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A friend of mine from Argentina keeps saying to me "a la orden" and I asked her what it meant and she couldn't explain it. What does it mean? I would guess it means okay?

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Yes Masta!, Aye Aye Captain!, Whatever you say! – dockeryZ Apr 22 '14 at 16:36
You speak some German right? It's the same as "jawohl!" – Jubbat Apr 22 '14 at 19:15
As for German similarities, what came to mind to me was, "In Ordnung!" – B. Clay Shannon Nov 6 '14 at 19:48
In mexico, we say something similar: a sus ordenes. – Paul Jan 16 '15 at 5:02
I would translate this to: "Right away!" (It can also be "yes Sir!", "At your command", etc.) or "Geht in Ordnung!". – Charlie Dec 23 '15 at 8:27

"A la orden" is a military phrase meaning "At your command", used to express the willing to serve to an official.

From there, the phrase slipped into the non-military language with almost the same meaning: the willing to make something requested by somebody you care about: a boss, a client, a friend or a relative.

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In México means something like "at your service" or "at your command".

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Or "At your orders" / "At your disposal". She can use it when you order him something. – AlexBcn Apr 21 '14 at 19:13
It's the same meaning in Argentina. The friend is likely quoting some character's phrase, for it is not a commonly used sentence outside perhaps the military. – Adriano Varoli Piazza Apr 21 '14 at 19:17

In Guatemala it's mostly used as a way to thank and denote that the speaker is willing to help either by doing or facilitating something.


Guatemalan Spanish

A: ¡Felicidades por tu nuevo carro!

B: ¡A la orden!


A: Congratulations on your new car!

B: Thanks! Whenever you need it just let me know.

Guatemalan Spanish

A: Este fin de semana me voy a mudar. ¿Me ayudas?

B: ¡A la orden!


A: I'm moving out this weekend. Do you want to help me?

B: Of course! || Sure thing! || Definitely!!

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Colombia: at your service, what can I do for you. Used in the context of servicing someone, in a restaurant, in a store.

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I'm from Argentina, and I think it means "right away as you command it", meaning both willing to serve, and that the order it's executed as you finish the sentence.

It's more clear with the phrase complete: «Lo hago a la orden» (I do it as you command it).

I hope my explanation was clear.

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¡Que copado!¡Gracias totales! – DerPolyglott33 Jan 1 '15 at 0:38

"A la orden" literally means "at your service" or "at your command." It was used originally in military contexts, usually as a greeting or response to a soldier of superior rank.

For instance, if a major addressed a private, he'd respond with "A la orden, mi comandante!" Which means, "At your service [or command], Captain!"

It stuck as a phrase in Spanish, and is now used in one of two ways:

  1. "At your service" - literal, straightforward meaning
  2. "You're welcome" - Just as in English we have different ways of responding to a "thank you," such as with "You're welcome" and "No problem" or "Don't mention it," this expression is used in Spanish as another substitute for "you're welcome". Because of the connotation the word carries, it carries a more polite undertone than a simple "de nada" (translation: "you're welcome").

The Real Academia Española gives the following definition for "a la orden" (definition #3):

  1. expr. U. como fórmula de cortesía para ofrecerse a la disposición de otra persona.

Basically, it refers to the first definition above.

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