20 Spanish words that don’t have a literal translation into English

20 Spanish words that don’t have a literal translation into English

(CNN Spanish) – Imagine that you’ve loved someone for a long time but don’t know how they feel about you. One night they say goodbye on WhatsApp and in the middle of the conversation he texts you I love you. What does he want to say? Was it “I love you”? Or is it actually the phrase “I love you”? Is it the beginning of a passionate love story or a show of brotherly affection? With the expression in English, we’re sorry to tell you, there’s no way to know for sure.

“I love you” It is one of many words that do not have an exact translation from Spanish to English. On the occasion of Spanish Language DayCelebrated on April 23 every year, we remember some of them. Celebrating the richness of our language – with its signs, exclamation points, question marks for opening and closing sentences and dialects – engages (at various levels) more than 590 million people around the world, According to the Instituto Cervantes.

Stay up, stay up late… and get up early the next day

There are probably millions of native English speakers who, for business or pleasure, know what it is stay up late, that is, according to the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE), “spend the night, or a good part of it, watching or not sleeping.” However, they do not have a completely equivalent word, so to explain a sleepless night they have to resort to three or four words: stay up lateAnd Going out all night. And if they stayed up all night the day before yesterday, they wouldn’t be able to solve it quickly either, because that’s another word without a direct translation. to say The day before yesterday There is no other choice but to resort to it The day before yesterday.

And if it was time to get up early the next day, they wouldn’t be able to point out this fact with a single word like wake up early, which is another expression that does not have a literal translation from Spanish to English. The alarm will ring, and it will be their turn wake up early.

When it comes to reasons to stay up late, Spanish also leads the way with some words that don’t have literal English translations, such as a statement also bottlethe expression used for these Concerts Young people are generally at night and outdoors where they drink a lot of alcohol.

Do you want to become my friend’?

Many Argentines will remember the word “friends of interestFor celebs Italian Serie A 90’s TV shows and you might think the term is made up. However, the RAE recognizes and defines it as “a person who maintains a relationship with another person with an obligation less formal than courtship.” This is another word that does not have its exact translation in English. will be the Friends with benefitswhich we refer to in Spanish as friends with rights, but not as friends.

And if it comes to connections between people, Spanish has several words that do not have a single word translated into English, but need compound words, for example melting (brother in law) and father-in-law (father in law). In law s owner They also do not have their exact counterpart in English.

By the way: Do you know your in-laws? If you did, you might be interested to know.”knowledgeIt is another word that does not have a literal translation into English.

Iris and Herbert: A love story that transcends barriers 3:08

Enjoy a good dinner after dinner

What a beautiful good thing desktop! Desktop, specifically, is another word without a literal translation into English. And it is absolutely necessary to indicate the time after eating when we continue the conversation at the table.

And speaking of food, there are many expressions in English that do not have an exact translation, for example for a snack. The English Afternoon snackalso have teabut they don’t have a verb that literally means snack.

And if you’re snacking while we’re reading, Bon appetite! How do we say it in English? Well, there is no such expression either, many English speakers probably resort to French in good health. But what’s the point of being able to say that in our language, right? (which, by the way, The third most spoken language After English and Mandarin Chinese).

In English they have bridgesbut not our favorite bridges

Of course, in the English language there is a word to denote the constructions that we call bridges, which is bridgesBut not for days bridgethose that remained between holidays and holidays and sometimes they are used on holidays.

At night, all cats are gray

Surely you have heard this saying many times: “At night all cats are pardos’, which does not mean brown exactly because when we refer to brown as a color, according to the dictionary it is “like the color of the earth or the skin of a bear, and tends to brown or reddish.” The color, exactly, also has no textual translation (although the proverb also exists , with a variable: All cats are gray in the dark).

If it is a winter’s night, and you are someone who does not have a good time with the cold, then there is another word that does not have a literal translation into English: hot.

The list is not endless, but it goes on

The list of words that do not have an exact translation into English is not infinite, no, but it continues with more verbs, nouns and adjectives. Here are two that you can use on a regular basis. he is sweetthose functions that are poorly done and which sooner or later will have to be fixed; brand newThat moment when you use something new for the first time.

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