In English I'll say things like "that's cool" or "it would be cool to...".
I've heard the phrase "qué padre" but is that only for Mexico? Is there something that is more general?
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If you want a more universal expression here are a few suggestions:
These are the more general expressions to say it. Expressions like
Estaría bueno que...,
Se las goza etc... are limited to a geographical area or country so not really adapted for you.
The problem with cool is that every spanish speaking country has its own expression to say it, the generic words I told you can mean other things aswell even if the sense is inferred from context like
Have in mind where the people come from before using a slang term, in some countries one term can mean something completely different, this is just a general suggestion.
I don't know if "Qué padre" is only used in Mexico, but I can tell you it's not used in Spain at least. The problem about translating slang words or expressions is that those are among the kind of expressions that vary the most from one country to another (along with food, I'd say). Some countries use the English term "cool", as in "¡Qué cool!", but other don't. In Spain people say "guay", "pasada" or "chulo"; in Mexico they say "chido"; in Venezuela "chévere"; in Argentina "bárbaro" o "copado", etc etc. So you will hardly find any slang term to say "cool" that conforms to all dialects of Spanish in the world.
A word that isn't too slang is bien. You can use the word "bien" to make sure any Spanish speaker understands what you are trying to say, as in:
That's cool = ¡Qué bien! (or ¡Qué bueno! in some LaA countries)
It would be cool to... = Estaría bien que... (or Estaría bueno que... in some LaA countries)
Note that in Spain, "Estaría bien que..." isn't just "It would be a good thing that...", because such thing would be expressed like "Sería bueno que...". So there's a substantial difference between "estar bien" and "ser bueno", being the former something like "to be cool", and the latter something like "to be good". But once again, I don't know whether the same thing goes for all Spanish speaking countries or not.
As a side note, in Spain "estaría bueno que...", as opposed to "estaría bien que...", is only used sarcastically, as in "¡Estaría bueno que después de tanto estudiar, suspendiese por olvidarme la calculadora en casa!". Also, "¡Qué bueno!", as opposed to "¡Qué bien!" is only used as an answer to a joke. So you can see that even the most neuter term one can think of varies from one country to another, and sometimes even within the same country.
Another expression is lo más de lo más, which is way more emphathic than just "cool", something like "really, really, really cool":
That's [really] cool = ¡Es lo más de lo más!
It would be [really] cool to... = Sería lo más de lo más que...
If this is used in all Spanish speaking countries or not, people will tell.
I can also think of ser la bomba, which I believe is the Spanish equivalent for "to be the bomb".
However, you can always go with more "standard" words like estupendo, genial, fantástico, etc.
As you pointed out, there are a lot of regional terms such as
qué padre in Mexico and
macanudo in Central America. There's more great examples on this thread. Also, here's a great Spanish Stack Exchange thread discussing
If you want something universal you could use
impresionante in a formal situation or
¡anda! as more of an informal stand-alone interjection.
I will say that I'm not a native Spanish speaker of any sort and this is just what I've been researching.
The thing about jergas, or colloquial expressions, is that Spanish speakers world-wide recognise them - even if they are not their local lingo.
For example, as an English speaker you know that "That's pretty choice, bro!" is an expression of approval. You might even recognise it as colloquial New Zealand English (especially if it were spoken with the appropriate accent).
So it is with chévere, bacán, qué padre, and qué bárbaro. You can use any of them. Even if it is not from their locale, Spanish-speakers will still grok you. And they find it amusing to hear someone speak a local variant of Spanish, rather than some "international" lowest-common denominator.
So any of them are good.