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Considering the following dialog, what does pero de corazón mean here?

A: Soy de España, claramente.
B: Yo soy de España pero de corazón.

I'm very new to Spanish so when I found all the words in the dictionary, I ended up with "but from heart" so my first thought was "I'm from Spain too but from the heart of it". But now it seems doubtful to me that you can use "corazón" like that in Spanish because I couldn't find any similar examples.

So on second thought, I think it should be something like "to tell you the truth" or "in fact" because I found "de corazón" in the dictionary and it says "sincerely". But I'm just guessing from the context and I might be wrong.

And what does pero mean then?

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The expression de corazón can be interpreted differently, depending on which definition of corazón you use. Per the DRAE:

corazón: […] 3. m. Ánimo, valor, temple. 4. m. Buena voluntad. […] 6. m. Centro de algo

In the sincerely sense, you're really using the 4th definition (effectively: “But in good faith / by my goodwill”). Based on a google search of pero de corazón, this is generally the more common one (~85-90%), but in the sense we've discussed, it's more the 6th definition, “but at my core” (lit. corazón comes from Latin cor which likely gave us English core via French cœur) or the 3rd definition “but in my spirit/soul/fortitude/substance”.

Contextually, though, it doesn't really make sense to say “I'm from Spain, but no really and truly I am”. In this case, it means that they aren't actually from Spain, but that they feel Spanish enough to declare themselves from Spain.

In English we use the expression [adj] at heart / in spirit as in I'm old, but young at heart. In your sentence, we might say in English I'm Spanish, in spirit, at least.

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  • Thanks! So "pero" means "at least" here? – stillenat May 18 '15 at 13:39
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    @stillenat when rendering the whole phrase to very natural English yes, but it really just means "but": " I'm Spanish, but (just/what I really mean is) at heart" – user0721090601 May 18 '15 at 13:41
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Means that the person was not born in Spain or have spanish citizenship but he feels spanish.

I guess the doubt is between these two phrases:

  • Yo soy español de corazón.
  • Yo soy español, PERO de corazón.

The first one is spanish, and he's proud of it. The second one is not spanish, BUT in his mind (or in his heart) he feels like he is.

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But by heart

I am Spanish, but by heart

In English, we typically tend to use at heart to express this. Just as guifa worded it aren't actually from Spain, that's the basic meaning / motif of the irony.

Por means but

Mind you that por has not changed meaning whatsoever as you suggested. De corazón is just cultural phrase in the Spanish language that means endearing. Sometimes children are referred to as someone's heart.

Mi nena es mi corazón

It doesn't literally mean that the infant is the literal heart, it just means that the child is very close to the speaker of said sentence.

Let's say that you just loved to go to Australia. In fact, you love to go so much that you spend a majority of your life there; you are basically Australian, but not literally. So you would be Australian at heart.

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I don't fully agree with guifa

Yo soy de España, pero de corazón

For me it's more like you are making more emphasys like wanting others to know how trully do you feel Spanish. It's like telling others "Hey, I am not saying this just to cause you a good impressión, I am telling it becuase I really think/feel that way".

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It is used in both ways:

  • To express emphasis: "pero de corazón" which could be roughly translated as "not in a light or meaningless way, but truly" It's also similar to "pero de verdad"
  • Or as the english "in spirit": "Nací en Sevilla, pero soy gaditano de corazón" (I'm from Seville, but in spirit, I'm from Cadiz).

The difference is in the context. In this case I think "Yo soy de España pero de corazón" means "I'm truly from Spain not only because I was born in Spain but because I really feel spanish".

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Native spanish here. It means that he is from Spain and he's really proud of it, he loves his country.

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  • nope... take a look at @JesusS answer, the key is "pero" that implies he/she's not actually spanish. – rupps Feb 1 '16 at 13:18

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