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Saying goodbye in Spanish is difficult. And I don’t just mean emotionally difficult where you do not want to leave the person or the country. Though that is hard to do.! And I also do not mean linguistically difficult as in the pronunciation is complicated. Though, in some instances that can be tricky too.! No, I mean saying goodbye is difficult in the sense that there are so many ways to say goodbye and most of the time I don’t know when to use which expression. As well as, sometimes the goodbye goes on for a rather extended period and I don’t know how to end it politely.!

Most Americans (and other Westerners) are familiar with adios and hasta luego. The former means ‘goodbye’ and the latter means ‘see you later’. However, very few times did I hear either of these expressions used. Hasta luego might be good in a formal or professional setting, but rarely is adios used because it sounds so final.! And neither works well when you are just hanging out with friends or co-workers. So what does one use.??

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Well for starters, I noticed most of my male friends and co-workers used cuidate or ‘take care’ when saying goodbye to me. Sometimes they would use nos vemos pronto as in ‘we will see each other soon’ or just ‘see you’. My female friends and co-workers usually used nos vemos also. But, they also used un beso meaning ‘a kiss’ or un abrazo meaning ‘a hug’. Sometimes, they would also use te quiero mucho as in ‘I love you’.

Then there were the endless hugs and kisses with promises to call – te llamo pronto. Also, besos could turn into besitos and abrazos into abrazotes. Because everyone needs more little kisses and little hugs in their life 🙂 Of course, some people also use bueno or ‘good’ as goodbye. As well as the good old English bye.! And then there is ciao, pronounced chao, which is Italian for goodbye.!

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Then there are the expressions sale and vale for goodbye. The first time I heard these two farewells, I have to admit I was confused. They did not seem like regular goodbyes. Sale translates to ‘leaves, goes or out’. It can also mean ‘ok’, or ‘I’m cool with that/works for me’. Therefore, sale pues, which is also a farewell, translates to ‘out then’ or ‘ok then’.

Vale is an interjection equivalent to ‘ok’. In the past it also used to mean goodbye, and some people still use it as goodbye. I had a manager in Playa, she used to always say goodbye by just exclaiming sale…vale. I loved the way she said it.! She used it in person and on the phone. Eventually, I noticed other woman using the expression too..!! So I began to use it in my farewells with friends.

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And this of course complicated my life because now my goodbyes would take upwards of 5 to 10 minutes. In the states, I was so accustomed to brief goodbyes which maybe lasted no longer than a minute. And now I didn’t know when to stop saying goodbye because I did not want to appear rude. You can see my dilemma.!! Saying goodbye to a friend quickly went from nos vemos to un beso to te llamo pronto to ciao to sale and then vale. At this point I would be dehydrated and out of breath so I would just make a mad dash for the door.!!

And with that dear reader I bid you adieu..!! Until we meet again, cuidate.! Un beso y un abrazo.!! Mil gracias for reading my blog..!! Nos vemos pronto..!! Besitos.!! Mwah.!! Bueno bye.! Ciao 🙂 Sale y vale.!! jajaja 🙂

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11 thoughts on “sale…vale…

    • Yes.! Its completely funny how words take on different meanings across cultures (Spain vs. Mexico) and across decades (from one generation to the next).! I love words.! Very cool about the tribute 🙂

    • It is very confusing.! Sometimes my email exchanges last that long too.!! hahaha. But I know its meant in warm genuineness and so I try and figure it out. By the way, thank you for the new word in “Totsiens” – it seems so easy and brief. Plus, I love languages 🙂

  1. Hola!!! Te escribo aquí porque no puedo encontrar el apartado de “Comentarios” en “Ser y estar”…Me ha encantado cómo lo has expresado…es verdad que es difícil de pillar…
    Pero creo que lo has conseguido perfectamente! El ejemplo de tu novio es genial ja, ja, ja!!!

  2. I’ve heard a few say ‘Que te vaya bien.’ here in LA. (I’m writing by ear.)

    Yes. Starting with something light-hearted sounds like a plan. 🙂 Positive vibes your way, Rose…

    • I’ve heard “Que te vaya bien” in Mexico too.!! Aha…that’s one I forgot.! And good ear writing by the by 🙂 Thank you for the positive vibes.! Much appreciated 🙂

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