I'm trying to translate into Spanish something as simple as

That is flattering

To respond to or to describe something someone does or says to you, with the connotations and context of:

  • What you said or did highlights something genuinely good about me
  • What you said or did was sincere. It was not just said or done to please me or to get something from me
  • What you said or did made me feel good or valued
  • I appreciate your feedback/comment/action

For example:

You took a long time to research and look for a gift for me. It is flattering that somebody thinks that one is worth all that time and effort.

That compliment was flattering. No BS, no "kissing your butt", just plain and sincere "you did something that was good", and that was very rewarding and satisfying.

The way you look at me is really flattering. Makes me think I'm the only girl in the world. Makes me think there's something especial and unique about me.

First thing that comes to my mind would be "adulador", but the DRAE's definition gives this term a connotation of "unsincere" and plain "sweet-talker", even "servile", rather than truly admiring, appreciative and complimentary

  1. tr. Hacer o decir con intención, a veces inmoderadamente, lo que se cree que puede agradar a otro.

Similarli, "lisonjero" or "lisonjear", which is a sinonim of "adular" is described as

  1. tr. Dar motivo de envanecimiento.

I wish that there was a term that would not involve "please or feed someone's vanity, maybe with a second intention".

What could be a good translation for "flattering" in Spanish that conveys only positive connotations about the compliment itself, especially considering that the compliment might even be unintentional.

  • 2
    – jacobo
    Commented Apr 26, 2019 at 16:48
  • @ukemi Pues es una buena opción (ponlo como posible respuesta si quieres). Viendo la entrada del RAE, la primera acepción sí puede ser lo que busco, la segunda evidentemente no. Y es lo que me llama la atención de muchos de estos términos, que están cargados de connotaciones negativas. Quizá sea porque siempre se puede dar este uso con dobles intenciones cuando hacer un halago, adulas, lisonjeas... por eso de ahí la pregunta, a ver si aparte de todos estos hay alguno que no deje casi lugar a dudas.
    – Diego
    Commented Apr 26, 2019 at 18:46
  • 1
    Qué tal simplemente (eso) me agrada, ya que la raíz comparte origen tanto con grato como con gracias. Commented Apr 26, 2019 at 20:29
  • We need a sample sentence and context, please. By the way, what I'm used to hearing is "Thank you for those kind words" or "That was such a thoughtful gift." The most common way I hear "flattering" is "Blue is such a flattering color for you." Commented Apr 27, 2019 at 18:50
  • In Spanish we'd use the sentence: "Es un halago."
    – Gustavson
    Commented Apr 28, 2019 at 23:07

1 Answer 1


The verb halagar and its derived adjective halagador and substantive halago are useful in this context:

Vaya, eso es muy halagador por tu parte, ¡gracias!

If you want a single word for this, I think these are your safest bet if you want others to know that you actually mean it — at least compared to the ones you mentioned: adular, lisonjear. Note that it works better if you add muy, mucho or some other intensive before it.

You can also use agradar as an auxiliar verb:

Vaya, me agrada oír eso, ¡gracias!

Though I don't feel it has the same intensity as "flattering".

Finally, if you are OK with using idioms, I would say that the most common way of expressing "being extremely flattered" in (European) Spanish is ponerse colorado (or ponerse rojo):

Vaya, me voy a poner colorado, ¡gracias!

This literally means "to turn red". And now that I think of it, it has its own verb too, ruborizar:

Vaya, me voy a ruborizar, ¡gracias!

Your examples translated using each of the options:

It is flattering that somebody thinks that [...]
Me halaga que alguien piense que [...]
Es muy halagador que alguien piense que [...]
Es todo un halago que alguien piense que [...]
Me agrada mucho que alguien piense que [...]
Me pone colorado que alguien piense que [...]
Me ruboriza que alguien piense que [...]

That compliment was flattering.
Ese cumplido me halagó mucho. Ese cumplido fue todo un halago.
Ese cumplido fue muy halagador.
Ese cumplido me agradó mucho.
Ese cumplido me hizo ponerme colorado.
Ese cumplido me hizo ruborizarme.

The way you look at me is really flattering.
La forma en que me miras es realmente halagadora.
La forma en que me miras realmente me halaga.
La forma en que me miras me agrada realmente.
La forma en que me miras me hace ponerme colorado.
La forma en que me miras me hace ruborizarme.

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