12 Spanish Words Difficult to Be Translated in English [Infographic]

Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy


Sometimes it’s difficult to articulate how you feel. We may find ourselves at a loss for words especially during intense situations. People sometimes use more than one language to express their feelings or describe something. This is especially true for those who are speaking in a tongue that isn’t their first language.

In the United States, Spanish is one of the most commonly spoken non-English languages. It’s important to remember that some English words don’t entirely translate to Spanish. Here are 12 Spanish words which have no English translation.

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Consuegro or Consuegra is used to mention the father-in-law or mother-in-law of your daughter or son.

Militar, as a noun means soldier. But when used as a verb, it has no definite meaning in the English language.

Madrugar, as a verb refers to getting-up early in the morning. But as a noun, it has no definite counterpartin the English language.

Trasnochar is used in reference to staying awake all night and cannot be translated into one English word.

Buen provecho
Buen provecho is a phrase used to tell others to enjoy their meal. It also has a French counterpart:“Bon Appétit”, but there is no exact word or phrase in English to express the same.

Golpistaas a nounapplies tosomeone who is involved in a military coup.

Sobremesais used to describe when people have finishedtheir meal, but the conversation around the table is still flowing. In this case, there is no one word translation.

When used in reference to wearingsomething for the very first time, estrenar has no English counterpart.

Pena Ajena/Verguenza Ajena
Pena Ajena or Verguenza Ajena is used to express the feeling of embarrassment or shame on behalf of someone else who doesn’t share the same feeling.

A way of saying the day before yesterday.

When referencing someone who is blind in one eye or missing an eye.

When referencing someone whois very sensitive to cold.

GMR provides fast, affordable, and highly accurate English to Spanish translation services and Spanish to English translation services at affordable rates. 

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Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy is the Cofounder & President of GMR Transcription Services, Inc., a California-based company that has been providing accurate and fast transcription services since 2004. She has enjoyed nearly ten years of success at GMR, playing a pivotal role in the company's growth. Under Beth's leadership, GMR Transcription doubled its sales within two years, earning recognition as one of the OC Business Journal's fastest-growing private companies. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids.