I am visiting Buenos Aires for the first time to meet my in-law and got her a present, would like to write something on the card. just need help on the Spanish though! I know Argentinian Spanish or Rioplatense can be different (or perhaps not that much?), so here goes:

I got you a rosary made of fresh pearls from the Philippines and a bracelet made of different gemstones to protect you from evil and reduce stress and tension.

I am thinking on:

Te compré (or te tengo) un rosario de perlas desde las Filipinas y un pulsera (should i use this word or is there another term) para protegerlo del mal y reducir estrés y tensión.

I have my pre-translation, but some words i'm not sure of which is more appropriate to use in terms of "bracelet" and "gemstones", couldn't think of a good term for it. I speak Spanish-creole which is like only 60% Spanish so ooopsss..

Also, any opinions on giving your mother in law a rosary? Is that weird?

Thank you everyone!

  • 1
    Just my opinion, but if you are going to write that in a present card, maybe it's better that you write your own Spanish, even if it's sloppy. If your mother-in-law knows you aren't good at Spanish and present her a card written in perfect Spanish, she's going to think that you have requested help or that the sentence is not yours. But if you present her the sentence you have proposed, she's going to understand perfectly and she will surely think that the sentence is yours and no one else's. She will appreciate your effort, maybe even correct your spelling to help you out.
    – Charlie
    Feb 2, 2017 at 14:05
  • Thanks Carlos Alejo. I actually thought of that but guess nervousness got into me and I wanted to make sure my spanish was on the right track! :)
    – aleli
    Feb 2, 2017 at 14:21
  • 1
    I agree with Carlos. Just change protegerlo for protegerla since it is your mother in law we are talking about and go with that on the card. It will sound authentic and she will appreciate your effort (as much as mothers in law can appreciate daughters in law hahaha)
    – DGaleano
    Feb 2, 2017 at 15:00
  • Thanks Dgaleano! But not sure about mothers in law appreciating daughters in law very much! :D I'm very nervous since I'm a foreigner and hmmmm with what i heard about argentines... It's hard to tell! :)
    – aleli
    Feb 2, 2017 at 15:04
  • 1
    I hope she does not google the sentence you write for her. It would be funny to have her reading these comments :D
    – fedorqui
    Feb 2, 2017 at 15:13

3 Answers 3


As suggested in the comments, go with what you have for your card since we think it would be better received, however since this is a "correct Spanish" site let me re-write your sentences in the correct way.

Te/Le compré (te/le tengo) un rosario de perlas de las Filipinas y una pulsera para protegerte/la del mal y reducirte/le el estrés y la tensión.

Notice that protegerla should be feminine.

I also changed reducir by reducirle and added the articles to estrés and tensión

Using una pulsera is fine and either te compré or te tengo or te traje are also ok.

Have in mind that te compré is used when you are more familiar or close to the person (or you are foreigner and don't know) but when you are not that close to people or you want to show some respect you should go with le compré

Regarding the bracelet you could say it is a "pulsera (hecha) de diferentes piedras/gemas"

Giving her a rosary is ok especially if she is catholic (being Argentinian it is very likely she is). It would not be apropiarte if she would practice some other religion like for instance if she is muslim, but I guess you already know that.

  • Thanks DGaleano! I also wanted to ask what the proper translation of gem stones would be, i wanted to write un pulsera hecha de diferentes gemstones (haha). Never knew about the te or le difference, thanks for the heads up!
    – aleli
    Feb 2, 2017 at 15:16
  • I guess the most crucial question would now be is it weird giving my mother in law a rosary? :D
    – aleli
    Feb 2, 2017 at 15:18
  • I added that... it is ok unless she practice some religion where rosaries have no meaning, and even then it could become a nice pearl necklace :-)
    – DGaleano
    Feb 2, 2017 at 15:33
  • 1
    Te tengo un rosario sounds rather off to my (Argentinian) ear. Go with le traje if you're on usted terms, else if you're a bit more familiar use te traje.
    – pablodf76
    Feb 2, 2017 at 16:36
  • Good @pablodf76 we were in need of an Argentinian in this thread
    – DGaleano
    Feb 2, 2017 at 18:18

Let me add to DGaleano's answer and pablodf76's comment that:

  • It should be (te compré...) "protegerte". Or, if you go by "usted", then "Le compré" and "protegerla".
  • Appart from "te compré" and "te traje", you might also use "te conseguí" (which is closer to "got you", but with the nuance that either you did not buy it or it required some effort to get).
  • Thank you Pablo. Guess will try to decide between Le traje or Le conseguí.
    – aleli
    Feb 3, 2017 at 5:08

I'm from Argentina, proper translation into "Argentinian Spanish" would be:

Te traje un rosario hecho de perlas desde Filipinas, y una pulsera hecha de diferentes gemas para protegerte del mal y reducir el estrés.

We don't use the word tension for stressful situation, but if you want to add it anyways, you should write

situaciones tensas.

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