What would be the Spanish uses or translations for the word 'struggle'?

For instance the expressions:

  • We're part of the struggle.
  • I´m struggling to make ends meet.
  • The struggle is real.
  • I'm struggling financially.

1 Answer 1


I assume you have already taken a look at a bilingual dictionary such as WordReference. The problem with struggle is that it doesn't coincide exactly with any of its Spanish translations. In your examples one can distinguish several core meanings:

  1. The meaning of fighting, battling, engaging in some kind of militant effort. This can be translated with the Spanish lucha (f.) or luchar.
    • "We're part of the struggle" = Somos parte de la lucha
    • "The struggle is real" = La lucha es real
  2. The meaning of striving against difficulties, so far unsuccessfully. This one can be translated with luchar but also with costar or some periphrasis involving the idea of difficulty:
    • "I'm struggling to make ends meet" = Estoy luchando por llegar a fin de mes (lit. "struggling to come to the last day of the month", i.e. "struggling to keep some money until next payday"); or else
    • "I'm struggling to make ends meet" = Me está costando llegar a fin de mes
    • "I'm struggling financially" = Estoy teniendo dificultades financieras; or maybe
    • "I'm struggling financially" = Estoy financieramente en problemas

Note the particular grammar pattern of costar, similar to that of gustar:

  • "I struggle to do X" = Me cuesta hacer X
  • "X is a real struggle" = X me cuesta mucho
  • 2
    That's a very thorough explanation, quite a mouthful, I've been asked what the translation struggle is several times, but judging y you explanation, I think it all comes down to context.
    – Paco Lopez
    Feb 19, 2019 at 19:09
  • @PacoLopez - So true! // Short answer: for the most part it boils down to two cases: (1) some organized movement --> luchar / lucha and (2) some personal situation --> me está costando trabajo ... / se me está dificultando ... [pagar la renta]. Feb 20, 2019 at 0:54
  • Great answer! Just one note about "Estoy complicado financieramente". It doesn't sound idiomatic, at least in Spain. The meaning for "complicado" that appears in the DRAE doesn't seem to fit. dle.rae.es/?id=A1i78mC Something or someone is "complicado" if it's hard to understand that something/someone. "My finances are hard to understand"="I'm struggling financially"?
    – RubioRic
    Feb 20, 2019 at 7:33
  • 1
    @RubioRic You're right about the DRAE. I'll see if I can rephrase. The expression is idiomatic, though, in my dialect, so I employed it without thinking (estar complicado ~ tener problemas).
    – pablodf76
    Feb 20, 2019 at 10:17
  • Well, I don't mean that you have to remove or rephrase it. You can just indicate that it's an Argentinian expression.
    – RubioRic
    Feb 20, 2019 at 10:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.