Thursday, November 11, 2010

with much gusto

What's striking about the way Spanish speakers say "you're welcome" is how certain countries will almost exclusively use one phrase over all the others. In English we can respond to thanksgiving in all sorts of ways, both formally and informally. "No problem" or "forget about it" would be typical responses, even though they don't exactly mean "you're welcome". If you tally up all the acceptable responses that could be used all over the United States without confusion, you'd probably have dozens of them.

In Costa Rica, on the other hand, I have only heard "con mucho gusto" as a response to "gracias". It's essentially the Spanish equivalent of the English "it's my pleasure". Costa Ricans will certainly understand "de nada", "no hay de qué", and "no hay porqué", but they aren't likely to use them.

De nada is the most ubiquitous of all the aforementioned forms, probably because of its prominence in large countries like Mexico and Spain. "No hay porqué" is largely confined to Argentina (at least in my experience).