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I was looking up a word on the Real Academia Española website. It didn't have what I was looking for, and gave a link to a Twitter feed where I could ask about the word.

In the explanation, I found this sentence, which says the feed will give more detailed explanations:

Pinchando en la pregunta, se accede a información más detallada con enlaces que llevan a explicaciones más amplias.

I'm fine with the Spanish except for pinchando. Is pinchando en la pregunta an idiom? I don't understand how to puncture, prick, tap, prod or nick a question would offer any insight.

Incidentally, I gave that sentence to Google Translate just now, and it bonked worse than usual. According to Google, the pinchando phrase means "cluthing in the question." I have no idea what it's babbling about, but "cluthing" is no word I've ever heard, in English or any other language.

Edit: I originally gave GT the entire passage that contained the sentence (since that was easier), including a linebreak:

Dudas rápidas
Se resuelven aquí de forma concisa algunas de las dudas más frecuentes planteadas por los hispanohablantes. Las respuestas relacionadas con cuestiones no contempladas aún en las obras académicas son provisionales y podrían verse modificadas en el futuro. Pinchando en la pregunta, se accede a información más detallada con enlaces que llevan a explicaciones más amplias. Para encontrar la respuesta a su duda, escriba en el buscador las palabras clave de su consulta.

You can try it yourself. With the linebreak, pinchando is translated as "cluthing" while removing it renders the correct "clicking." Who knew Google was so fussy? Pro Tip: when you use GT in the future, stick to the part you're interested in and never include a linebreak.

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  • Are you sure the word wasn't "clutching"? Interestingly, GT gets it right for me: "By clicking on the question, more detailed information is accessed with links that lead to more extensive explanations." – terdon May 14 at 10:22
  • @terdon that works for me here too and is, to my eyes, correct which is a bonus. – mdewey May 14 at 12:24
  • Umm, though I'm barely able to converse in it, I grew up hearing Mexican Spanish (in Southern California), and this sounds to my ears like a form of the very rude word 'pinche'. I would love it if someone could address the question of whether this is a case of different words sounding very similar, or whether it only has this connotation in certain areas. – JonathanZ supports MonicaC May 14 at 13:10
  • I have, on occasion heard an English speaker use "punching" instead of "clicking". By punching on the question... – Walter Mitty May 18 at 10:19
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Pinchar in this sentence just means "to click", see meaning 11 on DLE. The sentence means

  • By clicking on the question, you can access more detailed information with links to more thorough explanations.

Other ways of saying "to click" are clicar, cliquear, or hacer clic.

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  • with links to more thorough explanations. I upvoted and don't understand why others do not. – Lambie May 13 at 16:15
  • It would be "cliquear" for some of us :D – Martin Argerami May 14 at 7:54
  • Just to add a bit more background, "pinchar" literally means "to pierce", or "to puncture", and since the mouse cursor looks like an arrowhead... you get the idea =) Funny thing is that when you actually click on a link, the mouse cursor becomes a hand instead! – nanaki May 14 at 10:37
  • @nanaki I see from your profile that you're in Barcelona, which is where I learned Spanish. I don't think I've ever heard pinchar for this, only hacer click, clicar and cliquear so I assumed that pinchar was from other regional dialects. Would you use pinchar yourself? And, if so, are you from Spain (or Catalunya) originally or is your idiolect from another region? – terdon May 14 at 11:43
  • @terdon I am native from Barcelona, indeed. Actually, I have mostly read the term pinchar to refer to the action of clicking on a link, and the only rare cases where I have heard it, it was from not-so-young people, not much acquainted with computers, when they want to sound tech-savvy (unsuccessfully). I'd naturally use hacer clic(k), and I'd say is the most common thing here along with clicar. Also, I'd say cliquear is mostly used in LATAM Spanish. – nanaki May 21 at 9:01

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