How best to render a tricky Spanish word or expression in English or one from some language in Spanish.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

7
votes
3answers
186 views

Translating “actually” (as in a change of mind)

There are many times I run into conversations like this: Waitress: Would you like some water? Me: No thanks. She walks away for a second, then comes back Me: Actually, could I get a ...
7
votes
5answers
203 views

hover/survoler/sobrevolar? cuál sería la mejor traducción?

Otra vez en el contexto IT, cuando uno pasa el cursor del ratón sobre un elemento de una página web por ejemplo, en inglés se dice "hover" y en francés "survoler". Existe el verbo "sobrevolar" en ...
7
votes
3answers
970 views

Spanish for “douche”?

Is there a Spanish equivalent for "douche", as in the insult? I've search and found several results which, while being correct, either are too regional or lack the force of the English insult.
7
votes
3answers
429 views

Idiomatic translation of “Dame tu luz”?

In the song Pequeño Amor by the Chiquitas, there is the following chorus: Pequeño amor, por siempre tú pequeño amor, dame tu luz The song is a duet, and the above is sung by members of the ...
7
votes
1answer
276 views

Is Portapapeles the correct translation for Clipboard?

In technical terms, what is the correct way to refer to a computer's Clipboard in Spanish? The automated translators say it's "Portapapeles"
7
votes
4answers
307 views

Translating “I hear (that)…”

How do you translate the phrase "I hear (that)..." as in: I hear that you just got back from your vacation. I hear that it rained all last week in Seattle. I hear you got an A on your history final. ...
7
votes
2answers
284 views

¿Qué significa “la tercera edad”?

Una amiga me dijo: Estoy a cargo de mamá que es una señora de la tercera edad. ¿Qué significa "la tercera edad"?
7
votes
1answer
373 views

Why is “Santiago” the equivalent of “James”?

Most Spanish names are quite similar to the equivalent in English, such as: Juan = John Pedro = Peter Maria = Mary etc. But what's up with: Santiago = James ? What's the connection? How do the ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

¿Cómo empezar una carta de manera formal/oficial?

Tengo que escribir una carta formal y quiero escribir de la misma manera y con el mismo respeto que en inglés (dear sir, dear madam), son dos personas que no son parientes pero quiero ser cortés con ...
7
votes
1answer
430 views

¿Existe un equivalente en español para “foo”, “bar”, “baz”?

En programación es usual encontrar los términos foobar, foo, bar, baz y qux como variables metasintácticas (placeholders, en inglés) que sirven para referirse a variables, funciones o a comandos cuyo ...
7
votes
3answers
5k views

Understanding ya vs. todavía vs. aún

English speakers learning Spanish have a hard time understanding the similarities and differences between ya, todavía, and aún (or aun). They don't perfectly match up with the similar English words ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

¿Qué significa “cdta” en una receta?

En esta receta, se dice: 1 cdta. de polvo de hornear 1 cdta. de esencia de vainilla Google traduce "1 cdta" como "tsp" (teaspoon) y también como "tbsp" (tablespoon). ¿Cuál es la correcta? ¿Y ...
7
votes
3answers
280 views

¿Cómo pedir la opinión de alguien?

¿Cómo se pide la opinión de alguien sobre un tema o actividad? Por ejemplo, en ingles se dice: What do you think about __________?
7
votes
2answers
209 views

Is “remover” a good translation for “to remove”?

In the Internet I've often come across to internationalized websites where they have things like: Remove file / Remover archivo I always thought this translation may be done by someone who is ...
7
votes
1answer
346 views

“Ser” and “Estar”: Spanish vs. Portuguese

The English verb to be typically translates to either ser or estar in both Spanish and Portuguese. Is there any instance in which the ser /estar distinction is different between Spanish and ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

¿Cuál es la diferencia entre honor y honra?

Hace poco me di cuenta de que existen dos palabras en español que equivalen a la palabra "honor" en inglés: honor y honra. ¿Cuál es la diferencia entre estas dos palabras? ¿Cuál es más común?
7
votes
4answers
155 views

Is there a translation for “He thumbed his nose at them”?

In English if you "thumb your nose at someone" you are ignoring their authority.. Is there an expression in Spanish that conveys that same sort of disrespect? Edit: adding example. Many ...
7
votes
1answer
260 views

How to write “if this happened, I would have done this”?

I'm quite new to subjuntive and the conditional tense. If I want to write: If I had been rich, I would have bought a car. Is this correct: Si yo hubiera sido rico, compraría un coche. Or should ...
6
votes
4answers
230 views

What is the role of the “le” in the sentence “Miguel le dio a su novia un anillo.”?

The sentence "Miguel le dio a su novia un anillo." translates into Miguel gave a ring to his girlfriend. I would think that there would be no need for the "le", since the direct object (his ...
6
votes
2answers
454 views

¿Cómo se dice la expresión “screen name”?

La traducción literal de "screen name" – un nombre de usuario para un servicio en línea – es "nombre de pantalla". ¿Se utiliza eso comúnmente? ¿O se utiliza otra frase en su lugar?
6
votes
6answers
386 views

How to translate “if any”?

I'm translating a text and have a doubt. It says: Please add a copy of [some specific papers] (if any). I could mix up the sentence and say: "Si existen [...], añade una copia, por favor." But ...
6
votes
4answers
5k views

to drink: beber vs. tomar

I have heard beber and tomar used interchangeably as translations for the English "to drink." Is there any difference between the two, or are they exact synonyms when describing drinking a liquid? Are ...
6
votes
4answers
171 views

Ironic constructions in Spanish

English As part of my masters in linguistics, I am taking a course on the subject of irony. We were given examples of sentences that are most likely ironic, as the English sentence "he is not ...
6
votes
3answers
381 views

Translation of “bloody” etc. for frustration (colloquialisms)

A random question, In English I use words like 'bloody', 'damn', 'darn', 'blimmin', 'bleedin', 'freaking', to express frustration without using harsh swear words. (Ok maybe 'freaking' is just a spin ...
6
votes
1answer
104 views

Polite terms for excrement

There are many vulgar terms for excrement, but what are the non-vulgar, polite ones (used in medical settings, or with children, or among adults in polite conversation)?
6
votes
4answers
21k views

Where did “pico de gallo” get its name?

Does pico de gallo (the type of salsa) literally translate as "rooster's beak"? If so, where did it get that name, and how does that describe the salsa?
6
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the most universal way to say “keep the change”?

Español He escuchado unas pocas opiniones distintas para decir "quédate con el cambio" (es decir, lo que le dices a alguien a quien acabas de pagar cuando cuando quieres que se quede la diferencia ...
6
votes
3answers
848 views

Translation of “by the way”

In Spanish class I learned that the right way to say "by the way" in Spanish was a propósito, but I've recently seen it translated por cierto. How exactly are these two Spanish phrases used, and are ...
6
votes
5answers
206 views

Equivalent phrase for the modern english 'Moot Point'?

Although the origins of 'moot point', appear to have the opposite meaning, I'm wondering does anybody have a short phrase in Spanish for the modern meaning: something irrelevant or not valid for ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

“Unsanded Grout” in Spanish

I read about unsanded grout in a DIY blog and want to buy it. But I don't know how to translate that to spanish. What is it called in Spanish or Castellano?
6
votes
2answers
2k views

“a propósito” vs “de paso” to say “by the way”

How do you say "by the way" in Spanish, as in: By the way, what's your name? By the way, where do you live now? By the way, I met Javier the other day ... Google Translate shows a ...
6
votes
2answers
121 views

Distinguishing between realistic and wishful expectations

Since "hope" and "expect" both translate as esperar, how would you say something like "It was better than I expected, but not as good as I had hoped" in Spanish?
6
votes
3answers
3k views

How do I say “You're making me hungry?”

A friend was describing some food she's making. I wanted to say "You're making me hungry" or "That makes me hungry." What's the proper way to say this? My first thought was to say something like: ...
6
votes
5answers
211 views

What would be a good way to express “You can't get something out of nothing”?

There is a common statement—well, I least I've read quite a few times—that goes like this: You can't get something out of nothing. I would like to know if this sentence has a common translation ...
6
votes
2answers
198 views

Traduccion para “as far as I can tell” / Translation for “as far as I can tell”

Español Como hispanoparlante nativo y, yo considero, con un alto nivel en el manejo del Inglés, varias veces tengo dificultad para traducir expresiones de uso común y me acaba de pasar cuando quise ...
6
votes
2answers
217 views

Translation: “so” to begin a sentence

So in English I often start sentences with the word 'so'. Often I do this when beginning an explanation, but there are heaps of other uses too, like when telling a story or when expecting an answer ...
6
votes
2answers
851 views

Different words for “stop”

In English, we have a fairly generic verb "to stop" that can be used in many different contexts. For example: Stop talking to me! The driver saw the red light and stopped his car. You really need to ...
6
votes
2answers
810 views

Colloquial translation of 'make it up' (to someone)

I've been trying to translate the english idea of 'making it up to someone'. When you couldn't go to a birthday party or you broke a vase in your friends mums house and you say to them: No, I'm ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does “bomba” mean so many different things?

The word bomba can translate to English as any of the following, depending on the region: bomb pump spray major piece of news bubble fire truck fire station gas station plus a few more... That ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

Regional usage and literal meaning of “¡No manches!”

The phrase ¡No manches! is quite common here in Mexico, and it's easy to tell from context when it ought to be used (similar to "No way!" in English), but what does it literally mean? And where is ...
6
votes
2answers
291 views

Is there a standard, most common, or most neutral Spanish term for “chat room”?

Just earlier I was about to mention to somebody in Spanish that I was in a Stack Exchange chat room and I realized I didn't know how to say it in Spanish. There's a bunch of words for "room": ...
6
votes
2answers
115 views

How to refer to a specific decade in Spanish? eg. the 1960's

In English, when you want to refer to a specific decade you simply pluralize the year: the nineteen-sixties (written 1960's) OR the nineteen-tens (written 1910's) Granted, referring to the first ...
6
votes
1answer
709 views

“Echar” vs “tirar” vs “lanzar” vs “arrojar” vs “disparar” (to throw)

The basic meaning of them all as I understand it is: To throw Disparar seems to pertain exclusively to shooting or throwing something for the sole purpose of harming (maybe to shoot is the best ...
6
votes
2answers
106 views

Analog to “sustainability”

I asked a question on english synonyms of "sustainability" alrady on ELU. In Spanish, dictionaries and ngrams give out several options: Comparing with the english ngrams chart I conclude la ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Is there a translation for “cougar”?

I mean cougar as in a middle-aged woman seeking a romantic relationship with a younger man. I know the term asaltacunas, but this applies to both men and women, so I would like to know if there is a ...
6
votes
2answers
5k views

Translation of “checking in” and “following up” (on/with someone)

In English, there are two related phrases that I haven't found an idiomatic Spanish translation for: "to check in (on someone)" and "to follow up (with someone)." Some examples of what I mean: I ...
6
votes
4answers
466 views

What does “La hora de los loros” mean?

"La hora de los loros" is an idiom in Spanish. I've seen it writing and heard it in conversation. How would you say the equivalent in English? Not literally, but figuratively. Is there an ...
5
votes
3answers
190 views

Coffee with legs / The cafe with legs

So there's an infamous coffee shop in Santiago which goes by the name Café con piernas. Everywhere I've seen, including the Wikipedia article linked above, it's translated as "coffee with legs". ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Translation of “cheesy”

What is the best Spanish translation of the English word "cheesy" (something inauthentic, trying too hard to be funny, cheap, shabby, etc.)?
5
votes
3answers
73 views

To remark that / faire remarquer: “advertir”?

What about that word now? "Advertir" I always wondered how to translate "faire remarquer" from french or "to remark that" (sthg, to sb) from english, in spanish. Would "Advertir" do the job?