4
votes
2answers
690 views

Translation of “to talk behind someone's back”

What is the typical Spanish translation of the English idiom "to talk behind someone's back" (as in saying something bad about another person to others instead of to them directly)?
4
votes
1answer
529 views

Board game vocabulary [closed]

What are the typical translations in Spanish for the following terms related to board games? board game board (playing) pieces deck of cards to roll the dice to move forward to move backwards to ...
1
vote
2answers
119 views

Translation of “to play favorites”

What is the best Spanish translation of the English idiom "to play favorites" (as in favoring individuals in a group instead of treating everyone equally)?
4
votes
1answer
117 views

What is the etymology of the “diéresis” or “crema”?

This entry of the Diccionario panhispánico de dudas explains the uses of the diéresis or crema (the ¨ mark) in Spanish (it is mandatory over a u to indicate that this vowel must be pronounced in the ...
4
votes
1answer
248 views

Any rhyme or reason to the names of playing cards?

Playing cards A-10 are named expectedingly, As, followed by dos through diez. But the Jack, Queen and King are called (at least in my experience): Jota Qüina Rey I can understand calling a card ...
2
votes
2answers
481 views

Proper response to “con permiso”

When someone says con permiso, for example when squeezing through a crowd, what is the appropriate response? For example, in English we might say something like "sorry" or "go ahead."
2
votes
1answer
97 views

Why is “buena” in different places depending on its use? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Significance of adjective placement In these phrases below, why is the word "buena" in different places? Are there good things? => ¿Hay cosas buenas? Are there ...
8
votes
3answers
6k views

Is “me gustas” ever right?

We have been taught that gustar is an unusual verb and that you only ever use gusta or gustan depending on whether you like singular or plural things. Would you use "me gustas" to say "I like you"?
3
votes
2answers
669 views

Algún to represent an indefinite quantity?

I'm using the textbook Fuentes: Conversación y gramática, and in it it states: "To talk about indefinite quantity in affirmitive sentences and questions, use the following adjectives and pronouns." ...
2
votes
1answer
168 views

Using “qué” or “quién” when talking about people

Imagine for a moment you know who stole your car (some thiefs for example): Sabemos qué personas lo hicieron. The above sentence is the same as saying: Sabemos quiénes lo hicieron. (Persons ...
5
votes
1answer
539 views

A good word for “quest” in Spanish

The translation for Quest is "búsqueda" but it just does not work properly. In English we say "I'm on a quest for the holy grail" this is not quite the same as "I'm searching for the holy grail." So ...
5
votes
1answer
111 views

What adjective ending to use with “algo masculino y/o algo femenino”

When you're using y/o with options of different genders, what's the correct ending to use for an adjective that modifies both? Specifically, I was writing: Si entras un usuario y/o contraseña ...
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?
6
votes
4answers
4k views

Regional usage and literal meaning of “¡No manches!”

The phrase ¡No manches! is quite common here in Mexico, and it's easy to tell from context when it ought to be used (similar to "No way!" in English), but what does it literally mean? And where is ...
5
votes
1answer
4k views

When to add prepositions before an infinitive verb (por/para/a/de)?

With the infinitive form of a verb in English, (e.g. to speak), the word 'to' seems to convey a specific meaning where, in Spanish, an additional preposition is used in some cases. Examples: I ...
5
votes
3answers
371 views

What is the plural of 'Cuba Libre' (the beverage)?

For example, how would one say 'More Cuba Libres' in Spanish?
0
votes
3answers
566 views

Interpretation of quotes or famous sayings [closed]

I know you can't translate everything directly, sometimes it doesn't make sense, specially when it comes from quotes. What would be the best intepretation of the following quotes?: What goes ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

When should the subjunctive be used after 'cuando'?

I thought that any statement after 'cuando' should be in the subjunctive tense if it implied anything other than habitual events or was used in a question, but wasn't sure if this is actually the ...
5
votes
1answer
383 views

What do Mexicans always mutter to me after I say, “Feliz año”?

When I say, "Feliz año" to Mexicans, they usually mutter something and trail off. Is this a standard response to my holiday valediction, am I being dissed, or am I being neurotic?
3
votes
1answer
141 views

Is there a consistent rule for constructing reflexive verbs?

Is there a consistent rule to create reflexive verbs? When utilizing reflexive verbs are all verbs able to become reflexive verbs by adding, se at the end of the infinitive verb? I.E.: "lavarse", ...
2
votes
3answers
771 views

Difference between usage of “por favor” and “please”

I heard that Spanish puts much less value on "por favor" than English does on "please". If this is true, could someone elaborate? Are there any situations where in English 'please' is expected, but in ...
2
votes
1answer
211 views

How important is 'proper' pronunciation in Spanish and is it incorrect to 'make up' a dialect?

All languages have dialects, but there tend to be "major" dialects (e.g. For English, Canadian/American, a few of the British accents could be considered as the main dialects to consider learning ...
3
votes
2answers
102 views

Are nonsensical lyrics common in Spanish lyrics?

Based on the answer given to my other question, I'd like to know if it's common to have completely nonsensical lyrics in Spanish music. I know English music has some ridiculous lyrics, but generally ...
2
votes
2answers
123 views

Why is “por” prefered to “para” in the example within?

From Shakira's Suerte: Yo puedo escalar los Andes solo Por ir a contar tus lunares Why is por preferable to para in this case. If one translation of para is roughly "for the purpose of", ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

Difference between some verbs and pronomial forms of the verb with the same translation

SpanishDict translates some verbs and their pronomial forms (+de, +a, etc.) as the same thing. Off the top of my head: Escapar - to escape Escaparse de - to escape Olvidar - to forget ...
4
votes
1answer
429 views

Names of mythical beings/creatures

Another question I asked made me realize that English has many names for mythical beings. Many of these can refer to both a historical myth or superstition as well as a more modern definition (in ...
2
votes
3answers
101 views

video vs. grabación

What is the difference between video and grabación? In other words, what types of "videos" does each describe? Which of the two would best describe a video recorded using a home video recorder or ...
1
vote
2answers
77 views

Translating “peripheral” (computer device)

In English, "peripheral" or "peripheral device" refers to most devices that can be connected to a computer: keyboards, mice, digital cameras, external hard drives, webcams, etc. Is there an ...
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
518 views

Literal and metaphorical translation of “duende”

I have read that duende can mean both a mythical creature or, metaphorically, a kind of magical sensation to something. What exactly does duende refer to in both senses? How would both of these senses ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

“Vegetable”: verdura vs. vegetal

What is the difference between verduras and vegetales? In what situations can one be used as a translation for "vegetables" and the other cannot?
1
vote
1answer
809 views

Speakers' location in determining venir vs. ir

In English, we use the word "come" very loosely (at least in day-to-day spoken English): Want to come over to my place later? Can I come over to your house for New Years'? Can you come meet me at ...
2
votes
2answers
11k views

Translating “I'm sorry for your loss”

What is the most natural way in Spanish to say "I'm sorry for your loss," as in what you would say to someone grieving over a departed relative or friend (or even the loss of a job)?
7
votes
1answer
292 views

Free online resources for beginner course [closed]

Along with this question, what are good, free online resources to learn Spanish? Important areas such as grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation should be covered.
4
votes
4answers
4k views

Different words for “beer”

In Mexico, besides "cerveza" we call beer the following: cheve chela pisto (anything with alcohol) bironga helada fría These are used informally. Are there any other words used to address beer in ...
3
votes
4answers
736 views

Why “camarada” means friend?

It is common in Mexico to use the word camarada as a way to call informally a friend. For example: Tengo un camarada que es piloto. Ayer fuimos a la fiesta un camarada y yo. RAE defines camarada ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

When would one use the subjunctive form of a verb?

I'm trying to recall some high school spanish and having difficulties as its been several years. Under what conditions would one use the subjunctive form of a verb? Why would you want to use it to ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Other spanish synonyms to “Banana”

I remember reading in high school that the word la banana is actually a different word in several different countries. Is this true? If so what are the other similar/equivalent Spanish words for la ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

Best English translation of “conmoción”

I was told the Spanish word conmoción refers to a strong feeling of shock or emotion shared by a group of people rather than an individual. It seems like English doesn't have a single word or phrase ...
0
votes
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

When does sólo have an accent?

When does the word solo have an accent (tilde) on the first o (sólo)? When does it not?
2
votes
1answer
1k views

reserva vs. reservación

What is the difference between reserva and reservación (as in a reservation that you would make at a restaurant)? Do the two words mean the same thing? Which is used in what parts of the ...
3
votes
2answers
144 views

What do the Latin American language academies do?

The Real Academia Española is the main, official language academy of the Spanish language. But there are also country-specific language academies in most Spanish-speaking countries. What do these ...
3
votes
3answers
164 views

Jumping between pronunciations of “y” in Spanish songs

I've heard a few songs (off the top of my head, A Dios Le Pido) where they pronounce "y" both with a y-sound and an English j-sound at times. In some songs, the different pronunciations occur when ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Translating “a sí mismo, por sí mismo”

The phrase is: un escritor hecho a sí mismo, por sí mismo Searching around, both a sí mismo and por sí mismo were translated as "for himself, by himself". I figure in this context it means: ...
0
votes
1answer
192 views

caja vs. cajón vs. estuche

"Box" in English can be translated into Spanish as caja, cajón, or estuche. What exactly is the difference between these three words? What types of boxes are translated as each? Which would best ...
4
votes
1answer
238 views

Airport baggage vocabulary

On a recent trip to a Spanish-speaking country, I realized I don't know most of the terms involved in the process of retrieving luggage at a destination airport. I thought it would make sense to ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

When to use “tratar de” and when to use “intentar” for “to try to”?

Spanish has three words that can translate to English to try. Probar is easy to remember because it's used for sample or taste, like: Have you ever tried tacos el pastor? But I never know when ...
6
votes
5answers
876 views

¿“Septiembre” or “setiembre”?

Setiembre is only used in Peru, AFAIK, but I wonder if there are any other countries where setiembre, as opposed to septiembre, is also valid. RAE links the definition of setiembre to the definition ...
2
votes
2answers
6k views

Most common translation of “Happy New Year!”

Is "Happy New Year!" more commonly translated as "¡Feliz Año Nuevo!" or "¡Próspero Año Nuevo!"? Are the two basically synonyms, or is there a difference between the two?

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