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

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4answers
3k views

“It was great to see you”

What is the most natural translation of the English phrase "It was great to see you" (as in what you would say after seeing a friend you hadn't seen for a long time)?
2
votes
2answers
230 views

When it is okay to translate food dishes names?

There are some dishes that don't have a direct translation (i.e. Peruvian ceviche). There are other like Arroz con Pato than can be translated to something like Rice with Duck. Here's a list from ...
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1answer
93 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?
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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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
773 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 ...
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5answers
155 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 ...
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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.
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2answers
246 views

Translation of “a simple vista”

What is the most idiomatic English translation of the Spanish phrase a simple vista? Does it mean "at first glance," or does another expression fit better?
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2answers
142 views

Unclear why to use “A vuestros hijos” instead of “vuestros hijos”

I have the following sentence in English Do your children like to read? Which translates to Spanish: ¿ A vuestros hijos les gusta leer? To me it is unclear, why I have to use "A vuestros" ...
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votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
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3answers
216 views

Translating “actually” (as in a change of mind)

There are many times I run into conversations like this: Waitress: Would you like some water? Me: No thanks. She walks away for a second, then comes back Me: Actually, could I get a ...
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2answers
785 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
329 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 ...
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2answers
145 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
259 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 ...
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1answer
688 views

Translating “how is …?” and “how was …?”

What are the options for translating the phrase "how is" or "how was," as in: How's the steak? How is your day so far? How is the traffic today? and How was your vacation? How was the meeting? ...
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votes
2answers
283 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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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 ...
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
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1answer
843 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 ...
1
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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 ...
3
votes
2answers
623 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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votes
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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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 ...
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 ...
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1answer
751 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
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
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
398 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 ...
3
votes
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? ...
2
votes
1answer
153 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
176 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
79 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
377 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
960 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?
2
votes
1answer
884 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
1k views

Translating “for the rest of the day”

What is the best way to translate the phrase "for the rest of the day" into Spanish, as in the following examples: I'm tired, I think I want to stay home for the rest of the day. Do you think it ...
2
votes
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 ...
1
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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 ...
0
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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?
3
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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2answers
294 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 ...
4
votes
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 ...
1
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1answer
234 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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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 ...
7
votes
4answers
177 views

Is there a translation for “He thumbed his nose at them”?

In English if you "thumb your nose at someone" you are ignoring their authority.. Is there an expression in Spanish that conveys that same sort of disrespect? Edit: adding example. Many ...
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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?
6
votes
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)?