In Spanish, the word for “exaggerated” is exagerado. The word derives from the Latin root exagero, which means “to enlarge,” “to exaggerate,” or “to amplify.”
Exaggerating in Spain
Spanish speakers are known for their love of hyperbole and exaggeration. A Spanish speaker might say “My house is on fire!” when they mean “I’m feeling a little warm.” In Spanish, this is known as “ponerse colorado” and it’s used to describe someone who doesn’t have much experience with English—when they use an English word or phrase incorrectly.
The Spanish have a tendency to exaggerate. In fact, one of their most common communication styles is based on exaggeration. For example, they might say that you are more beautiful than any other woman they have ever seen or that they are going to kill themselves if they don’t see you again soon. This style of communicating is called la comunicación alargada (literally “extended communication”).
It’s not just that they’re saying things like this—it’s also how they’re saying them. When the Spanish exaggerate something, they tend to do so in a very animated way. They may raise their voices or speak louder than normal (as if shouting). They may use hand gestures and facial expressions that match what they are saying (for example, smiling when talking about something good happening).
Exaggerated but Indirect
One important thing to remember about Spanish communication is that it’s generally more indirect than English communication. That doesn’t mean there aren’t direct ways of speaking, but rather that directness isn’t always considered polite or appropriate. We could say something like “You’re beautiful” in English, but in Spanish we would be more likely to say something like “You’re pretty.” The difference between these two statements is subtle, but they can help us understand some of the differences between how people communicate in different cultures.