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
4answers
170 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
832 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
945 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.
4
votes
4answers
984 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

“Major” and “minor” (emphasis of study in college)

In many universities in the US, students choose a primary specialty to study (called their "major") and optionally a secondary emphasis (called a "minor"). How would these terms be expressed in ...
4
votes
1answer
633 views

Is there an equivalent idiom for “Slow and steady wins the race”?

English has an idiom: "Slow and steady wins the race." It is used to describe situations where slow, steady progress towards a goal is better than a rushed attempt to achieve things all at once (and I ...
9
votes
7answers
3k views

How should I translate “he is a pain in the ass”?

When referring to someone you don't like Americans (or English speakers) often use the sentence "he is a pain the ass", the literal translation to the Spanish is es un dolor en el trasero ...
7
votes
3answers
278 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 __________?
6
votes
2answers
449 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?
10
votes
3answers
490 views

Translation of “so close”

I was watching the Barcelona-Chelsea game just now, and Messi almost scored a goal in the last minute. How do you say "he was so close"? Messi estuve cerca de meter un gol. Is this correct? ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Translation of “What goes around comes around”

What is the best Spanish translation of the English idiom, What goes around comes around?
3
votes
2answers
141 views

Translation for the adjective “haunting” (as in “a haunting melody”)

What is the best Spanish translation for the English adjective "haunting" (as in "a haunting melody")? WordReference gives three options: evocador, inquietante and inolvidable. Do any of these really ...
4
votes
2answers
221 views

Translation of “Under Pressure” — Queen song title

Today I heard Under Pressure by Queen on the radio. After the song, the DJ announced the song as Alta Presión. That sounds more to me like "High Pressure" than "Under Pressure." I would have ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Translating “looking forward to”

In English, we often used the phrase looking forward to when we are excited about something in the future: I'm looking forward to seeing you next week! I'm really looking forward to finals ...
7
votes
2answers
189 views

What exactly are “mis rasgos”?

Today in conversation a girl told me: tus rasgos, muy bonitos I smiled, replied with some compliment, but I had no idea what did she found nice. And even later, after secretly looking this up ...
2
votes
3answers
118 views

Translation of “desarrollo integral”

What is the best English translation for the Spanish phrase desarrollo integral (as applied to a person or country)? "Complete development" doesn't sound right, and I can't find the phrase in my ...
5
votes
3answers
140 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
2answers
269 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
208 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
226 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
66 views

“performance car” en español

Cuál es el término correcto para "performance car" en español? Esos autos que modifican o que construyen especialmente para carreras.
4
votes
2answers
105 views

Why “fiestas de árboles” and not “árboles de fiestas”?

I encountered the expression "fiestas de árboles" in a song by a Chilean singer whose lyrics are: Tus ojos son fiestas de árboles, son mi ventana. Son estrellas que guían mi caravana. Google ...
3
votes
2answers
102 views

Can someone help deconstruct the sentence “Hicieron usted su tarea para hoy?”

A possible translation of the sentence "Hicieron usted su tarea para hoy?" could be: Did you do your homework (for) today? That said, hicieron is the preterit of hacer for third person plural, ...
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
361 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
554 views

Connotations of “mortal” (slang)

What does the Spanish word mortal mean when used as slang? Does it have a positive or negative connotation towards the thing being described?
5
votes
1answer
162 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."? ...
4
votes
1answer
702 views

Translation: “To wish” expressing regret

How would you translate sentences like: 'I wish I had remembered that earlier.' 'I wish I had made the most of it while I still could.' There are a few ways to say I wish in Spanish, but I ...
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
5answers
210 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
899 views

How do you describe a slight right/left turn (bearing left or right)?

When giving directions in English, we typically say "turn" to mean a full 90 degree (more or less) turn, but a shallow turn can be a "slight left/right" and we might say something like "bear right at ...
3
votes
2answers
241 views

Translation of “slacks” (dress pants)

What is the typical way in Spanish to refer to "slacks" (or dress pants that you'd wear with a suit or other formal clothing)? Is there a universal way to distinguish them from less formal pants? ...
3
votes
3answers
257 views

Various translations of “ticket”

The English word ticket (that is, a slip of paper used to grant access to something) can be translated several different ways in Spanish: boleto pasaje billete ticket entrada resguardo What are ...
4
votes
1answer
204 views

Airport baggage vocabulary

On a recent trip to a Spanish-speaking country, I realized I don't know most of the terms involved in the process of retrieving luggage at a destination airport. I thought it would make sense to ...
4
votes
1answer
121 views

Is fiscalía related to fiscal?

Fiscalía in Spanish refers to a district attorney or public prosecutor. "Fiscal" (in English or Spanish) describes something related to finances. This always confused me because the words are very ...
8
votes
1answer
545 views

Condescendiente / Condescendant

Oh surprise, Condescendant has a very different meaning in English compared to Spanish. Condescendant: Assuming a tone of superiority or a patronizing attitude Condescendiente: adj. Que ...
7
votes
1answer
274 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"
3
votes
1answer
579 views

Translation of “personal statement”

What phrase in Spanish is used to describe a "personal statement" (i.e. a short essay composed for a college application, for example)?
2
votes
1answer
123 views

Translation of “contra viento y marea”

What is the most idiomatic English translation of the Spanish phrase contra viento y marea?
2
votes
3answers
378 views

Proper translation of a Cole Porter song title?

I've seen the Cole Porter song title, "Begin the Beguine," translated into Spanish as "Volver a Empezar." http://lyrics.wikia.com/Julio_Iglesias:Volver_A_Empezar "Beguine," in English is a dance. ...
2
votes
2answers
493 views

Best translation of “accountability”

In conversations about the hardest words or phrases to translate well from Spanish to English, the word "accountability" has repeatedly come up. I have seen the phrase "financial accountability" ...
5
votes
3answers
387 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
3answers
356 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?" ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Translation of “let me know”

I use the phrase "let me know" all the time in English. For example: Just let me know when you're free. Could you let me know whether you can come tomorrow? If you have any questions, just let me ...
1
vote
2answers
74 views

Translating “peripheral” (computer device)

In English, "peripheral" or "peripheral device" refers to most devices that can be connected to a computer: keyboards, mice, digital cameras, external hard drives, webcams, etc. Is there an ...
2
votes
3answers
426 views

Translation of “first time doing something”

What is the most natural way in Spanish to talk about someone's first time doing something? For example: This is my first time eating sushi. That was the first time she's ever gone camping. Was that ...
4
votes
5answers
227 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
83 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
261 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. ...
2
votes
2answers
409 views

Translation of “It will be a while before/until…”

When explaining that something won't happen soon, English uses expressions like: It will be a while until ... It will be a while before ... It will be a long time until ... It will ...