7 English words that are impossible to translate into Spanish
I guess for all of you learning Spanish, this is one you are familiar with, in Spanish we do not have just one word, we call them “tarjetas de memoria”o “tarjeta educativa” in a simple way, because I heard people referring to them as “tarjeta mnemotécnica o de ayuda pedagógica”. I think “tarjeta educative is good enough…
So if you want to explain you are using a new app to learn Spanish and it uses flashcards, and you are quite happy with it
To express it in Spanish you will need to say “Estoy aprendiendo español con una nueva aplicación, que usa tarjetas educativas, y estoy muy contento”
2-to fundraise-recaudar fondos-
A lot of the charitiy events in the English speaking countires are in order to fundraise, in Spanish speakers country are “para recaudar fondos”, again overcomplicating things and making them longer..
I am running this weekend in a race fundraise money for kids-“Voy a corer una carrera este fin de semana para recaudar fondos para los niños”
Or if your company is fundraising money for cancer research “tu compañia está recaudando dinero para la investigación del cancer.”
I love this one, do not ask me why, it is so simple in English and it has a Spanish false friend that you have probably used “realizar”, but the meaning is not even close realizar means “to make” or “to carry out”, the real translation for realize, again a reflexive verbs guys…is “darse cuenta”
I am sorry I closed the door I did not realize you were coming behind me, “Lo siento, cerré la puerta, no me di cuenta de que venías detrás de mí”
this is a funny one, at least for me, English speakers have a word for toe…strange!… Spanish speakers just take the word finger, dedo and add “del pie”, simple… but yeah, longer.
So in English you hurt your toe, in Spanish “te haces daño en el dedo del pie.”
Again quite funny that a simple action has not have a exact translation, Spaniards will say “comprobar de nuevo”, “comprobar otra vez”or “volver a comprobar”I guess we could just use “aseguarse” as a synonymous
but that in English will be “to make sure” so not quite right either…
So if you want to make sure “asegurarte” that your friend has double checked something like
Can you double check you do not have my socks in your drawer? In Spanish you will ask them “¿Puedes comprobar de nuevo que no tienes mis clacetines en tu cajón?” , aye. sometimes happens 🙂
closing to the finish line we find this word (damn!) It has so much meaning itself, so it is difficult to exactly translate it into just one word…it is someone who is pretentious is not it? In Spanish we do not have an adjective, noun for it, we use, guess what? A verb, “darse de entendido”in other words someone who pretends understand about something (but most of the time doesn’t) Do not panic, snob is understood in Spanish as well although it looses part of its meaning.
If your friend is a music snob,I do not know if she really knows… “tu amiga se las da de entendida en música, pero no estoy segura de que ella sepa…”
And the last one is
quite a fashionable word now with all the social media, specially if you are using pinterest, is the word to use, well….in Spanish we will have a problem…we do not have that word…what do we have instead? “sujetar con alfileres”yeah, that actually means hold with pins…I know…wonders of the Spanish language…But nowadays is getting more popular to use the English term “to pin”, as it is shorter, and Spaniards love to cut efforts…:)
If you go to the taylor so she can fix your trouser, in an English speaker country she will first pin them 🙂 but if you go to la modista (taylor) in Spain ella los sujetará con alfileres-she will hold them with pins
TIP- we can use the expression “llevar/tener algo con alfileres” to refer something we do not have/get it quite right,
If you have an exam at uni and you haven’t go deep into one of the subjects, you will say I hope they do not ask anything from unit 6 I did not have time to revise it- “Espero que no pregunten nada del tema 6, lo llevo con alfileres…”
Same if you have a meeting and you are nervous as you haven’t prepared it properly
–“estoy bastante nervioso porque lo llevo con alfileres”- I am quite nervous as I did not prepared it well”
Ok amigos, as everyweek that is all for now-eso es todo por ahora , time to finish the post (oh…..sad face)
I hope you enjoyed the article and you learned something new.
This article is just a selection but there are so many words out there, so keep your eyes open for a second part , but in the meanwhile …
The homework for this week is to write a sentences in English (easy) with one (or more-you know what they say, the more the merrier-) and translate it/them into Spanish, (try not to look at the post when doing that) to see if you come up with explanations for these words, or you just the “closest meaning”.
I would love you to practice and to have accountability always helps so I invite you to leave your sentences in the comments below so you can double check “comprobar” that you got the meaning and you are using it right, so do not be shy, I am here to help you and I am looking forward to your sentences.
Now… it is your turn, if you have a friend who can learn from this post, do not keep it as a secret, spread the Spanish joy-word around J Also, I would love to hear from you, did you know these words? Can you think about other ones that don’t have a exactly Spanish translation too? Leave a comment below I am sure they will help someone.
Feliz día-happy day!