The issue here is not so much the risk of causing offence – a risk which is, let’s face it, all but non-existent – but rather that it would just be a very full on thing to say.
If said directly to a girl, it sounds pretty sleazy and won’t be well received.
Women sometimes describe attractive men with the phrase “estar bueno”, but again are unlikely to say this directly to the guy’s face.
To help you take your first steps into this world, we’ll look here at a selection of the endless ways that Colombians talk about attraction, dating, getting together and falling apart.
Standard Spanish has a load of different ways to say somebody (or something) is beautiful or attractive.
The literal translation of the expression is “rice on a low [heat]”.
In other words, it means that the girl will show the guy just enough interest to keep him ticking over, but without ever really escalating things (or, to extend the metaphor, supplying enough heat to keep the rice simmering, without bringing it to the boil). After having his advances repeatedly rebuffed by a girl, a cocksure Colombian man might comment to a friend: “Sé que yo le gusto.
But most of these are far too serious-sounding to be used when chatting among your friends.
Take, for instance, the sentence “Ella es muy bonita”, which is a perfectly legitimate way to say “She is very beautiful”.
It refers to those guys that the girl isn’t really immediately interested in dating, but whom she also doesn’t want to dismiss outright.