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

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3
votes
2answers
148 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
248 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
809 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
192 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
1k 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
304 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? ...
4
votes
1answer
127 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
220 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
586 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
340 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"
9
votes
5answers
418 views

Best way to translate 'uneducated', meaning lacking formal schooling

Generally the Spanish word maleducado more often means rude, rather than unschooled. In light of this, how would one describe someone who is polite and intelligent, but has never been formally ...
15
votes
11answers
16k views

How do you say a “shot” referring to alcohol?

What are some common ways of saying a shot of liquor? This can be referring to a small, usually 1 to 2 ounce drink taken all at once or can be a measure of liquor. For example: I ordered a round of ...
2
votes
3answers
563 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
332 views

Different words for “servant”

According to Wiktionary, the English "servant" has two meanings: One who serves another, providing help in some manner. (e.g. She is quite the humble servant, the poor in this city owe much to her ...
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
119 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
321 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. ...
3
votes
2answers
95 views

Translation of “How difficult was that”

How would I ask someone "How difficult was that?" ¿Qué tan difícil era? ¿Cuán difícil era? ¿Cuánto dificultad tenía eso? Other?
0
votes
2answers
90 views

What are the lyrics at the end of Ojos De Brujo's Piedras Contra Tanques

There are some lyrics at the end of the live version of Ojos De Brujo's Piedras Contra Tanques on Spotify That I'm having trouble translating. It is during the Salsa jam at the end. It's something ...
3
votes
2answers
6k views

Translation of “I would be more than happy to (do something).”

What would be some natural ways to express being "more than happy" to do something in Spanish? For example: I am more than happy to help you with your homework whenever you need it. I would ...
2
votes
1answer
533 views

What is the difference between “de corto plazo” and “a corto plazo”?

What is the difference between de corto plazo and a corto plazo (or de largo plazo and a largo plazo), meaning short-term and long-term? In what contexts can each be used?
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Translating “If (request), that would be great.”

In English, I often use the formula, "If (request), that would be great." For example: If you could go to the supermarket after work, that would be great. If it's possible for you to finish ...
3
votes
3answers
607 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?
10
votes
3answers
2k views

How do you say “I'm gonna get you!”?

When I'm chasing my baby around the room, I frequently tell him, "I'm gonna get you!" and catch him and tickle him. Is there a similar expression in Spanish? I'd love to find something that can be ...
-5
votes
2answers
350 views

What is English translation of this short audio file in Spanish ? [closed]

Please help to translate this simple audio file. audio file on soundcloud
4
votes
2answers
107 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 ...
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?
3
votes
3answers
373 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
135 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. ...
8
votes
6answers
8k 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
412 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
13k 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
383 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
179 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
260 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
918 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
2answers
285 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
128 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
344 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
120 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
111 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
1k 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
44k 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
345 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
741 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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
343 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
347 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 ...