HomeQ&AOjalá versus esperar....

Ojalá versus esperar....

1
vote

Hey y'all. Somebody throw me a lifeline on this. I am getting Ojalá que sí. as I hope so. Also I am translating
Ojalá que no. as I hope not. The common verb I know for hope is esperar. What is the distinction? Or am I off on my translation? Is there something cultural here I am missing? Thanks for the help.
Vance

20184 views
updated ABR 2, 2010
posted by Vance-Moore2

8 Answers

2
votes

James Santiago said:

It has nothing at all to do with God or religion in modern Spanish, any more than "good-bye" does in English (it originally meant "God be with ye").

That's a very smart reply, James. Imagine a foreigner learning English who sees this "good-bye" thing for the first time, but he can't find anything exact in his language if he tries translate it word by word, so he enquires in a forum, and someone gives this poor foreigner a detailed historical explanation about "God being with you", so he concludes that this is clearly a religious kind of expression used by believers. "Ojalá" is no different.

updated JUN 8, 2010
posted by lazarus1907
1
vote

Daniel said:

My dictionary's also define Ojalá as "I hope so", I really wish". However my understanding is to means "I hope to God" also. Since I am a beginner I am staying away from using this word, and sticking with "Esperar".

Daniel, you should not avoid this very common phrase. It has nothing at all to do with God or religion in modern Spanish, any more than "good-bye" does in English (it originally meant "God be with ye"). You really can't speak Spanish like a native without this phrase, so I encourage you to practice using it.

Vance, another way to consider the distinction is that "Ojalá que sí" can be thought of as meaning "May it be so." Of course, that sounds stilted in English, but the Spanish is perfectly natural and colloquial. I'm just giving it to you as a way to think of the difference.

Ojalá que les ayude.

updated ABR 2, 2010
posted by 00bacfba
0
votes

to me, God willing does seem more religious than Ojalá.

Yes, you are right about that. I would never say "God willing" (except in jest), because it is an explicit reference to religious belief, whereas ojalá and good-bye have no such connotation.

By the way, "God willing" is "si Dios quiere."

updated FEB 11, 2009
posted by 00bacfba
0
votes

I apologize if my explanation led people to believe that Ojalá is a strictly religious saying. I don't think that I have ever heard it used in a religious setting or context. In English I have heard people say "God willing" many times and never thought of it as being something religious, more that it was something that the person said out of habit. I attribute the same amount of religious connotation in 'Ojalá' as I do in 'God willing' in my own personal understanding of the word.

Although, I do admit that, to me, God willing does seem more religious than Ojalá.

updated FEB 11, 2009
posted by Nathaniel
0
votes

Very simple: "ojalá" does not have an exact equivalent in English, so it is pointless to try to find an exact word by word translation that makes sense. In a nutshell,

Ojalá + (que) = I hope (that)

or even:

Ojalá + (que) = I really hope (that)

That's the best translation you can make, even though word by word it is not. One does not think of God while saying "Ojalá...". It is the same as saying "Espero que...", but more emphatic.

updated FEB 10, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

Ojalá is a word that stems from when the Moorish conquests in Spain. Think, "Oh Allah" to help you remember that it means "God willing". In normal English usage, it would be used much like "I hope" in the example of "Ojalá que sí" (I hope so), but is really more like "God willing that it is so".

updated FEB 10, 2009
posted by Nathaniel
0
votes

My dictionary's also define Ojalá as "I hope so", I really wish". However my understanding is to means "I hope to God" also. Since I am a beginner I am staying away from using this word, and sticking with "Esperar".

updated FEB 10, 2009
posted by Daniel
0
votes

Ojalá basically means "God willing". Espero means "I hope".

updated FEB 10, 2009
posted by Nathaniel
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