Some words just don’t translate well into other languages. Usually, these are words that have very precise, nuanced meanings, making literal translations nearly impossible. Spanish is no exception in this regard. This week, we’re going to cover a dozen Spanish words for which there are no direct English equivalents.
Duende means an overwhelming feeling of beauty or to find inspiration in or to be awestruck by nature. It’s similar to the English word “sublime” but is not quite close to make for a one to one translation.
Enmadrarse describes a child who is very emotionally attached to his or her mother.
This word is similar to “breaking in” a new pair of shoes, but refers exclusively to the very first time you wear or use something.
This word is similar to saying that you are going out for coffee. However, merendar, means more than just getting a cup of joe. It can refer to having coffee, brunch, an afternoon snack, or a small meal.
A mimoso is a person who enjoys being the center of attention.
Quincena means a period of 15 days.
Similar to saying that you are going to retire or turn in for the day, recogerse literally means to go indoors in the evening or night when the day is over.
This handy word refers to the reflection of the sun off of any surface.
Sobremesa refers to a conversation that takes place at the dinner table after a meal is finished. If you’ve ever sat around in a restaurant for hours catching up with an old friend, you’ve experienced sobremesa.
A tuerto is a man who has only one eye.
Tutear means to address someone informally using tú rather than the more formal usted. It basically means to address a person casually but in a manner that is specific to the Spanish language.
While technically two words, vergüenza ajena concisely expresses feeling embarrassed on someone’s behalf, regardless of whether the person in question actually feels any embarrassment of their own.
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