I've heard men addressing each other as strangers in public as "companero". I think, at least in this instance, it's an expression of respect. For instance, I heard a man address another as companero when he was asking for directions. Naturally, the whole exchange was in Spanish. :0)
It's similar to using 'mate' to address strangers in UK. They are not your mate for real, but it's just part of the culture to use such a word when referring to strangers. Here in Brazil I sometimes call strangers of 'amigo' when asking for directions (or any ordinary conversation), even though they're not really my friends.
In California, it's common to address strangers as bro. "Hey bro", "Thanks bro". Might be similar.
I was tempted to submit something akin to "I'm not your buddy, pal," but maybe that phrase doesn't work as well outside of New Jersey. :)
I don't think this word has an exact translation in English. When I hear my ESL students use it it has a different feel from any of the translations given, somewhere between casual acquaintance and friend. Anyone more familiar with Mexican Spanish who can comment?
I think if a stranger in the U.S. said "Thanks a lot, mate" you would recognize that he's not suggesting that you are lovers. Sure, it's more common in U.K., etc. but Americans are definitely familiar with that usage of the word.
We use companero/companera in cuba. It means comrade in spanish and its used instead of senor y senora for older people younger adults say senor senora. Its common in socialists spanish countries
I struggle with a meaningful translation for this in English too. Used in a work setting, I would go with colleagues and in a social setting buddies, although that word is used exclusively for males.
I've actually heard it used here in Tucson as compañeros in English in the same way it is used in Spanish. Of course, we do have a big Spanish/Mexican influence here, due to our history and proximity to the border.
Interestingly, on the discussion parallel to this one for Spanish speakers learning English, I noticed they frequently began their posts by addressing the group as compañeros. In this sense we are compañeros in the sense of peers as we are pursuing a common goal using the same method, ie, DL.
I agree. If "mates" is accepted, then so should "buddies". No one says "mates" in the US. "Pals" and "chums", too.
No one ever says 'We are not peers'. It's just not something that comes out in every day usage.
Peers is an English word that can mean coworker, classmate, even friend. It's not used so much in favor of its more specific counterparts but in Spanish it's used quite a lot.
I put we are not companions - could I have put we are not friends? I don't use the word 'mates'
I think friends is a little more intimate than companeros, but in this context it would probably mean the same thing.
"We are not peers." would have a totally different meaning than, "We are not companions." Being someone's peer generally means that they are in your age group or in your class.
I've personally said something along the lines of, "She is not my peer." when speaking about a woman in her forties who I worked with. I'm only in my twenties.
Correct. Someone can be a companion, though they are not necessarily a peer, and vice versa. 'Companion' denotes only shared company, whereas 'peer' denotes only a shared age or ability.
Comañeros = companions .. Mates in non-british English sounds like a sexual partner ..although we know what mate means when a brit says it, US Americans would never use it in a sentence.
Exactly. In American English:
Mates = Sexual relationship
Companions = Intimate relationship OR people participating in an activity together or traveling together
Buddies/pals = Casual friends of varying degrees of closeness
Co-workers/Colleagues = People in same professional group
Peers = People in the same professional industry or people of a similar age group usually when speaking of the school system
Acquaintance = Someone between a stranger and a friend, someone you really don't know but you recognize or someone who recently introduced themselves to you.
It seems like "compañeros" is more like "acquaintances". Would this be accurate?
People here use compañero for someone who they associate with due to a similar interest, church or club membership, classmates, etc. A little more than an acquaintance, but not a friend. Amigo is more or less reserved for people you know really well.
In some parts of America Latina compañero can be better translated as comrade. Surely?
Someone who is your equal in rank, age, or social standing. i.e. In school, your fellow classmates are your peers, but you teachers are not. Your brothers and sisters are your peers, your parents are not. They are each others peers. If you are in the military, people of your same rank are your peers, people of higher or lower rank are not. If you are in your teens, other teens are your peers, but people in their thirties are not, and vice versa.
Peers is much more acurate than mate to any English speaker. Mate is a friend not a peer or unkown peer at the same social level. We don't call every coworker a friend.
And when a salesman comes to the door and calls me 'mate' I give him a hard stare and shut the door. UK born and bred. Gent. 68. It's much over-used.
"We are not partners," ~What everyone in class says to me because my entire school hates me.
I really think 'friends' should be accepted. That's how I think of mates in the US context.
I was told that "coworker" is compañero de trabajo, and compañero is comrade or partner. ?????
If "We are not coworkers" is the default correct translation, then "We are not colleagues" should be an acceptable alternative, especially since no less than Roget's 21st Century Thesauras considers co-worker and colleague synonymous: https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/colleague
Doubtless it is the correct translation in the correct context, but the trouble is DL never tells us what the context is. It would save an awful lot of arguments here if they did...
Coworker is a bit American and a word I avoid as many of the people at my place of employment do little actual work. I prefer colleague Am I alone?