Tico Talk – Expressing Gratitude

Every culture has their own way of expressing gratitude, from rituals to sayings to traditional meals prepared with love. While Costa Rica has its specific love language, it remains a heavily influenced catholic country. As such, God references are to this day used in common conversation, here are a few of the ways Tico nonchalantly throws religion into an everyday exchange:

“Gracias a Dios”

Thank God.

In modern speech commonly used in response to a question such
as in this conversation:
¿Cómo estas?
Muy bien, gracias a Dios!

“Que Dios te bendiga”

May god bless you.

This is normally used when saying thank you to someone
who did something nice for you or when saying goodbye to a friend.

“Si Dios lo quiere”

Translated to the meaning if it’s God’s will.

When talking future plans you are
sure to hear this phrase.

“Hasta aquí me la presto Dios”

Until now, God borrowed [it to] me.

Used as an expression when you thought

you were going to die. As used:
Pense que hasta aquí me la presto Dios!

The best way to show thanks and quite possibly the first confusing phrase you’ll encounter is “con mucho gusto.” It is much more common to say that, which translates to “with much pleasure” than to use “de nada.”

Costa Ricans are amongst the friendliest people on earth. For this reason, they will usually go out of their way to help you. They will stop you on the street to talk to you if they think you have a good vibe. They are very gregarious people, with a curious nature towards other cultures. They enjoy chit-chatting and meeting people from all walks of life. On the street when meeting someone it is still customary to say “Buenos dias, hola, buenas tardes” (goodday, hello, good afternoon). If you want to strike up a conversation with a local be sure to sit at the bar of any one of your neighbourhood restaurants and you will be making friends in no time. And remember pronunciation is key, so keep trying!

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