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

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5
votes
2answers
918 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?
3
votes
3answers
329 views

Translating “Help!” (interjection)

In English, if there is any kind of emergency or urgent assistance needed, we use the interjection, "Help!" In Spanish I've seen several: ¡Socorro! ¡Auxilio! ¡Ayuda! or ¡Ayúdame! Which of these is ...
1
vote
2answers
131 views

Translating “wise” (not referring to a person, e.g. “wise decision”)

As I understand it, wise is normally translated as sabio when referring to a person. What about when not referring to a person? For example: I don't think that would be a very wise decision. ...
7
votes
6answers
6k views

How might you say a child is “cute” in Spanish?

Suppose you see a mother with a laughing little 2-year-old. In English, we might exclaim, "how cute!" I've had trouble saying this in Spanish. The word "cute" means something like "beautiful", but it ...
5
votes
3answers
359 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
3answers
9k 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?
4
votes
1answer
349 views

Why does “mostrar a” mean “to show” and not “to show to”?

Tengo una biblia bilingüe. En el 14 capítulo de Juan, cuenta así una conversación entre Jesús y uno de su discípulos: --Señor-- dijo Felipe--, muéstranos al Padre y con eso nos basta. ...
3
votes
3answers
172 views

Throughput in Spanish?

I just wanted to know the best (preferably a single-word) translation of the English word throughput. Would you opt for capacidad, rendimiento or función de transferencia? Thanks Artur
8
votes
3answers
246 views

How does one chain noun adjuncts in Spanish?

A noun adjunct is a noun that modifies another noun. For example, the word "baby" in the phrase "baby food" is a noun adjunct. In this simple case, you can translate it into Spanish as "comida de ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Singular and plural of pants, shorts, jeans, etc

In English, words like pants, shorts, and jeans appear to be in the plural but really refer to one item of clothing (I don't know what the technical term for it is). To be more specific, you can say ...
2
votes
3answers
529 views

Translation of “ASAP”

What is the most common translation of ASAP (As Soon As Possible) in Spanish? I have seen: cuanto antes cuanto antes posible lo más pronto posible cuanto antes, mejor Are these all common and ...
0
votes
1answer
228 views

Translation of “have (someone) do (something)”

What is the most common way in Spanish to express "have (someone) do (something)"? For example, a boss might say to his secretary: Have the marketing manager come see me ASAP!
1
vote
3answers
118 views

Translation of “desafuero” to English

WordReference says that the Spanish word desafuero can be used to refer to the "withdrawal of parliamentary/ministerial privileges." I recently saw this word used in this sense in a newspaper article. ...
3
votes
1answer
316 views

Words for “to encourage”: alentar, animar, fomentar

In English, "to encourage" seems to have at least two uses: to suggest that someone should do something (e.g. "He encouraged me to find a new guitar teacher.") to give confidence or hope to someone ...
2
votes
3answers
115 views

Translation of “twang”

In English (at least American English), "twang" is an onomatopoeia describing the sound of a plucked or vibrating string. It also describes a characteristic of that sound (more common in, say, country ...
4
votes
1answer
110 views

“Mariscal de campo” for “quarterback”

The American football position of quarterback is sometimes translated to Spanish as mariscal de campo (literally field marshal) It does not seem like this is the official translation since RAE limits ...
2
votes
3answers
948 views

Translation of “real estate”

I have read that "real estate" can be translated as: bienes raíces bienes inmuebles inmuebles What is the difference between these terms, and which is the most generic translation of "real ...
3
votes
4answers
33k views

congratulations: felicidades vs. felicitaciones

English I have heard both ¡Felicidades! and ¡Felicitaciones! as translations of the interjection, "Congratulations!" What is the difference between the two, and when is each used? Español He ...
2
votes
1answer
212 views

What is the difference between “por si” and “por si acaso”?

I learned that "just in case" should be translated por si acaso, but I have also heard por si used by itself without the acaso. I believe I've even heard si acaso without the por. What is the ...
2
votes
3answers
656 views

Translation of “I rest my case”

In English, the phrase "I rest my case" can be used in a conversation by one person whose point has just been proven by the other person. In a legal sense, it would mean that a lawyer has concluded ...
4
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
284 views

Translation of cord, cable, string, line, thread, rope, etc

In English there are many words describing different kinds of long, skinny, flexible objects: cord line (as in fishing line, clothesline) cable strand lace (as in shoe lace) thread rope string wire ...
0
votes
1answer
267 views

Translation of “to wind (a rope, hose, string, cord, etc.)”

The other questions about "wind" got me thinking about it's normal verb use. To "wind" something is to wrap it in circles, either around an object or simply making a coil. For this use, it looks like ...
2
votes
1answer
278 views

Translation of the idiom: “To wind (somebody) up”

My question is similar to that of jrdioko's "to wind up (doing something)" However the expression I'm looking for is: "To wind (somebody) up" I know this is an idiomatic expression so there may or ...
3
votes
2answers
294 views

Translating “to wind up (doing something)”

In informal English, we use the phrase "to wind up" to describe the final state of a situation, after all is said and done. For example: How did you wind up moving to Kansas after growing up in ...
2
votes
2answers
225 views

When it is okay to translate food dishes names?

There are some dishes that don't have a direct translation (i.e. Peruvian ceviche). There are other like Arroz con Pato than can be translated to something like Rice with Duck. Here's a list from ...
2
votes
1answer
146 views

“Reclamo” vs. “Reclamación”

Whenever I go to a restaurant I see a Libro de Reclamaciones which I believe it's something like a Book of Complaints. I thought the direct translation of complaint was in fact reclamo or queja. In ...
2
votes
1answer
736 views

Translation of “to be fluent (in a language)”

The literal translation of "to speak a language fluently" would be hablar un idioma con fluidez, but I have heard that means that you speak the language fluidly and smoothly rather than that you have ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

wallet: cartera vs. billetera

The English word "wallet" (as in something you carry in your pocket to hold money, credit cards, etc.) can be translated into Spanish as cartera or billetera. Are the words synonyms that can be used ...
1
vote
1answer
88 views

holy: santo vs. sagrado

What is the difference between santo and sagrado in translating the English religious word "holy." How are the two words used in religious contexts in Spanish-speaking countries?
2
votes
3answers
119 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
81 views

Translation of “en cierta medida”

What is the best translation of en cierta medida to English? It seems like there are several phrases in English that would work, but I'm not sure which best reflects the sense of the Spanish phrase.
3
votes
5answers
147 views

Translation of 'verbose'

I'm a software developer and I've seen thousands of times the word "verbose" in different tutorials, frameworks, etc. I wonder, which would be the correct translation of the word "verbose" in ...
4
votes
3answers
668 views

Translation of “Take ___ for granted”

I have heard this phrase a lot of times before in forms like: Take (anything) for granted. Don't take (anything) for granted. I'm not sure about how to translate it: Dar (algo) por ...
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
131 views

waste: desperdiciar vs. malgastar

I learned that "waste" in English can be translated as desperdiciar or malgastar in Spanish. What is the difference between these two words? Are there any cases where one is correct and the other is ...
1
vote
3answers
290 views

Break: romper vs. quebrar vs. quebrantar vs. partir

Off the top of my head, I can think of four Spanish translations for the English verb "to break": romper quebrar quebrantar partir In what cases can each be used, and what are the differences ...
0
votes
1answer
225 views

Translation of “What was your name again?”

In English, if someone has already met someone else but later forgets their name, they might ask them something like, "I'm sorry, what was your name again?" (which is less forceful than a blunt "What ...
1
vote
2answers
690 views

Translating “They don't call me … for nothing.”

In English, there is a phrase "They don't call me ... for nothing." (showing that some nickname someone has has been confirmed by something they just did or are about to do). Is there any equivalent ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Translation of “take your time”

In English, when making a polite request, it's common to say "take your time" (to tell the other person there's no need to rush). What is the most natural translation of this into Spanish? Is this ...
5
votes
2answers
728 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
378 views

Words for mountain/hill [closed]

English describes landforms that rise above the surrounding land as "mountains" or "hills." What words in Spanish describe a mountain or a hill? What are the differences between them (i.e. what size ...
3
votes
2answers
263 views

What is the difference between parece and pareciera?

What is the difference between parece que and pareciera que? How are both normally translated? What tenses can be used after pareciera que, and in general how is pareciera used?
3
votes
2answers
428 views

Translation of “thank goodness” or “whew!”

In English, if a bad situation seems imminent but is finally avoided, we might reply with an interjection like "Thank goodness!" or "Whew!". I know "Thank goodness!" has several possible translations ...
3
votes
3answers
233 views

Translation of “settling in”

In English, "to settle in" describes what someone does after moving in to a new place or returning from a long vacation: I just got back, I'm still settling in. We moved last week! It will be ...
2
votes
2answers
410 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
115 views

Translation of “in a pickle” and related phrases

In English there are several idioms or phrases that describe being in the midst of a very difficult situation: in a pickle in a quandary in a predicament in between a rock and a hard place How ...
2
votes
1answer
130 views

cordura vs sensatez vs juicio vs sabiduría

Other than juicio, which has the additional meaning of a legal trial, these words all have to do with wisdom, judgement, and/or sense, as I understand it. In what ways are they different?
6
votes
1answer
708 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Ways to express “to get ready” or “to get dressed”

What verbs in Spanish are used to express the concept of "getting ready" or "getting dressed" (for example, before leaving the house to go out to dinner)? I've seen alistarse, arreglarse, prepararse, ...