Tuesday, March 5, 2024

When you understand English and Spanish you can haha and jaja

Let’s dive into the world of Mexican laughter.

As you may know, Mexicans have a great sense of humor, and when they laugh about something, they not only laugh, but they often finish the funny moment with an expression that you sure wanna know because you’ll hear it regularly. So, how to say that something was funny without the typical, haha, or jaja for that matter? 

Imagine you’re hanging with your friends, and you catch wind of a joke that hits right. That’s when you drop the classic “¡Qué risa!” which is like saying, “what a laugh!” Now, if what you heard was not just funny but had a touch of brilliance, you’d throw in a cool “buenísimo.” It’s like giving a virtual high-five to the genius behind the humor. Mexicans love to emphasize the fact that they are having a great time in the conversation. Additionally, qué risa is commonly used to fill up an awkward silence after a big laughter, as if the person was reminiscing about that funny moment and thinking out loud just to start a new conversation.  

Then there’s “qué divertido,” the go-to phrase for anything that brings a smile. It’s like saying, “That was a blast!” Whether it’s a cheeky comment or a hilarious situation playing out, this phrase is your golden ticket to acknowledging the good vibes.

Now, when you’re spinning a yarn about some crazy, laugh-out-loud moment from the past, you drop the bomb with “estuvo de risa” or “estuvo súper chistoso.” If the person that you are telling the anecdote about did something extraordinary, we use the expression “se la voló” or if that person is you “me la volé.” In Mexico, this is a colloquial way of saying that someone did something extraordinary, amazing, or unexpected. In this context, “volarse” is used as a metaphor to describe something that was done exceptionally or out of the ordinary. In other words, it could be interpreted as praise or recognition for a noteworthy action, almost like saying “You nailed it!.”  

These phrases are not just words; they are invitations to join the fun. Even if you are not the person telling the story, you can show you are engaged in the conversation by saying any of them. So get ready to roll with them next time you find yourself having a ball with your fun Mexican friends.

Paulina Gerez is a translator-interpreter, content creator, and founder of Crack The Code, a series of online courses focused on languages. Through her social media, she helps people see learning a language from another perspective through her fun experiences. Instagram: paulinagerezm / Tiktok: paugerez3 / YT: paulina gerez 

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