

Gus said:

El carro esta viejo menos mal que trabaja

Nitpicking O'clock here: you need either a colon or a full stop after "viejo"; otherwise, it is almost impossible to read.

>

updated NOV 13, 2008
posted by 00769608
0
votes

Gus said:

At least, but it does not work in all cases

El carro esta viejo menos mal que trabaja

the car is old, at least it works.

That's a good one, Gus. Thanks for mentioning it. And in your example, my "good thing" wouldn't really fit as well.

updated NOV 13, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
0
votes

At least, but it does not work in all cases

El carro esta viejo menos mal que trabaja
the car is old, at least it works.

updated NOV 13, 2008
posted by 00769608
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