Every language has words that are based on their culture’s way of life. This means that in Spanish, there are lots of words without exact English translations. Of course, they’re words that you can describe with a few words or a sentence, but there isn’t a 1-to-1 exact translation.
This can make some conversations tricky as a language learner when you really want to just learn exactly what a word means. However, it’s just not always as easy as brazo means arm. We’ll take a look at 8 words that don’t have an exact English translation. Maybe you’ll recognize some!
Words without exact English translations
- Puente- Specifically in Spain, this is a day that you might have off to bridge the time between a holiday and a weekend. It’s awkward to be off for a day, work for a day, then have a weekend, so you might get a puente and have an extra long weekend.
- ¡Aguas!– This isn’t a phrase to be excited for water. It’s a way to say watch out! or be careful! It comes from old-timey Mexico where people would pour water out their windows and shout ¡aguas! to warn others of the falling water.
- Estrenar– In Spanish, this word encompasses the idea of wearing something for the very first time. It’s sort of like premiering your clothes.
- Estorbar– The best way to explain this word without an exact English translation is “to get in the way.” If a person is getting in your way, you can tell them ¡no me estorbes!
- Quincena– This is a very important word for workers across Spanish-speaking countries. It’s the bimonthly payment every 15 days, which is why it comes from the word quince.
- Sobremesa– You know when a meal is over and you sit at the table and talk for a little longer? Maybe you even play a game? There’s a word for that in Spanish, and it’s sobremesa.
- Consuegro- Talking about family in English tends to have more words than Spanish in general, and this one is no exception. Your consuelos are your son-in-law or daughter-in-law’s parents.
- Lampiño- Our last word without an exact English translation is a more precise way to say “hairless”. Many people use it to describe someone who can’t grow facial hair.
There are many more where these come from! Have you heard any of these words before? Let us know in the comments.