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

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2
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1answer
1k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
2k 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
96 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
126 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
82 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
161 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
819 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
7k 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
147 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
336 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
267 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
816 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
840 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
502 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
287 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
691 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
269 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
446 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
120 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
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?
7
votes
1answer
896 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
4k 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, ...
7
votes
3answers
419 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
508 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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
153 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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
268 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? ...
2
votes
1answer
158 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
181 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?
2
votes
1answer
409 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
81 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
1k 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?
3
votes
1answer
395 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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
940 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
792 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?
3
votes
3answers
409 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
160 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? ...
1
vote
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
748 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)?
8
votes
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?
7
votes
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
88 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
311 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
5k 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?
1
vote
1answer
241 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?