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I spoke with a friend that I haven't spoken to in a long time. He started with a question about a test he is having. After I answered the question, I wanted to ask him:

"How have you been anyway?"

As in, 'On another topic, how have you been?'

  • What's the best way to translate anyway in this context?
  • Would the best translation for 'anyway' be 'de todos modos'?

I know there are some other ways to say 'anyway' but wasn't sure of the best translation in this situation.

  • Also, are there more natural ways to ask this question as apposed to a direct translation, ie. an idiomatic expression or something?
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up vote 8 down vote accepted

More naturally to me would be:

  • Por cierto, ¿cómo has estado?

But you can also use:

  • Cambiando de tema, ¿cómo has estado? (for some people this could be rude because it is like saying "Ok enough with that and now let's talk about...")
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Thanks, I think 'Cambiando de tema' might be a little too direct for the situation. I think this is a time where an idiom works best, so I like 'por cierto' better – Kage Feb 17 '12 at 0:29

The word "anyway" can be a bit tricky to translate correctly since it can have several meanings in English. (Wiktionary defines 3 modern meanings.)

In the way you're looking to use it, I believe a good translation might be "bueno y..." which is roughly the same as "well, and..." It provides a nice and clean spirited topic transition.


Bueno, y entonces ¿cómo has estado? Escuché que encontraste un nuevo trabajo.

(Well, and so how have you been? I heard you found a new job.)

Hope this helps.

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Thanks, that actually sounds much better than what I had come up with and I think it gives the same message as the english example. – Kage Feb 17 '12 at 0:30
No, there must be some special word for it, I'm almost sure I heard it! I just have it on the tongue but can't remember...! – Tomas Feb 17 '12 at 16:52
And what about "nada ... "? Or "igualmente...."? Note that I'm not a native speaker... – Tomas Feb 17 '12 at 16:55
Although I think bueno sounds best, pues has its uses, too. – tchrist Feb 27 '12 at 3:28

In this context, it would be:

Oye, y a todo esto, ¿cómo has estado?

Which makes things easier in changing the topic without being rude.

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