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Some Spanish Words Just Don’t Translate!



We previously talked in this blog about English words that don’t translate directly into Spanish, or how their direct or literal translations are not widely used in Spanish. Now it is time to go the other way around. Let's talk about words in Spanish that don’t translate directly, or whose translations are not widely used in English. Let's get started!



estrenar to use for the first time


¿Estás estrenando esos pantalones?


ajeno someone else’s, (something) that belongs to others


No toques eso, es ajeno.


empalagoso overly sweet


Esta crema es empalagosa.


abrigarse wrap up warm, dress warmly, take shelter


Me abrigué demasiado, tengo calor.


friolento sensitive to the cold


Luke siempre se abriga un montón, es muy friolento.


consuegra/o mother/father-in-law of your daughter/son


Mi consuegra me invitó a jugar al tenis.


concuñada/o sibling of your sister/brother-in-law or

spouse of your sister/brother-in-law


La del vestido rojo es Elsa, mi concuñada.


sobremesa chat after lunch or dinner, table talk


Laura está acostumbrada a las largas sobremesas de mi familia.


madrugar get up early


Tengo mucho sueño porque hoy madrugué.


tentarse (de risa) being unable to stop laughing


Nos tentamos y tuvimos que salir de la iglesia.


opinar give your opinion


Claudio siempre opina aunque nadie le pregunte nada.



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~I’m a Spanish teacher based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Since 2007 I have been teaching Spanish to people from all over the world. Whether looking for an online Spanish tutor, or in person while visiting Buenos Aires, please reach out to me with any questions you might have!~


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