How do you translate the idiom "sound off" in Spanish?

  • 3
    Please add examples where would you like to use it
    – user1629
    Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 11:59

4 Answers 4


I think that the suggestion in the other answer hablar de may be a bit too broad to be considered the best translation for sound off, although in some cases it might be the best choice...

Maybe it'd be better if you use hablar sin tapujos, hablar sin miedo, or something like that, which suggests that you're expressing your opinion openly and without fear or hesitation...

In the WordReference article for sound off, they suggest also despotricar, for example in They are always drinking in the pub and sounding off about politicians.

There could be also other translations, for example in He was always sounding off about higher taxes, I think the best choice would be quejarse, as suggested in this WordReference forum thread.

Finally, in this other thread, they suggest that sometimes it could be translated by avisar or advertir.

  • I really like despotricar for sound off. I believe it will fit nicely in most cases.
    – deStrangis
    Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 9:31
  • 1
    I would add the 3rd definition at the website dictionary reference to exaggerate; boast: Has he been sounding off about his golf game again?. So in spanish can be exagerar, alardear when speaking about oneself. Siempre exagera cuando habla de sus hijos. Alardea de sus riquezas.
    – AlexBcn
    Commented Oct 10, 2013 at 12:37

At The Free Dictionary I found:

Phrasal Verb:

sound off

  1. To express one's views vigorously: was always sounding off about higher taxes.
  2. To count cadence when marching in military formation.

For the first meaning I would use: ”no dejar de hablar (de)” or ”pontificar (sobre)”

no dejaba de hablar de los altos impuestos.

se la pasaba pontificando sobre los altos impuestos.

I am not sure about the second meaning.

  • If I look at dictionary reference to call out one's name, as at military roll call. So it is when they are calling the names of people to check the presence, I think it would be 'pasar lista'. But if I search for military chants appears in many lyrics. Hip hop hippidy hop, Let me hear that left foot drop, BOOM. Sound so good, sound so fine, Let me hear it two more times, BOOM BOOM. Sound off 1,2 Sound off 3,4. Break it on down now 1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4. Could be to call everybody while repeating the song ?
    – AlexBcn
    Commented Oct 10, 2013 at 12:57
  • I probably should have been more clear, @AlexBcn, I understand the meaning (to count cadence when marching), what I lack is a phrase in Spanish to express it. Probably “marchar al compás” but I'm not quite sure as it seems that the English idiom is rather focused in the chant than in the march. Now, I think that “marcar el compás” might be a good translation. Commented Oct 10, 2013 at 15:56

Hablar sin pelos en la lengua.


Literal translation would be al sonido de like when saying:

I woke up at the sound of the alarm.

However, the idiom is more complicated to be translated to Spanish since one needs the whole sentence in order to be able to find the right translation.
I fear the ones previously provided are good but, being an idiom you are asking about, the answer you seek might be different from the ones provided here.

  • 2
    "sound off" is not "sound of" Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 3:36

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