Órale – Translation, and Meaning in English


Orale is a slang word that Mexicans use as a way to express surprise, admiration, agreement, approval or disappointment. We also use it to urge someone to do something. As a result, it can be translated as ‘come on’, ‘okay’, ‘wow’.

What does ‘Órale’ mean?

  • Translation #1: In Spanish, this word is used to express either surprise or admiration, therefore, it would be translated as ‘wow’ or ‘oh my God’.  
  • Translation #2: If used to show agreement and approval, órale means ‘okay’. 
  • Translation #3: It can mean ‘come on’ or  ‘hurry’ when used to urge people to do something.  

How and When to use ‘Órale’?

  • As a way to express surprise, admiration and disappointment. Since ‘órale’ is used to express many types of emotions, its meaning and translation will be determined by both the context and the person’s tone of voice. When showing surprise or admiration, it means ‘wow’ or ‘oh my God’. And if you want to express disappointment, you could also translate it as ‘wow, ‘okay’ or ‘it’s good to know’.  
  • To show agreement or approval. It can also be used to show agreement or approval about a certain situation. In this context, it will be translated as ‘okay’ or ‘sounds good’. 
  • As a synonym of ‘come on’ or ‘hurry’. Órale is widely used as a way to urge people to do something, as a result, we can translate it as ‘come on’ or ‘hurry’. Since this word’s meanings vary depending on the context and the tone of voice, in this case, we use it when we’re frustrated and we need something done quickly. 

Examples

Here are some examples that will help you understand how to apply ‘orale’ correctly. 

To show surprise, admiration or disappointment

As you may notice from the following examples, in this context, ‘órale’ tends to be placed at the beginning of the sentence. 

¡Órale! ¿Ya viste el precio de la comida? Wow, did you already see the price of the food?

¡Órale, qué padre! ¿Cuándo te vas a vivir a España? Oh my God, that’s so cool! When are you going to live in Spain?

Since this word can be translated as ‘wow’ when showing surprise and disappointment, you need to pay special attention to the context. 

Órale, yo pensé que eras mi amigo y que me ibas a ayudar Wow! I thought you were my friend and that you would help me

Nunca pensé que me fueras a hacer algo así, pero, órale, está bien I never thought you would do something like this to me, but fine, it’s good to know

To show agreement or approval 

You can use ‘órale’ to express your agreement in a lot of situations. However, keep in mind that when you use it to agree with a plan, it can also be understood as a way to end the conversation or to say goodbye. 

¿Cuesta 700 pesos? Órale, me lo llevo Is this cost 700 pesos? Okay, I’ll take it

Órale, te veo mañana en el centro Sounds good, I’ll see you downtown tomorrow

As a synonym of ‘come on’ or ‘hurry’

In this context, this slang word implies a command and a sense of urge. As a result, we use it to give orders. Notice that you can use ‘órale’ either at the beginning of the end of a sentence. 

¡Órale, ya ponte a lavar los trastes! Come on! Start washing the dishes

¡Vete a limpiar tu cuarto, órale! Go clean your room, hurry!

Who Can You Use ‘Órale’ With?

Órale is widely used among Mexican people; however, we only use it in informal situations such as shopping in a small store or in a street maker or when talking to friends and family. 

Other Ways to Say ‘Órale’

Here are other synonyms that you can use to replace ‘órale’ if needed.

  • Chido This is another slang word that Mexicans use to show agreement or approval. Depending on the context, you could also use it to express surprise. Since this word is very important for Mexican slang, here you can learn all about the meanings of chido in Spanish. 
  • Cámara Just as ‘chido’, this is a Mexican slang word that we also use to show agreement. 
  • Está bien This is the direct translation of ‘okay’, as a result, you can use it to show agreement. 
  • ¡Guau! This is the Spanish equivalent of ‘wow’ and Spain you can replace this word with ‘hala’. You use both options to express surprise or admiration. 

Daniela Sanchez

¡Hola! Soy Daniela Sanchez, I’ve taught Spanish in Mexico to a wide array of foreigners. From students and tourists to doctors and soldiers who’ve moved and visited here over the years. During the day I’m a freelancer and marketer, while at night I’m here writing for students of the world wide web looking to learn Spanish. I hope you find what you’re looking here during your journey into Español 🙂 Read More About Me

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