"Looking forward to . . ."

1
vote

What's the Spanish equivalent for the phrase "I'm looking forward to . . . " - not the literal translation but the meaning.

Examples:
We're looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow.

See you tomorrow. Looking forward to it.

92533 views
updated FEB 22, 2017
posted by larsonjkl

12 Answers

5
votes

Quizás pueda decir . . nos vemos mañana. No puedo esperar. Ojalá que venga pronto . . . o algo así.

Again: "look forward to" does not have a direct cultural translation, so don't be surprised if someone try to approach your bed after a poor "look after" translation.

It is not just the meaning, but the cultural issues involved. I have looked at many "looking forward" sentences before, and I would have used over a dozen different ways of saying the same thing, if I had to convey the same meaning and connotations. We just don't talk the same way you do:

If you use the wrong expression, it could sound as using some sexual overtones.

If you use the wrong expression, it could sound as if you have an anxiety obsession.

The right balance between obsession and acceptance exhibits a wide range of possible expressive alternatives, and you have to find the right one in each language. You can't find a "look forward to" in Spanish that works all the time: wrong language; wrong culture.

Welcome to the forum, larson.

As you can see, this is an expression that just doesn't translate well, because of differences in culture. Rather than stick your foot in your mouth, it might be better to play it safe and say less than you want to, or to stick with something you know to be safe. I'm glad that Lazarus happened upon your question before some less scrupulous person misguided you with a one-size-fits-all answer.

Here are a few more ideas, and Lazarus or another native speaker can help us understand what connotations they have in their culture, or tell us if they sound totally foreign:

Let's say a class you are attending just dismissed and you are talking with a fellow student or the teacher. You might say something like, "Nos vemos/Espero verlo mañana. {Sé/Estoy seguro de} que será de provecho." This gives the idea that you are looking forward to learning from/with the person tomorrow.

Maybe you are on a trip with a group of people that you have had a good time with, and you look forward to enjoying their company/having fun with them tomorrow. You might say, "Nos vemos mañana. Seguro que lo vamos a disfrutar/nos vamos a divertir/lo vamos a pasar bien."

You could be looking forward to the arrival of a group that is coming to help with a project, and you have high hopes for the outcome of the visit, so you might say, "Esperamos con expectación verlos a todos mañana," or, "Esperamos verlos mañana. Su visita nos hace mucha ilusión."

Lazarus said he can think of over a dozen ways to say the same thing, depending on the situation and the connotation one wants to convey. But for people like you and I, it is probably better to avoid most expressions that naturally come to our English-speaking mind so as not to come across as saying something we're not, like the connotations already mentioned (sexual, anxiety, obsession, childish excitement, etc.).

This is another good example showing that translation involves more than just pasting dictionary equivalents into correct grammatical format and syntax. It encompasses the whole idea of meaning and context, which cannot be divorced from culture. It takes years of interaction with native speakers (even better if in their native setting/environment) to begin to develop an understanding of this.

P.S.- I came across this dictionary entry. It gives a few more ideas for other contexts.
I don't know why this program keeps chopping off my link. Sorry, you'll have to click on this link, type in "look forward to", and click on the "Ingles >> Espanol" button.
http://diccionario.reverso.net/ingles-espanol/

updated AGO 4, 2016
posted by hhmdirocco
I've just stumbled across this Q/A for this particular expression. I've always avoided trying to say something like this so that I Don't put my foot in my mouth. Understanding the cultural issues helps a lot! Many thanks to both you and Lazarus!!! :)
4
votes

I typically use "looking forward to" in a positive way - something I'm happy about. To say "I'm excited" would be too much however, so I don't want to use Estoy feliz, alegre, contento . . . and estoy ansioso has anxiety mixed in.

It is not just the meaning, but the cultural issues involved. I have looked at many "looking forward" sentences before, and I would have used over a dozen different ways of saying the same thing, if I had to convey the same meaning and connotations. We just don't talk the same way you do:

If you use the wrong expression, it could sound as using some sexual overtones.
If you use the wrong expression, it could sound as if you have an anxiety obsession.

The right balance between obsession and acceptance exhibits a wide range of possible expressive alternatives, and you have to find the right one in each language. You can't find a "look forward to" in Spanish that works all the time: wrong language; wrong culture.

updated FEB 22, 2017
posted by lazarus1907
3
votes

Thanks. I've certainly said enough things wrong in Spanish . . .

Never enough... if you wanna learn. The more mistakes, the quicker you learn, so be happy about it.

Quizás [del]yo[/del] pueda decir . . nos vemos mañana. No puedo esperar. Ojala que venga pronto . . . o algo así.

Never say "yo"... unless your Spanish is so perfect, that you can confidently say "yo" without sounding weird (this happens less than 1% of the time).

"No puedo esperar" sounds as if you are going to have a heart attack, a nervous breakdown, or an unbearable night if you don't see the other person soon enough. "Ojalá (que) venga pronto" is like "I wish you come soon!", which is too dramatic in any case.

Again: "look forward to" does not have a direct cultural translation, so don't be surprised if someone try to approach your bed after a poor "look after" translation.

updated FEB 22, 2017
posted by lazarus1907
Is this true???? I've never heard that! Should I stop saying "yo"? >>>Never say "yo"... unless your Spanish is so perfect, that you can confidently say "yo" without sounding weird (this happens less than 1% of the time).
2
votes

There is no simple translation for "look forward to" in Spanish. Depending on the situation, you have to use one structure or another:

We're looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow = Esperamos (con impaciencia) verlos a todos mañana

See you tomorrow. Looking forward to it. = Nos vemos mañana. ¡Cuanto antes, mejor!

The second translation is rather personal, because I can think of several dozen possibilities, and none of them a perfect match for that sentence in all contexts. It all depends on what you really mean.

updated FEB 22, 2017
posted by lazarus1907
2
votes

You could be looking forward to the arrival of a group that is coming to help with a project, and you have high hopes for the outcome of the visit, so you might say, "Esperamos con expectación verlos a todos mañana," or, "Esperamos verlos mañana. Su visita nos hace mucha ilusión."

Expectation in Spanish is 'expectativa' o 'esperanza' and also 'expectation' but I wouldn't use 'expectación' like that. I think 'expectación' is more suitable for events, e.g.

"Gran expectación ante el Barcelona-Manchester United".

And perhaps 'ilusión' is not so suitable here, because it has a negative connotation: 'Esperanza que carece de fundamento en la realidad' (a sort of false hope) or a not so strong hope. Perhaps: 'Su visita nos entusiasma', but I'm not sure if that's what you want to say, perhaps is much better to say simply: 'Nos alegra mucho su visita, los esperamos mañana.'

'Ansiar' could be suitable, e.g. here: I'm looking forward meeting you! ¡Estoy ansioso por conocerte!

updated FEB 22, 2017
posted by Pablo_
1
vote

This is a fantastic thread on such a common problem for English speakers. So often when speaking in Spanish, my mind races for how to express the idea that I look forward to something. I'm sure everyone can relate. Great thread.

updated FEB 22, 2017
posted by malbecblend
1
vote

Agree, good thread.

I live in Mexico and speak both languages. I guess it is a cultural difference. But it's certainly not odd in Mexico or any other Spanish speaking country to say "I'm not just doing this project with you because I have to, I'm actually happy to have the opportunity to work with you." All of this is captured in the English phrase: I'm looking forward to working with you. People in Mexico don't shy away from telling people they enjoy working together. In fact, we hug each other. So I disagree that the difference is cultural. There's simply not a phrase to capture the sentiment, just like there's not a mechanism in English to capture the "plural you". In English, we get around this (awkwardly) by saying "you guys" or "you all" depending on where you're from. In Spanish, you could get around this by saying "Que bueno que tenemos la oportunidad trabajar conjuntos." In many cases, with translation, you have focus on the sentiment you want to convey and simply convey it in a different way. There are certainly huge cultural differences between English and Spanish speaking cultures, but the real sentiment behind "I look forward to" is not - to me - a cultural difference as much as a structural difference between the two languages. If there is a cultural difference, it's reverse: Spanish speaking cultures are generally MORE friendly, warm, and open to expressions of friendship and goodwill.

updated FEB 22, 2017
posted by jack_campbell
Welcome to SpanishDict. This thread is from 2009 though. I don't think they are still looking for answers.
1
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So can someone help me translate the following please: We all need someone to love, we all need something to do and we all need something to look forward to. Many thanks.

updated AGO 3, 2016
posted by vic5x5
1
vote

Google translate gives this.

We're looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow.

Estamos deseando ver a todos mañana.

updated AGO 3, 2016
posted by ian-hill
0
votes

Good question. as we cannot find an equivalent to this expression, the best idea is to look into how the native Spanish speakers conclude their letters or emails. In English, it is common to say Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow. In a casual Spanish email or letter you will find this expression: "con muchas ganas de verte mañana¨ or tenemos muchas ganas de verte mañana¨. this is a very friendly expression and has no obssessive connotation and you will not be misunderstood. Or simply ¨hasta mañana¨ this expression implies the looking forward to it. I hope this helps.

updated ABR 22, 2015
posted by anglar
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0
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Thanks. I've certainly said enough things wrong in Spanish . . .

Quizas yo pueda decir . . nos vemos mañana. No puedo esperar. Ojala que venga pronto . . . o algo asi.

updated JUL 20, 2009
posted by larsonjkl
0
votes

I typically use "looking forward to" in a positive way - something I'm happy about. To say "I'm excited" would be too much however, so I don't want to use Estoy feliz, alegre, contento . . . and estoy ansioso has anxiety mixed in.

updated JUL 20, 2009
posted by larsonjkl