Thursday, June 23, 2005



When we talk about words or concepts not translating directly from Spanish or English, this is one of the first things that comes to my mind.

Yes, in English we have the word "detail." And yes, detalle can mean the same kind of "detail" in Spanish as it does in English.

But it goes much, much further. And I wish we had not only the word and the concept in English, but the common cultural practice as well.

Detalles are the little things you do for someone else, the thoughtful gift or action that shows you care and that you're thinking about that person. Detalles show consideration for others and are a way of making the world a better place one detallito at a time.

The word popped into my mind at an odd moment the other night. I was at a local pub (yes, we have a new, fabulous, totally authentic Irish-from-Ireland pub in our little New Jersey ex-urb!), and a friend mentioned to me one of the reasons she knew it was a wonderful place. She said, "Did you see the tampons in the bathroom?" I said no, I hadn't visited the restroom yet. She said, "There's a little basket in the bathroom filled with tampons, and if you need one, you just take one! No fumbling around, looking for change, if you need one. What a great idea! How much could that cost, maybe five bucks a month, but what a difference it makes!"

I never thought of a feminine hygiene product being a detalle, but in this case that is exactly what it was. So the Irish must know something about detalles, too...

A little consideration and a little detalle go a very long way, in business, in personal relationships, and in life.

1 comment:

Nayeli said...

When my cousin got married in Cuernavaca, the priest told her and her husband to never forget the "detalles" and they would have a successful marriage.