Posted by: janecronin | June 10, 2011

Just a detail

False Friends are very tricky things.  They can even lead to people falling out or cooling off their friendship.  A long time ago I went to some lengths and money to buy a very good bottle of whisky for a Spanish friend who had helped me a great deal.  He was very pleased with it, and at the end of the meal we shared he said “Muchas gracias por el detalle”. 

I was a bit put out, because my poor little brain translated “Thank you very much for the detail”.  “Detail” I thought, “Huh!  That’s not what I call a detail!”

Some time later I discovered, that “detalle” not only means detail, it also means an occasional gift, irrespective of the size or expense.  The standard word for present “regalo” sounds more like something you wrap in birthday or Christmas paper and give to a child.  “Detalle” is what we grown-ups give each other to say Thank you, or Congratulations. 

Fortunately our friendship lived to see another day.

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