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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

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, ...
2
votes
1answer
159 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
260 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
127 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
741 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
170 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
738 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
894 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
344 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
345 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 ...
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
341 views

What is the difference between “por si” and “por si acaso”?

I learned that "just in case" should be translated por si acaso, but I have also heard por si used by itself without the acaso. I believe I've even heard si acaso without the por. What is the ...
1
vote
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
237 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 ...
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?
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 ...
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
815 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 ...
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 ...
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.
0
votes
2answers
254 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?
9
votes
2answers
143 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" ...
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 ...
7
votes
3answers
228 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
814 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
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
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
265 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
1answer
727 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? ...
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?
7
votes
3answers
417 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
votes
1answer
891 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
vote
2answers
501 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
686 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
836 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
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
789 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?
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
151 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
406 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
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
180 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
80 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
394 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
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?
2
votes
1answer
933 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 ...