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Spanish Words for 'Home'

'Casa' and 'Hogar' Aren't Only Possibilities

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house construction in Chile

Podemos construir tu casa en Chile. (We can build your home in Chile.)

Photo by Concrete Forms; licensed via Creative Commons.

Although the differences between the English words "house" and "home" are very roughly similar to the differences between Spanish casa and hogar, respectively, hogar is far from the only way that "home" can be translated. In fact, the concept of "home" can be translated dozens of ways into Spanish, depending (as usual) on the context.

The reverse is also true, but to a much lesser extent: While hogar nearly always refers to a building in which people live, it can also refer to a fireplace (it is derived from the Latin word focus, which meant "hearth" or "fireplace"), a lobby or similar place where people gather, or to a family that lives together.

When "home" does refer to a building where people live, usually hogar or casa can be used, with the latter sometimes placing more emphasis on the building itself:

  • Our home is located in the heart of the Bellemont neighborhood. Nuestra casa está situada en el corazón del Barrio Bellemont.
  • Our home will be celebrating with your arrival. Con tu llegada nuestro hogar está de fiesta.
  • We can build your home in Chile. Podemos construir tu casa en Chile.
  • My mother's home is the perfect place for the children. La casa de mi madre es el sitio perfecto para los niños.
  • The country has prohibited there being statues in a Muslim home. El país ha prohibido que en un hogar musulmán haya estatuas.

To refer to institutional residences, hogar typically is used (although casa isn't unheard of):

  • The entry of a loved one into a home for the elderly or similar institution can be a traumatic experience. La entrada de un ser querido en un hogar de ancianos o institución semejante puede ser una experiencia traumática.
  • The Farmworker Youth Home is an alternative for child care. El Hogar Juvenil Campesino es una alternativa para dar atención al niño.

"At home" can usually be translated as "en casa": I'm not at home. No estoy en casa.

The singular masculine adjective forms of casa and hogar are casero and hogareño:

  • Many choose to feed their pets homemade food. Muchos optan por alimentar a sus mascotas con comida casera.
  • His early home life was not the type that can produce a completely trustworthy person. Su vida hogareña temprana no fue del tipo que pueda producir una persona completamente confiable.

When "home" refers to the center or original place, various translations can be used:

  • Just as Hollywood is the home of movies, Nashville is the home of country music. Así como Hollywood es el centro de las películas, Nashville es el centro de la música country.
  • Greetings from Idaho, home of delicious potatoes. Saludos desde Idaho, la tierra de las papas riquísimas.
  • Wendy's is the home of the square hamburger. Wendy's es el creador de la hamburguesa cuadrada.

In Internet usage, the "home page" is usually the página principal or página inicial. A link to the home page may be labeled Inicio, although sometimes the loanword home is used as well.

In recreation, "home" has various meanings:

  • A "home game" is typically un juego en casa, while the home team is often el equipo local.
  • In baseball, the home plate can be la goma, el hogar or el plato, among other terms. El jonrón (obviously derived from the English phrase) is universally used for "home run."
  • In board games and some athletic contests, where reaching "home" is the goal of the game, it can be known as la meta or el final, among other terms.

The most common term for "homeless" is sin hogar, although sin casa is used, as is, less rarely, sin vivienda. Homeless people can be known as los sinhogares.

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