If you visited a Spanish speaking country during the last spring break, chances are you were invited to a party. Maybe it was a birthday party, a wedding or, most likely, just a meet-up with friends. No matter the occasion, there are some Spanish words and phrases that always come in handy at a party. Let's see a few examples:
The word salud means a lot of different things in Spanish. The basic meaning is, of course, "health," but this tiny word is also uttered as a courtesy when someone sneezes (the underlying meaning is that the person wishes that you haven't got the flu), and it's also customarily used to make a toast (the underlying meaning is that the person wishes the drink contributes to everybody's health and well-being). There are different ways to use it.
You can simply use salud as English uses the word "cheers":
Caption 92, Casa Pancho - vinos y pinchosPlay Caption
If you are the person making the toast, you can also go for something like this:
Muy bien, a la salud del novio. -¡Ahí va!
Great, to the groom's health. -There you go!
Caption 21, Yago - 3 La fotoPlay Caption
In some countries, like Mexico and Ecuador, it’s very common to use an endearing diminutive:
Caption 27, Otavalo - Leche de chiva - gran alimentoPlay Caption
Another word that is also used to make a toast is provecho, which literally means "profit" or "advantage." This word is used before either drinking or eating (salud can only be used with drinks) and it means that the person speaking wishes that you "profit" from the food or beverage you are having. By the way, you can either say buen provecho or only provecho:
Enjoy your meal.
Caption 71, Cocinando con Miguelito - Pollo sudadoPlay Caption
Now, the word for party in Spanish is fiesta, sure. But this is not the only word people use. You should learn some variants, otherwise you'll be missing some great fun:
For example, your friends in many countries of Latin America may invite you to a parranda (party). If you are parrandero (a party animal) you'll probably want to show up:
Es buen amigo, parrandero y bailador
He is a good friend, he likes to party and he's a dancer
Caption 45, Alberto Barros - Mano a manoPlay Caption
In other places, notably in Mexico City, people use the word reventón (party, literally a "blow-out"). If the party involves getting drunk then the invitation would be something like vámonos de juerga/farra/parranda (somewhat equivalent to "let's go get crazy drunk"). There are, of course, many words to describe the act of drinking: chupar, pistear, libar, mamar, embriagarse, irse de copas (copas means "cups"), empinar el codo (literally "to raise the elbow"), ponerse hasta atrás (to get really drunk, literally "to get oneself behind") are just a few.
No hay plata pa' comer pero sí pa' chupar
There is no money to eat but there is to drink
Caption 60, ChocQuibTown - De donde vengo yoPlay Caption
And what do you call your friends, buddies, pals, mates at a party? Well, that depends on where you are:
In Mexico City, friends are called cuates:
que te presenta a una persona, a un cuate cercano,
that introduces someone, a close buddy,
Caption 13, Amigos D.F. - Te presento...Play Caption
But if you are in the northern part of Mexico, we strongly recommend you avoid the use of cuates. Instead, you can use camarada, compa (short for compadre), or carnal (bro); all of these are more or less common everywhere in the country. Here's a great example of a phrase you can use to start a party anywhere in Mexico:
¡Órale compadre, échese un trago!
Come on, pal, throw down a drink!
Caption 5, El Ausente - Acto 1Play Caption
What about other places? Well, it's a long list. In Spain, people use tío (uncle). In Argentina, pibe (kid). In Perú, pata. In Venezuela, pana. In Cuba, asere. In Colombia, parsa. In Honduras, mara... The list goes on and on. One thing is for sure: you can use amigo safely anywhere Spanish is spoken. Maybe that's the friendliest thing to do.