When to use "Felicidades"

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by cassiebelle, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. cassiebelle New Member

    I always thought that Felicidades was the correct way to say congratulations and was recently told that it is not. I am sure I have heard it before. When does one use "Felicidades"?
     
  2. nanel Senior Member

    Madrid (Spain)
    Spain (Spanish)
    I think it's congratulations. What were you saying when they told you it was incorrect?

    New baby: ¡Felicidades!
    Birthday: ¡Felicidades!
    New job: ¡Felicidades!
    Passing an exam: ¡Felicidades!
    Getting married: ¡Felicidades!

    Maybe they thought "enhorabuena" was more appropriate, because felicidades is usually used for birthdays mainly, but it is NOT incorrect, IMHO.
     
  3. DrLeKter Senior Member

    If you want to say "congratulations" you should say "felicitaciones", "Te felicito".

    You use "Felicidades" at special moments, such as a wedding, Christmas, a birthday, New Year, generally when making a toast or wishing happiness to other person.
     
  4. Anakita Senior Member

    Mexico, español
    Here in Mexico we don't use "te felicito" or "felicitaciones", I mean, we know them but we don't use them. We always use "felicidades" like in all the examples that nanel gave you.

    : )
     
  5. Laura Maria Senior Member

    Brisbane, Australia
    English, United States
    And what about "felicidades" as a way to close a conversation? Sometimes it seems really inappropriate to translate it as "congratulations" when it is just a closing, perhaps a closing to an internet positng about a very difficult event
     
  6. Aitax Senior Member

    Germany
    Spain - Spanish
    Hola Laura María,

    The use of such words as "felicidades" as you can seen in the postings above, depends on the country, but in general can indeed be used to give your congratulations on special events. In Spain we use it often for birthdays, births, a new job. Something happy.

    As a way to close a conversation sounds a little unusual to me, exactly as it would not seem nice to use "congratulations" to close a conversation.

    The only other way I could think about it being the closing of a conversation, is if is used in a sarcastic way, such as "you have stolen my boyfriend; congratulations".. and then gone offline.

    In any case, I would need more context regarding this closing of conversation to be able to interpret it better.

    Saludos
    Aitax
     
  7. Laura Maria Senior Member

    Brisbane, Australia
    English, United States
    Well, one example is in phone conversations. There is a man in his 70s who used to always answer the phone (in Colombia) when I would call. Before he passed the phone on to another person, he would say "felicidades".

    The example I'm interested in is the following. It is an internet forum posting, which often end with "gracias".
    "ES UNA DECISION QUE SOLO ELLA SABE PORQUE LA TOMA, PROBABLEMENTE PORQUE AUN AMA A SU ESPOSO, Y COMO DICEN QUE EL AMOR TODO LO PERDONA. OJALA EL ESPOSO HAYA CAMBIADO SU CARACTER DE CELOS Y QUE RECIBA AYUDA PROFESIONAL, ADEMAS DE ESTO ESTAN SUS HIJOS, Y NOSOTRAS LAS MAMAS PENSAMOS EN ELLOS PARA QUE NO SUFRAN. LO MAS IMPORTANTE ES QUE NO SE REPITA LA GOLPIZA QUE TERRIBLE QUE RECIBIO. MUCHA SUERTE Y FELICIDADES."
     
  8. Aitax Senior Member

    Germany
    Spain - Spanish
    Hi Laura,

    To me the whole sentece is a little weird in Spanish, specially its structure. I have never seen "Felicidades" used in such a way. Maybe is a special use given in Colombia, and the only sense I can make of it is the "wish" of "felicidad".

    In this case I would interpret it as "Good luck and (I wish you) happiness", because even if "felicidades" is translated as "congratulations", specially when used alone, it is technically the plural of "felicidad" = happiness, so that would be my first guess.

    Best regards
    Aitax
     
  9. leopolis Junior Member

    Colombian Spanish
    I agree with Aitax, it would be "good luck and happiness" as a wish that is somehow common in here. Nevertheless, reading the example of Laura Maria, I think there was a typing mistake at the end: "lo más importante es que no se repita la golpiza terrible que recibió. Mucha suerte y felicidades.

    Felicidades,

    LEO
     

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