每月文章: June 2019

Six Spanish Words that don’t have an English Translation

By | Culture, Translation | 2 Comments

Language tells us a lot about a particular culture, and there are some Spanish words that don’t have an English translation. For instance, in Spain, they use a number of sayings having to do with food. Spaniards love food. For instance, when trying to say that something takes a long time, they say that it’s longer than a day without bread. 

Here are examples of six Spanish words with no equivalent in English.

Sobremesa

People eating a meal around a table

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This word is a unique part to a Spanish meal. It relates to the time spent talking and drinking after the meal is over. The largest sobremesa I ever participated in was three hours.

Estrenar

Wearing something for the first time

Another word that is not a part of the English language is estrenar. In short, it means to wear something for the first time. There seems to be a certain pleasure one gets the first time something is worn. Separately, in English, there is a concept of ‘breaking something in’ when wearing it for the first time, but this is not the same as estrenar.

Tuerto

One-eyed person

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Another word, tuerto, loosely translates as a one-eyed person. The word comes from the Latin word, tortus, crouket. In early times this word referred to injustice.

Desvelado

desvelado

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The word desvelado means a person who is not getting enough sleep.

Merienda

merienda

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The closest translation is a “snack”, but not really. Many Spanish-speaking countries include a small meal between lunch and dinner where you sit and have coffee, hot chocolate, pastries or a small snack. If you’re an American visiting Spain where there’s an 8 hour lag between lunch and dinner, a merienda might be just what the doctor ordered.

Te Quiero

man and woman hugging

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It’s a word used to show you appreciate someone or care about them. It’s a midpoint between I like you and I love you.