If you are planning on visiting Antigua Guatemala to learn Spanish, then you should know that there is a very much used expression you will hear guaranteed (at least once) if you stay for a little while, and this is ‘fijese que…’.
The ‘fijese que’ expression literally a ‘notice’, it has different meanings depending on the situation; and it is commonly used here in Guatemala when you will hear bad news or some sort of negative answer on something you are waiting or requesting for there are exceptions of course.
To understand clearly, ‘Fijese que…’ is an excuse or pretext for not doing something that you are waiting for, and followed by an explanation.
Another common use for this is to tell a story… perhaps a gossip, or when someone what to exaggerate something.
To illustrate how this expression is used, will share a few examples below:
1.- If you visit a traditional candy store in Antigua, you wish to taste the popular ‘canillitas de leche’ but you do not see it at the counter ... then ask the atten for it. She or he might look if there is any to then return and say ‘Fijese que… we are all out of canillitas right now’.
So you would expect that a candy store would have such popular candies, but there is none.
2.- If you are visiting an office or a business place to look for some sort of service, and they tell you ‘Fijese que… we have no system and our computers are not working, we can't help you right now’...
3.- If you go to a store, and ask for a tool (for instance), they could say ‘Fijese que… we don't have that, but you could consider taking this other one with you’.
4.- Let's pretend that you are looking to find your way to the local market to buy fresh vegetables, and ask someone about it… they could say ‘Fijese que… there is a popular vegetable store on the east side of the market to find organic vegetables at very low prices’.
You could translate it like ‘Well, you see..’ or ‘So, you see…’ in English.
So…. ‘Fijese que… this article includes a few examples of many many ways to use and apply this popular expression. When visiting Antigua Guatemala, try to pay attention to how this is used and try to use it yourself. ‘Fijese que … it is fun !