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

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9
votes
7answers
4k 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
2answers
622 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
616 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
2k 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
149 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
239 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 ...
9
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
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 ...
2
votes
3answers
129 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
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
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
251 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
262 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
108 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
110 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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
3answers
617 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
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."? ...
4
votes
1answer
818 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
252 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
222 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
318 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
306 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
242 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
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
591 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
355 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
790 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
142 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
453 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
691 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
444 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
416 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
577 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
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 ...
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. ...
2
votes
2answers
453 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
277 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
357 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
549 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
7k 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
436 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
169 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 ...