Have you ever been in that tight language spot where you’re trying to remember but just can’t reach it? Probably, a word from another language? You keep thinking 🤔 and saying, “oh this word. I know this word. Wait, doesn’t it begin with this alphabet?” Chance is you probably do know the word but you may not recall it. And if you know the word in another language it’s very likely what you think you know in thesecond language may not be it!
Don’t believe me? I’m going to prove it to you today that you most likely don’t have an exact translation in English for some words and phrases that you may use in everyday Spanish. But do not worry or stress about it if you don’t get the translation intact, about half of the world is probably facing the same problem as you. As it stands, Spanish people are very specific with their time and even more detailed when it comes to describing their actions and feelings. For today’s Fun With Languages, I have selected seven Spanish words and phrases that do not have English equivalents.
1. ESTRENAR: this word is used by Spanish people to describe when they are trying something new for the first time, or when they are breaking in a new shoe or outfit.
Rough translation: trying out something for the first time
2. SOBREMESA: this famous word has some pretty weird tradition behind it. In Spain, a sobremesa refers to the time right after meal when people sit around the table and chat. Yep, it’s a tradition, more like a must because it is viewed as rude if you just stand up and leave right after a meal, be it in a restaurant or at home. Little wonder there is no English equivalent. Who wants to make small talk when they are already late for what’s next on their schedule? So what is the English equivalent? On the table? 😂Your guess is as good as mine.
Rough translation: table talk
3. Desvelado: this word is used to describe the tired state you’re in after staying up all night. It’s kind of like a hungover except you would have had to be drunk the night before to have a hungover in the morning. So what is the English word for this very specific Spanish word
Rough translation: to be tired all day from not sleeping all night.
4. CASA AJENA: this one is for describing a house that uhm…how do I even put it? It’s a house that you visit, but you can not touch anything because it is not your house. Like you follow your friend to his house or his friend’s house and so you can’t touch anything cos it is not okay. Kind of like the house of somebody you don’t know or somebody you know but is not your immediate family so you respect it. Okay, so now that we got that out, how do we say it in English? I don’t think finding the meaning of ajena and attaching it to house will help.
Rough translation: a house in which you cannot poke around or touch things.
5. Friolento: this one is for when someone is constantly cold. Yep, like a permanent cold temperature irrespective of the time of the season. So in the hot seasons, you’re cold and in the cold seasons you are still cold. So is it gonna be coldblooded for English? Nope! There is no one English word for it.
Rough translation: to be cold at all times no matter the temperature.
6. COMADRE/COMPADRE: this one is the name you give to the woman or the man who is appointed as your child’s second parent. It simply doesn’t have an English equivalent and it is kinda hard to explain because we could have said godparents, but that in spanish is padrino.
Rough translation: second parents who are not godparents 😂😂 / co-parents
7.Empalagar: this one is used to describe a person who is too sweet to the point where it is annoying or weird. Over-sweet. Or you can use it to talk about when you are overstuffed or sick of eating something that is too sweet or too sugary.
Rough translation: oversweetnes from eating too much sugar or being with a sweet person
These are just a few of the many words and phrases in Spanish that you cannot find directly in English. If you know of anymore you can add it in the comment section. If you would like to receive more content from Fun With Languages, please follow this blog.
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