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

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4
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1answer
793 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
240 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
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 ...
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
287 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
294 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
235 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
123 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
579 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
311 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
710 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
137 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
419 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
623 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
419 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
400 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
4k 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
77 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
534 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
239 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
87 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
308 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
442 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
258 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 ...
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?
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 ...
-5
votes
2answers
341 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
2
votes
1answer
513 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?
2
votes
2answers
6k views

Equivalent of “To whom it may concern:”

When writing formal letters in English where there is no named recipient (for example, a job application sent to a Human Resources department, or a letter sent to an organization in general as opposed ...
4
votes
1answer
421 views

Names of mythical beings/creatures

Another question I asked made me realize that English has many names for mythical beings. Many of these can refer to both a historical myth or superstition as well as a more modern definition (in ...
2
votes
1answer
163 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
134 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. ...
5
votes
2answers
1k 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
11k 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?
3
votes
3answers
360 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 ...
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
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
372 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
2answers
492 views

esperar: wait vs. hope vs. expect

The verb esperar (e.g. Estoy esperándolo.) can be used in at least three senses: to wait for to hope to expect In English, these all mean very different things: I'm waiting for you to ...
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, ...
2
votes
1answer
153 views

Translating “wait until” or “wait for”

How do you translate phrases involving wait until or wait for: Wait until I call you before you leave for the restaurant. Wait for me to come home before you buy the tickets. You should ...
8
votes
3answers
256 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
126 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. ...
5
votes
1answer
728 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
168 views

Translation of the C++ “move constructor” language element

The C++ programming language has several types of constructors (functions invoked when an object is being created): Default constructor: constructor por defecto. Copy constructor: constructor de ...
2
votes
3answers
721 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 ...
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
814 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
342 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
1answer
332 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 ...