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The Spanish Interjection Hala: Meaning and Spelling of a Popular Slang from Spain

Today, we'll share with you the meaning of the interjection hala, a short slang term that's typical of the kind of Spanish people speak in Spain. Let's look at the meaning, uses, and spelling of this interjection.


The meaning of hala

When it comes to its various meanings, hala can be used in the following ways:


1. To express encouragement or disbelief. It works like the English expression "come on":


Bueno, y si no puedes... ten cuidado.

Well, and if you can't... be careful.

Oh... No importa.

Oh... It doesn't matter.

¡Hala!, ¡hasta luego! -OK.

Come on! See you later! -OK.

Captions 55-58, Extr@: Extra en español - Ep. 2: Sam va de compras

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2. To express surprise, sort of like "Wow".

3. To get someone's attention, just like the English "Hey". 

4. To express the regular, repetitive beat of a march. In this case, you need to repeat the interjection (hala, hala).


The spelling: hala, ala and alá

One of the easy things about this interjection is its spelling. In fact, the only thing you need to know is that you can use either hala, ala, or alá to express the things we mentioned above. 


What does "hala Madrid" mean?

As you know, soccer/football is a big thing in Spain. Even if you aren't a soccer/football fan, you are probably familiar with the Real Madrid and Barcelona teams. But why are we mentioning this? Well, because one of the most common expressions you'll hear from Real Madrid fans is "hala Madrid," which means "let's go Madrid". In this case, hala conveys its meaning as an expression of encouragement.


Ala in Colombia

Finally, it is worth saying that some people in Bogota, Colombia, tend to use the interjection ala when they want to get the attention of someone in a very nice way.


It can also be used to express surprise. In fact, one of the most typical expressions you can use in Bogota for indicating surprise is "Ala carachas," which is sort of saying "Wow". If you ever go to Bogota and use that expression among locals, you'll be sure to blow everyone away.


And that's it for this lesson. We hope you liked it and don’t forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.

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