Ojalá: A Spanish Word with Arabic Origins

ojala-spanish

 

For many Spanish speakers, this is one of the most beautiful words of the language. Pronounced “Oh-ha-LAH”, this Spanish word has its origins in the VIII century, when the Muslims invaded the region we know now as Spain.

 

What does “ojalá” mean anyway?

This word is the evolution of the word ‘law šá lláh, in Arabic, which literally means “If god would want it” or “God willing”. Nowadays its meaning is not religious at all and it basically means “I hope”. Catholics, Christians, Muslims and atheists use it alike and rarely stop to remember its origins.

 

How do you use “ojalá” in a sentence?

 

You use it at the beginning of a sentence to say you hope whatever happens. For example:

Ojalá llueva hoy. – I hope it rains today.  Or: Ojalá ella consiga un trabajo – I hope she finds a job. 

You can also use it by itself as an exclamation. Check this out:

Sam: I will be able to buy a car next week. / Podré comprar un carro la próxima semana.

Anne: I hope so! / ¡Ojalá!

 

So this is what you can find behind this word. It is a very popular one in the Spanish speaking world, if you are planning on learning the language or just want to impress your friends or students with a fun fact. Ojalá you enjoyed this new post! 😉

 

Do you know why the letter H is mute in Spanish? Click here!

 

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