The principal translations for the English words of "grief" and "sympathy" into Spanish are "dolor" and "compasión" respectively. The translation of these words can vary because of their several meanings.
Grief, in the sense of sorrow following a traumatic experience, is primarily translated to "dolor," which is the Spanish word that describes general pain. Other translations for this form of grief are "pena" and "aflicción." When grief refers to an inconvenience or a nuisance, the word translates to Spanish as either "problema" or "inconveniente."
When sympathy refers to compassion shown during someone else's misfortune, the Spanish words "compasión," "piedad" or "conmiseración" can be used. If sympathy refers to a mutual affection between two parties, the applicable Spanish words are "afinidad" or "simpatía." If sympathy refers to showing support for a cause, the Spanish words "solidaridad" and "apoyo" are acceptable translations.