Spanish is such a beautiful language. Warm and flowing, fast and interesting, there are many ways to describe what it sounds like to a native English speaker. Because of the difference in culture, there are plenty of words that lack an English translation and vice versa. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of seven Spanish words with no English translation. So, the next time you can’t quite describe something in English, be sure to remember this list, there may be a Spanish word for it.
7 Spanish Words With No English Translation
‘Sobremesa’ is one of those words that is not only special and without translation, but also speaks to Spanish culture. The term ‘Sobremesa’ refers to the time spent after a meal when everyone has finished their food but stays at the table and continues socializing, laughing etc. Nobody is in a hurry to leave or has anywhere to go; they simply just chat and enjoy the company.
Often considered one of the most difficult words to translate is ‘duende.’ Mainly because it’s used to describe a specific emotion and can have multiple meanings. Simply put, though, ‘duende’ generally refers to the strong feeling a person has about nature. For example, when you see the Patagonian mountainscape for the first time or marvel at the Northern Lights. That warm fuzzy feeling? That’s ‘duende.’
We are pretty sure that everyone can relate to this one – ‘estrenar.’ Estrenar is a verb meaning to wear, do or use something for the first time. Such as a new pair of shoes or clothing.
4. Te Quiero
Don’t you ever wish there were a halfway point between ‘I like you’ and ‘I love you’? Well, in Spanish, there is. Instead of making the big leap to ‘I love you’ or, ‘te amo,’ you can say ‘te quiero.’ Te quiero is a magical phrase somewhere in the sweet middle of ‘I have strong feelings for you’ and the big, scary ‘I love you.’
Haven’t you ever seen a car with a bumper held together with duct tape? Or a toilet fixed with zip ties and super glue? In Spanish, that’s called ‘chapuza.’ This adorable insult means that something is done very poorly and is a botched job.
A ‘mimoso’ is anyone who loves affection and being the center of attention. This can look like a needy puppy who is always wanting to be held, a significant other who needs constant affection or your darling grandma who just wants to be loved on.
We all know that person in the office who, even in the middle of June, insists on cranking the thermostat up and is always shivering. This person is called a ‘friolento’ – or someone who is very sensitive to being cold.