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

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17
votes
8answers
864 views

How should I translate “table” (as in a data table)?

What should be the correct word in Spanish to translate "table" (as in an arrangement of text or data in rows and columns)? Somewhere I've read that "cuadro" should be preferred to "tabla", but which ...
15
votes
11answers
17k views

How do you say a “shot” referring to alcohol?

What are some common ways of saying a shot of liquor? This can be referring to a small, usually 1 to 2 ounce drink taken all at once or can be a measure of liquor. For example: I ordered a round of ...
15
votes
5answers
746 views

Is there a Spanish equivalent to “-ish”?

In English, we often add "-ish" to the end of a word to make it less exact. Here are some examples: I'll be there at 5:00ish. The shirt was a reddish color. The woman appeared to be 50ish. ...
15
votes
4answers
246 views

What's the correct way to say printed?

What's the preferred past participle of imprimir, imprimido or impreso? For example: Tengo imprimido el email que me enviaste. Tengo impreso el email que me enviaste.
14
votes
6answers
174k views

Why is “De nada” used as a response to “Gracias”?

De means "of", and nada means "nothing", so why, when put together are they used in response to "Gracias"?
14
votes
9answers
4k views

How to translate “I can't wait…”

A literal translation always falls flat, and confuses people (I've learned this the hard way). I can't wait [to see the movie] => No puedo esperar [a ver la pelicula] This always leaves the ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

I forgot how to say “I forgot”

Okay, so I didn't really forget how to say it... I just wanted a clever question title. In my Spanish class I was taught that olvidarse is reflexive: Me olvidé (de la cita). Me olvidé (las ...
13
votes
4answers
826 views

Translation of “bug” to Spanish

What is the best way to translate "bug", as in a misfeature of a computer program or device? Google translate offers a few options, none of which quite seem to fit, except the term itself: bug ...
12
votes
5answers
789 views

How to translate the idiom: “missing the point”?

What would be the correct way to translate into Spanish the idiom: "to miss the point"? I'm often tempted to write "perder el punto", but it doesn't sound quite right. For example: "To bring ...
12
votes
1answer
457 views

How to avoid the lexical redundancy in the literal Spanish translation of “to ask a question”?

In English we have different words for the verb to ask and the noun question. But in Spanish to ask is preguntar and question is pregunta. This always causes me to stumble when speaking Spanish and ...
12
votes
4answers
11k views

How do you differentiate between walnuts and pecans in Spanish?

It recently occurred to me that the Spanish nuez can be translated to English as both "walnut" and "pecan." Is the same word really used for both types of nuts? How would you specify which nut you're ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

How do you say “I got you!” in spanish

If I threw a snowball (or dodgeball) at someone and it hit them, how would I say "I got you!" in spanish?
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 ...
11
votes
3answers
207 views

Is there a Spanish equivalent for “OP”?

The English abbreviation OP for the term Original Poster is widely used over the internet. Do the abbreviation and/or the term have widely used equivalents in Spanish?
10
votes
9answers
3k views

What is the most idiomatic translation of “no way!”

The phrase "no way" is similar to this question about the expression "you wish!" but is perhaps more of an expression of disbelief or rejection of what the other speaker says (short for There is no ...
10
votes
3answers
627 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? ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

How do you say “I'm gonna get you!”?

When I'm chasing my baby around the room, I frequently tell him, "I'm gonna get you!" and catch him and tickle him. Is there a similar expression in Spanish? I'd love to find something that can be ...
10
votes
3answers
525 views

How does one say “It's not nothing.”

In English, we can express the idea that something is not negative, such as: A: What's in the box? B: Oh, nothing. A: It's not nothing! In English, the double negative (not and nothing) ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Translating “be right back” (or “brb”)

In informal spoken English, if we need to interrupt a conversation or meeting to take care of something else and then return, we might use expressions such as: I'll be right back. I'll be ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

How to translate the idiomatic expressions “I wish!” and “You wish!”

What's the best way to say "I wish!" as in... A: I hear you're a good dancer. B: Ha! I wish! Or... A: Will you help me move this piano? B: Ha! You wish! What is the best way to ...
9
votes
4answers
921 views

What Spanish term (or terms) work best to describe a glass jar as used for coffee, jam, etc?

A bit earlier in the chat room I mentioned that I needed to buy a new jar of coffee, but that I didn't know how to express that in Spanish. I want to know a good Spanish word for "jar" in the sense ...
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 ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

¿Cómo se dice “cheers” en español?

¿Qué dicen los españoles cuando juntos levantan la copa de vino solemnemente? ¿Cómo se dice "cheers" en español?
9
votes
2answers
673 views

What is the spanish translation for “Account” when referring to a user account on a website?

The English > Spanish translation of account on Google Translate comes up with various forms of the word cuenta. However, the Spanish > English translation of cuenta returns words relating to ...
9
votes
2answers
186 views

What would be a good translation of “to go well with”?

How could one translate the expression "to go well with" in Spanish? For example: Tequila shots go well with strawberry ice cream.
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" ...
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 ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

How to translate 'to become?' (hacerse, ponerse, convertirse en, etc.)

I've heard several different words used for 'to become' in Spanish. Obviously sometimes there are specific verbs to use, like 'enfadarse' means to become angry, but often you need to use a verb that ...
9
votes
3answers
8k views

Understanding ya vs. todavía vs. aún

English speakers learning Spanish have a hard time understanding the similarities and differences between ya, todavía, and aún (or aun). They don't perfectly match up with the similar English words ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the preferred way of saying “I have to go”?

English As far as I can tell there are two ways to say, "I have to go." Tengo que ir. Tengo ir. Is the second way even right? And if so, which one is the preferred way to say, "I have ...
9
votes
4answers
5k views

Use of AM/PM in time

Aside from using 'military time' (19:00 for 7:00 PM), is there another approach to delineate between AM/PM time in Spanish?
9
votes
5answers
429 views

Best way to translate 'uneducated', meaning lacking formal schooling

Generally the Spanish word maleducado more often means rude, rather than unschooled. In light of this, how would one describe someone who is polite and intelligent, but has never been formally ...
9
votes
2answers
482 views

¿Hay una mejor traducción para up-vote y down-vote que voto positivo y voto negativo?

En StackOverflow y la red StackExchange, existe el concepto de upvote y downvote, que todos usamos diariamente para calificar las preguntas y respuestas que encontramos en los sitios de la red. No ...
9
votes
9answers
2k views

¿Qué significa la frase “Estoy más puesta que un calcetín”?

Una amiga mexicana me dijo la frase "Estoy más puesta que un calcetín." ¿Qué significa eso? El contexto es que ella me ofrece una lección de baile. Ella: Yo te doy unas clasesitas de baile. ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I say “colmo” properly in English?

There is an expression in Spanish to denote something that is absurd or unexpected. Usually it can be the maximum expression of expertise and talent. I wondered about this mainly because in Spanish ...
9
votes
3answers
207 views

idioma, lengua and lenguaje

The words idioma, lengua and lenguaje can all be translated as "language". Are they interchangeable? If not, what are the differences among them? When to use which?
8
votes
6answers
9k views

How might you say a child is “cute” in Spanish?

Suppose you see a mother with a laughing little 2-year-old. In English, we might exclaim, "how cute!" I've had trouble saying this in Spanish. The word "cute" means something like "beautiful", but it ...
8
votes
5answers
9k views

Translation of “Welcome back!”

In English, if someone has been gone for a while and has recently returned, it's common to greet them by saying, "Welcome back!" (or "Welcome back from your trip!", etc). What is the most natural way ...
8
votes
2answers
959 views

How to translate “make it count”

This evening a friend saw a poster in English that said something like: If you have only one chance at opportunity, make it count. She asked me what it meant. She knew enough English to make out ...
8
votes
12answers
10k views

How would you translate the word “badass” to Spanish?

I was thinking maybe of "cabrón" or "chingon" ; however I think those two sound too Mexican specific. Does anybody know a better and less region specific equivalent?
8
votes
3answers
264 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
2k 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?
8
votes
2answers
503 views

Best translation of “just wanted to”

In English, I often use "just wanted to" to soften the force of a question or statement: I just wanted to ask if it was okay with you. I just wanted to make sure you were coming to the meeting ...
8
votes
1answer
676 views

¿Existe un equivalente en español para “foo”, “bar”, “baz”?

En programación es usual encontrar los términos foobar, foo, bar, baz y qux como variables metasintácticas (placeholders, en inglés) que sirven para referirse a variables, funciones o a comandos cuyo ...
8
votes
1answer
4k views

Why is “Santiago” the equivalent of “James”?

Most Spanish names are quite similar to the equivalent in English, such as: Juan = John Pedro = Peter Maria = Mary etc. But what's up with: Santiago = James ? What's the connection? How do the ...
8
votes
2answers
170 views

How can I tell someone what I'm reading about?

I was reading a book, and someone asked me, "¿Qué estás leyendo?" I answered, "Estoy leyendo sobre ..." The person looked at me funny, but seemed to understand what I said. Looking back, it makes ...
8
votes
1answer
596 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
2answers
8k views

“xq” in Internet slang/abbreviations

In informal chat conversations online, I have seen Spanish speakers write the abbreviation "xq." What does this stand for, and why?
7
votes
4answers
3k views

Why does “bomba” mean so many different things?

The word bomba can translate to English as any of the following, depending on the region: bomb pump spray major piece of news bubble fire truck fire station gas station plus a few more... That ...
7
votes
6answers
216 views

What's the best way to inform a pedestrian or fellow cyclist that I'm about to pass them?

It is common courtesy in the U.S. for runners, joggers, and cyclists to announce their presence to others, especially when approaching from behind, by shouting: Right! or Left! This ...