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

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6
votes
2answers
7k 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
577 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
432 views

How should we translate “everything but the kitchen sink” or “the whole enchilada”?

There is an idiom that is popular (and old) in English that states "everything but the kitchen sink". This is a phrase that means "everything that could be conceived". Som examples: "I realized ...
5
votes
6answers
8k views

Why does “Se habla español” translate to “We speak Spanish”?

I see on stores that they have a sign that says Se habla español. From first glance I would think that it is saying "It speaks Spanish". How is it unambiguous that it is saying "We speak Spanish"? I ...
5
votes
3answers
196 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
3answers
74 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?
5
votes
2answers
436 views

Describing stress in Spanish

In Spanish class, I remember learning that "stress" (as in what someone who is coming up on a deadline feels) isn't commonly spoken of in Spanish-speaking countries for cultural reasons, but it can be ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

Translation of “bowl”

I have heard many different translations for bowl (the dish) in different Spanish-speaking countries. What words are normally used to translate "bowl"? Which is most universally understood? What ...
5
votes
3answers
418 views

Translations of 'anyway'

I spoke with a friend that I haven't spoken to in a long time. He started with a question about a test he is having. After I answered the question, I wanted to ask him: "How have you been anyway?" ...
5
votes
2answers
168 views

Counterpart of “John Doe, Joe Public”?

In English these names are used as a substitute for the average guy. Or as a specimen when filling out a passport form. What names/expressions are used in Spanish for this purpose?
5
votes
1answer
312 views

“Ella es nuestra madre” - Why is “nuestra” feminine?

Why is nuestra feminine if we do not know the gender of the people the speaker is referring?
5
votes
1answer
173 views

What would be a good way of expressing “Es un placer haber sido de utilidad.”?

English How can I translate the phrase "Es un placer haber sido de utilidad."? What ways sound most natural? Thanks. Español Cómo puedo traducir la frase "Es un placer haber sido de utilidad."? ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

forever: por siempre vs. para siempre

I have seen "forever" translated as both por siempre and para siempre. What is the difference? Are there contexts where you must use one or the other?
5
votes
3answers
14k views

What is the difference between “De nada” and “No hay de qué”?

I am learning Spanish and ran across "De nada" and "No hay de qué". Both mean "You're welcome" . What's the difference?
5
votes
1answer
254 views

What is the difference between “al” and “a la”?

Consider the following sentence: Vamos a entender a la maestra. (We are going to understand the teacher) I remember seeing in a similar sentence the word al being used instead of a la. So are ...
5
votes
2answers
88 views

Translation of “How far back?” in the context of time

How would I say "How far back do they want me to go?" The context of the question is that I was filling out an application where they wanted my work history. I was attempting to ask the person ...
5
votes
1answer
328 views

Gusto variant of the verb gustar

When I thought I finally had it figured out... I was confronted with the following phrase which obviously must mean: I liked the story of your friend. Which for me logically translates to. ...
5
votes
1answer
673 views

Words for “size”

I know there are multiple words for size in Spanish, but I'm quite fuzzy on when to use them. The two most common seem to be tamaño and talla, although in some contexts (like shoes), número seems ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

“Vegetable”: verdura vs. vegetal

What is the difference between verduras and vegetales? In what situations can one be used as a translation for "vegetables" and the other cannot?
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Translating “Slow down!” (in informal contexts)

English WordReference translates "slow down" as disminuir la velocidad or desacelerar. But those sound pretty precise or technical to me. How would you translate "Slow down!" in other, more informal ...
5
votes
3answers
147 views

Blob in computer vision

I would like to find a good translation for the term "blob" as used regularly in computer vision, when describing a rough outline of the tracking element as a result of a segmentation algorithm. I ...
5
votes
1answer
754 views

Translating medicine names to Spanish

I have sometimes run into cases where I want to translate the name of a medication into Spanish, but can't find the specific medicine name in a dictionary (e.g. amoxicillin, acetaminophen). This is ...
5
votes
4answers
129 views

How do you say “senior agent” in spanish?

As in more "experienced" customer service agent
5
votes
1answer
77 views

Translate something that is in a fashion way

English I have a line of text thats describes something that can be done in a fashion way, How would you translate it to Spanish? This allow the user to extend scalar data type system in an ...
5
votes
2answers
364 views

Putting a child in “time out” en Español

Is there a proper way to say "time out" in Spanish? I've just been using the English word with my son, which he understands, but I'd like something en Español, if something other than a literal ...
5
votes
1answer
70 views

What is the correct translation for “licensed file”?

I want to know what would be a correct translation for a "licensed file", as in "Requesting a download for a licensed file" I just don't know what is correct: Archivo licenciado Archivo con ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

Translation of mild, medium, and hot (food spiciness)

In English, salsa, hot sauce, or other spicy foods are often classified as either mild (not very spicy), medium (moderately spicy), or hot (very spicy). Does Spanish have similar adjectives to ...
5
votes
2answers
855 views

Translation of “how often” questions

What is the most idiomatic translation of "how often" into Spanish in questions like: How often do the buses stop here? How often does it rain in November? How often do you get headaches? How often ...
5
votes
5answers
598 views

Computer science, software engineer/developer, and programmer

When visiting Spanish-speaking countries, I've been told various ways to translate these terms: Computer Science (as in a university degree program) Software Engineer Software Developer Programmer ...
5
votes
2answers
238 views

What is the difference between using “de” and “que” for the English word “to”?

Here are two examples where de and que are meant to translate to to in English: ¿Dónde tengo que dejar los documentos? = Where do I have to leave the documents? Es imposible de saber = It is ...
5
votes
2answers
95 views

¿Como se entiende “go into real estate” en español?

Estuve leyendo un artículo en inglés y me encontré con esta frase. Según he buscado, real estate significa bienes raíces, pero traduciendo esta frase de manera literal a irse a bienes raíces no le ...
5
votes
2answers
341 views

How to say “Pick up”

Like someone's dropped something, or you found something on the ground. How do tell someone to "pick it up"? I've heard "recoger" (to collect) works. Is this true?
5
votes
2answers
134 views

“Lo peor ya ha pasado” - Why is “Lo” used?

The sentence translates to The worse has already passed. Why is lo used instead of el? When am I supposed to use one over the other?
5
votes
2answers
479 views

Can Spanish distinguish between “lonely” and “alone”?

I learned that solo in Spanish means both "alone" (the simple fact of not having anyone else around) and "lonely" (feeling sad because of being alone). Is there any way of distinguishing between these ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

“cursive” and “printed” writing

In English, we describe writing as either cursive/longhand (joined letters) or printed (block letters). What Spanish words are there to describe these concepts? And how common is the use of cursive in ...
5
votes
1answer
221 views

Is this a correct translation for “Today I read a book”

Hoy he leído un libro. I think this is it, but any corrections would be helpful
5
votes
1answer
5k views

Is there a translation for 'Piloncillo'?

The dictionary says brown sugar but azúcar moreno is brown sugar. Besides piloncillo is solid and not a powder. I'm having a hard time explaining to Americans what piloncillo is.
5
votes
3answers
445 views

Translating “I'm bad with [remembering] something”

In English, you can say: I'm horrible with names. I'm bad with faces. I'm really bad with directions. What is the most natural way in Spanish of expressing that you are bad at remembering ...
5
votes
1answer
87 views

What does “barrocanrolera” mean?

In the novel Los años con Laura Diaz by top Mexican author Carlos Fuentes there is a word, "barrocanrolera", which is not in the DRAE, the Gran diccionario Larousse, Wiktionary, or Google Translate. ...
5
votes
3answers
215 views

What would be a good translation of “becario”?

Let me explain myself, the official definition is "scholarship holder", but in some places it is a position in a company, sometimes is a pro bono position but most of the times is an entry level job.
5
votes
4answers
876 views

What is the difference between “ser cierto” and “ser verdad”?

The English "to be true" can be translated to Spanish as either ser cierto or ser verdad. What is the difference between the two? When would you use one instead of the other?
5
votes
1answer
552 views

A good word for “quest” in Spanish

The translation for Quest is "búsqueda" but it just does not work properly. In English we say "I'm on a quest for the holy grail" this is not quite the same as "I'm searching for the holy grail." So ...
5
votes
1answer
209 views

Tanto X como Y - ¿importa el orden?

Estoy traduciendo una frase de inglés: Instructions are available in both English and Spanish. La estructura que me parece más natural para este uso de both es tanto ... como ...: Las ...
4
votes
5answers
486 views

Translation of “should have”

What are the possible translations of "should have", as in "I should have told you earlier"? What are the differences between "debería (de)", "debí (de)", "debiera (de)", "debía (de)", etc.?
4
votes
5answers
160 views

Translation of 'I was the one who did it'

What's the correct way to translate 'I was the one who did it'? By a literal translation it would be: Yo fui el que lo hizo. However, I know in Spanish the verb is often made to agree with the ...
4
votes
5answers
243 views

“Fall in love with” (non-romantic)

English: In English, you can use the phrase "to fall in love with" with people who you aren't literally in love with. For example, when talking about children, you might say: You just fall in ...
4
votes
6answers
191 views

How to ask for a repair shop to fix a car tire?

I recently went to Panama and we had 4 flat tires within 2 weeks. I'm still confused how to properly ask for a repair shop which fixes tires. Can you clarify? I would prefer answers not only for ...
4
votes
5answers
5k views

Most accurate translation of “possum”

What is the most universal Spanish word to describe a possum? What regional variations exist? Does the translation refer specifically to the same animal as the English word, or does it cover a larger ...
4
votes
2answers
152 views

Spanish words for “loop”

I was recently reading a review of a Spanish-English dictionary that picked "loop" as a good example of a word with many possible translations into Spanish. I looked around and found several ...
4
votes
3answers
154 views

What's the correct Spanish word to mean “as” in this context

Words like "as" have many definitions, so I'm having difficulty finding the Spanish word that would make sense in this sense: "Where are you going?" John asked as Mary grabbed her keys. I first ...