Spanish words you can’t find in English.

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.

More from the language centre (Fun With Languages)

1.What is a romance language? Everything broken down for the fun of language

2.French deception: vivre en bonne intelligence avec quelqu’un


F Deception: vivre en bonne intelligence avec

Disclaimer: F Deception(French) and S Deception(Spanish) are both terms that I have coined to group faux amis according to languages and for better understanding.

My first phrase for F Deception will be “vivre en bonne intelligence avec quelqu’un” Many English speakers who happen to know a smattering of French will auto translate this phrase as ‘to live in good intelligence with someone‘ This will give any French person a good laugh -maybe not in front of you. French people are said to be extremely polite.

This French phrase means ‘to be on good terms with someone’ Yes, that’s right. You probably would have never guessed it right. Or maybe you would have. These kinds of language deceptions are known as Faux Amis and they are very common among many Romance languages. Find out what Romance languages are from here.

Faux amis of the day: vivre en bonne intelligence avec quelqu’un

Meaning: to be on good terms with somebody

Alternative meaning: peacefully, harmoniously


1. Mes parents vivent en bonne intelligence avec les voisins. — My parents are on good terms with the neighbours.

2. Kofi à travaillé en bonne intelligence avec ses collègues. — Kofi worked for harmoniously with his colleagues.

Bonus: The Spanish translation for today’s faux amis will be ‘llevarse bien con alguien” That is a topic for another day.

Please leave your comments or questions below and I will be pleased to answer them. You can also follow this blog to receive more fun facts and knowledge on languages around the globe.

What is a Romance Language?: Everything broken down for the fun of language.

No, it’s not what you are thinking it is. Romance languages have nothing to do with romantic notions -lol I finally got that out. I just had to. Though some of those languages do sound romantic. Don’t mind me, it is my love of romance getting the better of me. You can check out my blog for romance reviews here. Now let’s dig in.

The most widely spoken Romance languages by natives include Spanish(470 million), French(150 million), Portuguese(250 million) and Italian(90 million). There are others too like Romanian(25 million).

Romance languages evolved from a language known as Vulgar Latin. This vulgar Latin was a language that was used by traders, soldiers and commoners of the ancient roman empire. The other form of Latin was the classical Latin which was used by politicians and people of higher classes.

You see, it all started before the end of the 6th century when the people of the Iberian peninsula decided to mingle with the Celts to form a people called Celt Iberians -cool huh? Well it did not end there. Everything was actually going fine till the Roman empire struck in the 19th century. Those guys were bent on conquering the world. Anyway, the Romans brought their language with them( Latin) which mixed up with the language of the Celtiberians to form Vulgar Latin. So there was the classical Latin which was the original language of the romans and then there was vulgar Latin. Out of this Vulgar Latin came the romance languages we have today. So yes, Romance languages actually refer to languages that have been influenced by the language of the Roman empire and not the kind of language that will make you sound like a lovebird. I will not go into technical details since I don’t want to bore anyone away; and I hate technicalities myself. But I’m sure this gives a pretty clear picture of the mother of romance languages.

Disclaimer: Though the information here is not a lie, it is only meant for fun facts as this blog is intended. I advice anyone who wants intensive information to visit a library.
Statistics from Wikipedia

Knowledge from level hundred Spanish class(Span101) at least all that I can remember.

Please your comments and questions below and I’ll be glad to answer them. You can also follow this blog to get timely fun facts and knowledge on languages around the globe