Tuesday, February 26, 2008

You'll Enjoy this Post (God Willing)

The use of 'God' in Costa Rican Spanish can be quite perplexing to the lay observer. Costa Ricans, whether particularly religious or not, will invoke 'Dios' for all sorts of circumstances. Below are a few of the most common expressions that use the lord's name:

Gracias a Dios - Meaning 'thanks to God', this expression follows the telling of good news. "My son got into the University of his choice, gracias a Dios", a Costa Rican might say. "I'm doing great today, gracias a Dios". You get the point.

Si Dios quiere - Costa Ricans can hardly ever make any sort of future projection without putting 'God willing' before or after it. Even things that seem largely within the control of the speaker are accompanied by 'si Dios quiere'. This expression often causes confusion between Costa Ricans and foreigners. Gringos often wonder, "will this person actually attend the 4 o'clock meeting, or will he just pray for it to be so?" Very often, ONLY GOD KNOWS!!! ***For an entertaining little parody that exemplifies this cultural phenomenon, although in an exaggerated manner, visit http://www.ruralcostarica.com/si-dios-quiere.asp.

There are several more references to God that I'll touch on in the next post.

Dios me los bendiga ;)


Ralph said...

That is good to know, and useful too. Thank you. It happens that a man who does some work for us in CR has been saying "gracias a Dios" a lot, since suffering recent illness and other calamities, now resolved, gracias a Dios. But I hadn't heard (or in any case hadn't understood) "si Dios quiere." I like the sound of that, and will try it in conversation at the next opportunity, si Dios quiere.

Thomas Carmona said...

Si Dios quiere is also effectively the same as 'si Dios lo permite' or 'si Dios me lo permite' if you're referring to something you're planning on doing yourself.

Pura Vida,