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I know home translates as casa or, in some contexts, hogar. But both these terms refer to a more literal idea than I'd like to use at times. They both seem to refer to the actual house.

Let's imagine I am on a grueling expedition in the middle of the Amazon rainforest and getting weary and edgy by the day. At some point, my tolerance gives in and I tell my friends in frustration, "When will all this be over? I just wanna go home!" Here, I am merely expressing my desire to return to my comfort zone more than the actual physical house that I live in. How do I express this in Spanish?

  • Excellent job on providing specific context for your question! – Flimzy Dec 22 '14 at 17:38
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We actually use casa to say something like what has been given in the example

Quiero volver a casa!

Con lo bien que estaba yo en mi casa y me he tenido que venir al Amazonas!

Casa is a pretty generic word in Spanish, and we used to refer not only to a house, but to where we live (no matter if house, apartment, etc.)

Qué bien se está en casa calentito cuando nieva fuera

Vives todavía en casa de tus padres?

In Spain you would barely hear Hogar to refer to the place that gives you shelter. Maybe in songs or literature, because the word has become old fashioned to refer to a house or building. Nevertheless Hogar has a boarder meaning, and can refer to the place where an individual or groups inhabits.

El Amazonas es el hogar de muchas especies de animales

Llevamos al gato callejero que encontramos a un hogar para animales We took the stray cat we found to a shelter for animals

You wouldn't be saying "quiero regresar al hogar" unless you where trying to sound poetic or where referring to an an abstract place.

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    I should have been clearer when I said non-literal. I know the difference in nuances between house, apartment, condo, villa, etc. and that's not what I was referring to. Let me illustrate with another example: "Palestine is my home and I'll die in it." Would you still use casa in this context? – TheLearner Dec 22 '14 at 16:18
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    Since you are referring to a country, you could use "patria" (Palestina es mi patria) but with that connotation, you would have to use "home" indeed (Palestina es mi hogar y moriré en ella). I'll update the answer. – Diego Dec 22 '14 at 16:26
  • There are some places in Spain where the word hogar is in wider use. I have a friend from Asturias who always says mi hogar for what I would say mi casa. – Gorpik Feb 12 '15 at 15:24
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Hogar is the Habitat

If you say, mi hogar you're pretty much saying something like

My dwelling

If you want to translate things verbatim, then using hogar would be the appropriate word for literal translation. Literal translation as in:

Me gusta la flor - VS - Me it pleases the flower

Mi casa es su casa

The culture attached to the Spanish language has emulsified the word hogar into casa

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