This week’s Spanish culture blog, we are going to look into some language issues and how they relate to culture. In Spanish, the word for “now” is “ahora”. It is pronounced “ah – or – dah”. We are going to look into the importance of “ahora”. Let’s say you are discussing an issue at work or school with a Spanish speaking person and you tell them about something that needs to be done “ahora”. What will most likely happen is that they will get around to the task in an hour or two or maybe even sometime later in the day. This can be frustrating if you need something done “now”. You may wonder why it is that they are taking such a long time to complete the task. Understanding this term completely and the culture behind it will help you avoid frustration and bridge culture gaps that can exist with translation issue.
For a native Spanish speaking person, the word “ahora” (defined as “now” in a dictionary) in fact means “now or any time today”. If you tell a Spanish speaking person that something has to be done “ahora” it will almost certainly get done sometime today.
So how is that that you can convey to someone know that something really needs to be done “now”? Many native speakers will inform you that the word for “right now” in Spanish is “ahorita”. But even that term will only translate to within the next hour or so. For example, many native speakers will leave and say they’ll be coming back “ahorita”. This means they will return in approximately one hour.
The best way to state “right now” is “ahora mismo”. This literal translation of “ahora mismo” comes out as “the same now”. By understanding this concept, you can stay away from many potential cultural misunderstandings. Be sure you understand the terms “ahora”, “ahorita” and “ahora mismo” as explained in this blog and when to use them. For higher retention, start using and practicing them “ahora mismo”!Learn Spanish, Spanish Culture, Spanish Words