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

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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 ...
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2answers
813 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 ...
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2answers
468 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 ...
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2answers
282 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?
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2answers
620 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 ...
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3answers
256 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 ...
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2answers
439 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 ...
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2answers
119 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 ...
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1answer
136 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?
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842 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 ...
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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, ...
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3answers
409 views

Translation of “bloody” etc. for frustration (colloquialisms)

A random question, In English I use words like 'bloody', 'damn', 'darn', 'blimmin', 'bleedin', 'freaking', to express frustration without using harsh swear words. (Ok maybe 'freaking' is just a spin ...
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2answers
484 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 ...
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3answers
1k views

challenge: desafío vs. reto

The English word "challenge" can be translated to Spanish as desafío (desafiar) or reto (retar). Is there any difference between these words, or are they exact synonyms? If there is a difference, when ...
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2answers
144 views

Insect bites vs. stings

In English, some insects bite you (like mosquitos), while other insects sting you (like bees). A bite generally involves an animal's mouth, while a sting involves another part of the animal (a bee's ...
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1answer
3k views

Translation of “bed bug” (chinche?)

In English, bed bugs are parasitic insects that can infest beds and the areas where people sleep. Wikipedia shows that the Spanish term for bed bug is chinche. However, my understanding is that ...
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3answers
1k views

Are there any words in Spanish that are very difficult to translate to English? [closed]

There seem to be many words (especially technical ones) in English that don't directly translate to a single word in Spanish. What about in the other direction: are there any words in Spanish that are ...
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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 ...
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2answers
259 views

How to form statements like “It was during that time that…”

"It was" is translated as era or estaba. I know for statements like "It was happy with you" (contigo estaba feliz) that works. But what about constructions where the "it" is nothing in specific? ...
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1answer
152 views

justicia: justice and righteousness?

In the Spanish Bible, I believe the English "justice" and "righteousness" are both translated as justicia. Is justicia the only word that can translate both of these terms? Is there any way to know ...
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1answer
175 views

plan: plano vs. plan

The English "plan" can be translated into Spanish as plan or plano. What is the difference between plan and plano, and when would each one be used?
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1answer
397 views

Software environments (development, testing, staging, production)

In software engineering, there are often multiple "environments" the codebase exists in: development testing or qa staging production What is the Spanish term used for "environment," and how are ...
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1answer
78 views

Translation of “Great!”

In English, the interjection "Great!" can be used to respond to almost any statement. In Spanish, I've heard a few similar interjections: ¡Qué bien! ¡Qué bueno! ¡Está bien! ¡Está bueno! I've ...
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1answer
952 views

Translation of “be nice” (said to children)

In English, if children are misbehaving, someone might correct them by saying, "Be nice!" How is this normally said in Spanish?
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1answer
375 views

shy: tímido vs. reservado vs. vergonzoso vs. penoso

In many parts of the Spanish-speaking world, describing a person who is "shy" can be done with at least four different words: tímido reservado vergonzoso penoso What is the difference between ...
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1answer
2k views

Words for boat, ship, and other seafaring vessels

In English, we have many words to describe the different types of vessels that travel on water: boat ship yacht dinghy canoe kayak raft watercraft vessel sailboat barge catamaran lifeboat/liferaft ...
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1answer
881 views

Does pelón/pelona mean bald or hairy?

I have heard pelón (or the feminine pelona) used to both refer to someone who has no hair and someone who has a lot of hair. Is there any way of distinguishing whether pelón means bald or hairy, or is ...
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1answer
750 views

Translation of “too good to be true”

In English, we say something is "too good to be true" to express that apparently amazing deals or benefits generally aren't real. Is there an equivalent phrase in Spanish?
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3answers
390 views

Translation of “I have a feeling…”

What's the best way to translate "I have a feeling..." This is not feeling as in feeling happy/sad etc, but instead more of an instinct/idea/guess. Eg. I have a feeling that someone here knows ...
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1answer
157 views

Translating “to open up” and “closed” (revealing feelings to another)

In English, "to open (oneself) up to someone" describes someone who shares their feelings and emotions with another person as opposed to someone who is "closed" and keeps their feelings to themselves? ...
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1answer
6k views

Translating “kind words” (as in “Thank you for your kind words.”)

In English if someone complements you or expresses their gratitude for something you've done, you can respond with something like, "Thank you for your kind words." What Spanish phrase would best ...
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1answer
704 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)?
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4answers
1k views

Waterfall: cascada vs. catarata

What is the difference between cascada and catarata as translations for the English "waterfall"? Are they synonyms, or is there a difference?
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4answers
2k views

Armpit: sobaco vs. axila

"Armpit" in English can be translated as either sobaco or axila in Spanish. Is each term used in different regions, or are they both used across the Spanish-speaking world? What is the difference, or ...
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1answer
87 views

Translation of “garden shears”

Garden shears (pruning shears) are specialized scissors used in gardening. Loppers are a bigger, two-handed version used to cut larger branches. Are there specific terms in Spanish to refer to these ...
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2answers
293 views

“although” vs. “even though” vs. “though”

In English, there are three conjunctions that are very similar: although even though though Is aunque the only possible translation of these to Spanish, or are there similar synonyms in Spanish as ...
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3answers
4k views

Translation of “llevar a cabo”

What does the Spanish phrase llevar a cabo mean in English? What are the most common translations of the phrase into English?
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1answer
233 views

Efficient: eficiente vs. eficaz

The English "efficient" can be translated as either eficiente or eficaz in Spanish. What is the difference between these two translations? In what situations can each be used?
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1answer
2k views

Translation of “to catch up” (sharing recent happenings with someone you haven't seen lately)

In English, "to catch up (with each other)" can be used to describe two people that haven't seen each other in a while that are sharing recent events in their lives with each other. For example: "I ...
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1answer
3k views

Translation of “What have you been up to lately?”

In English, when meeting someone you haven't seen for a while, you might ask, "What have you been up to lately?" What is the equivalent question in Spanish?
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2answers
2k views

Translation of “Are you ok?” or “Are you alright?”

What is the best Spanish translation of the English phrase "Are you ok?" or "Are you alright?" (said out of concern for someone who has just gotten hurt, for example after tripping and falling or ...
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2answers
3k views

Translation of “What's wrong?”

What is the most natural translation of the English phrase, "What's wrong?" (i.e. what you would ask a person who appears sad or hurt or withdrawn)? ¿Qué te pasó? would be one option, but that seems ...
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votes
2answers
2k views

Ways to say “you're welcome”

The "textbook" way to say "you're welcome" in Spanish is de nada. English has many ways to express this: You're welcome. No problem. Don't worry about it. My pleasure. What other ways are there in ...
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1answer
239 views

7up in Spanish speaking countries

When I first went to Argentina a long time ago I spent 5 minutes trying to ask the person at the bar in a club for a glass of "Siete up" until they eventually understood that I wanted a glass of ...
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2answers
3k views

Is there a translation for “cougar”?

I mean cougar as in a middle-aged woman seeking a romantic relationship with a younger man. I know the term asaltacunas, but this applies to both men and women, so I would like to know if there is a ...
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3answers
116 views

Translation of “CD” and “DVD”

What are the possibilities for translating "CD" (Compact Disc) and "DVD" (Digital Video/Versatile Disc) into Spanish?
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3answers
4k views

Translation of “bowl”

I have heard many different translations for bowl (the dish) in different Spanish-speaking countries. What words are normally used to translate "bowl"? Which is most universally understood? What ...
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1answer
196 views

Vocabulary related to the nose

What are the most common ways of saying: to blow one's nose to pick one's nose stuffy nose runny nose nasal congestion
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5answers
4k views

Most accurate translation of “possum”

What is the most universal Spanish word to describe a possum? What regional variations exist? Does the translation refer specifically to the same animal as the English word, or does it cover a larger ...
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1answer
107 views

Polite terms for excrement

There are many vulgar terms for excrement, but what are the non-vulgar, polite ones (used in medical settings, or with children, or among adults in polite conversation)?