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SPANISH LANGUAGE

The most romantic nicknames to woo your Spanish sweetheart

Are you a fatty, half an orange or just somebody's darling? The Local gives you the most affectionate romantic names to call your Valentine (with some exceptions), from the classic to the hilarious terms of endearment.

The most romantic nicknames to woo your Spanish sweetheart
Names to woo your Spanish sweetheart. Photo: Asad / Pexels
Gordi – My fatty 
No, you won’t get a slap or an evil look if you call your Spanish lover a gordi. This pet name for lovers is commonly used regardless of people’s weight. Say gordo/a (just straight fat) and the outcome of your name-calling may be very different.
 
He ain’t heavy, he’s my lover. Ryan McGuire/Pixabay

 
 
Mi media naranja – My half an orange
Don’t worry, the person referring to you as mi media naranja doesn’t want to bleed or squeeze you dry. The expression means my better half or my soul mate.
 
Make sure your half-orange doesn’t go sour. Photo: Noah Buscher/Unsplash
 
 
Pichoncito – Little pigeon
Fear not, your partner will not think you’re comparing them to a mucky city bird. Pichoncito/a, ‘little young pigeon’, is sickly sweet but not offensive.
 
You could expect someone like The Simpsons’ Ned Flanders to use ‘pichoncito’. Photo: Éva Zara/Pixabay
 

La parienta – The missus

Word of warning, gents – this is not a loving term to use with your wives or girlfriends. The English equivalent is ‘the missus’ is usually used by men when talking to their mates, not directly to their partners. Parienta actually means relative in Spanish. 
 
Calling your partner ‘la parienta’ is not the most romantic nickname available in Spanish. Archive photo: Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash
 
Bichito – My little insect/bug
Don’t be put off by the pet name bicho or bichito. Depending on your partner’s behaviour, you can decide whether you want it to be a dung beetle or a ladybird.
 
Crawl into a Spaniard’s heart with this quirky romantic nickname. Photo: Erik Karits/Pixabay

 
Mi alma – My soul 
It sounds deep, but the term mi alma is used more often by Andalusian grandmothers who bump into you in the street than by young people in relationships. A similar but more suitable name Spanish couples do use is mi vida (my life). 
 

Using ‘mi alma’ can be pretty profound, or at least if translated into English. Photo: Deflyne Coppens/Pixabay

Cariño – My love
The golden oldies never die. Mi amor and cariño are still the most common pet names used by Spanish couples.

Play it safe with the classics, cariño and amor. (Photo by Pierre-Philippe MARCOU / AFP)

 
Mi cielo – My sky
For the lovebirds who are on a high, mi cielo or just cielo is an endearing pet name to use.
 

Referring to someone as ‘my sky’ is fairly poetic. Photo: Peggy and Marco Lachmann-Anke/Pixabay
 
Tesoro – Treasure
Mi tesoro might be what Spanish-dubbed Gollum calls ‘my precious’ in The Lord of the Rings, but in Spain referring to someone as tesoro is a classic, perhaps slightly outdated way, of calling them darling. 
 
Avoid putting ‘mi’ in front of ‘tesoro’ or you might sound a bit like Gollum from Lord of the Rings. Photo: Pau Llopart Cervello/Pixabay
 
Corazón – heart
Literally meaning heart, it’s usually used without the mi at the start.
 
Don’t be a ‘rompecorazones’ (heartbreaker) this Valentine’s Day. Photo: Pexels/Pixabay

 

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LEARNING SPANISH

Six celebrities who are fluent in (Castilian) Spanish

David Beckham may have struggled to string a sentence together in Spanish after four years in Madrid, but other famous faces have reached almost native levels in the language after spending time in España or with Spanish people.

Six celebrities who are fluent in (Castilian) Spanish

Freddie Highmore 

British actor Freddie Highmore, who as a child appeared alongside Johnny Depp in ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and ‘Finding Neverland’, is perhaps the most impressive Spanish speaker on the list. The star of ‘The Good Doctor’ TV series spent a year living in Madrid while he was studying and actually has a Galician grandmother. His Spanish accent, his grammar and spoken sentence construction is practically native.

Ivan Rakitic

There are dozens of foreign footballers playing in La Liga who speak Spanish at an almost native level: Frenchman Antoine Griezzman, Belgian Thibaut Cortois, Slovak Jan Oblak. But perhaps the most incredible of all is Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic, a former Barça player who’s returned to his old club Sevilla. It was in the Andalusian city where Rakitic met his now wife and where he developed a true Sevillian accent, with all the flair and consonant dropping that it’s famed for.

Gwyneth Paltrow

The American actress turned beauty product guru is a fluent Spanish speaker who mostly conjugates her verbs correctly and hardly has any traces of an American accent (she even pronounces c and z in the traditional Castilian way). It all started when as a teenager Paltrow did a year abroad in Talavera de la Reina near Toledo, where she stayed with a Spanish family who she still visits every time she’s in Spain.  

Jean Reno

You may not have known this, but French superstar Jean Reno’s real name is Juan Moreno y Herrera-Jiménez. Reno was born in the Moroccan city of Casablanca, where his parents fled to from their native Cádiz to escape Franco’s regime. The star of ‘Leon: The Professional’ obviously had a big advantage when it came to learning Spanish, but given that he’s lived most of his life in Morocco and France, his fluency in Spanish is commendable, bar his clear French accent.

James Rhodes

Ever since British-born concert pianist James Rhodes moved to Spain in 2017, he’s voiced his love for everything Spanish, including the language. His work spearheading a law to protect children from sexual abuse in Spain earned him the honour of fast-track Spanish citizenship. Rhodes regularly takes to Twitter, tweeting almost entirely in Spanish and demonstrating a thorough understanding of syntax, slang and more. He’s also more than capable of holding his own when speaking castellano

Michael Robinson

The late Michael Robinson, a British footballer who became Spain’s most famous TV football pundit, was and still is the perfect example of how the most important factor when learning a language is to immerse oneself in the culture and make mistakes without fear. Having been forced into early retirement due to injury while playing for Osasuna, he took on his new job without prior experience and with far from perfect Spanish. He improved despite holding onto his British accent, learnt Spanish expressions and jokes and laughed at his blunders. No wonder he was known as Spain’s most loved Brit.

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