Spanish words that have no English translation.


Ever got that puzzling feeling where you understand the meaning of a Spanish word but can’t think of the equivalent in English? Well have no fear… you are not forgetting your English whilst learning Spanish. The reason for this is simply because in Spanish there are some words that have no direct translation to English. Below are a few examples:




  1. Anteayer.
    Basically one-word for saying the day before yesterday- this makes life so much easier!
    ¡Anteayer yo estudié mucho español!
    (The day before yesterday I studied a lot of Spanish!)

  2. ¡Buen provecho!
    Basically means ‘Bon Appétit’! Depending on which Spanish speaking country ou are in you either say it before or after a meal.

  3. Desvelado.
    Unable to sleep or sleep-deprived.
    Estuve desvelado anoche porque mi esposo no paró de roncar.
    (I was unable to sleep last night because my husband woud not stop snoring.)

  4. Estrenar.
    To use or wear something for the first time.
    Cuando estoy estrenando zapatos yo me siento muy feliz.
    (When I am wearing my shoes for the first time I feel very happy.) 

  5. Estadounidense.
    Someone from the United States. In Spanish there is a more specific word for them as opposed to saying American which encompasses everyone from the Americas.
    El actor estadounidense vive en Texas.
    (The actor from the United States lives in Texas.)

  6. Friolento.
    Someone who is overly sensitive to the cold.
    Él es muy friolento entonces no podemos viajar a Rusia.
    (He is overly sensitive to the cold so we cannot travel to Russia.)

  7. Madrugar.
    To get up really early in the morning.
    Tengo que madrugar mañana para ir al aeropuerto.
    (I have to get up very early tomorrow morning to go to the airport.)

  8. Pena Ajena.
    To be embarrassed for someone else even though they are not ashamed themselves.
    Me dio pena ajena cuando ella estaba cantando karaoke.
    (I was embarrassed for her when she was singing karaoke.)

  9. Sobremesa.
    The time spent talking at the table after a meal.
    La sobremesa después de cenar fue muy divertida.
    (The time spent talking at the table after dinner was very funny.)

  10. Tuerto.
    Someone with one eye.
    Cuando era joven, pensaba que mi abuela era una pirata porque era tuerta.
    (When I was young I thought my grandmother was a pirate because she only had one eye.)


There are many more words in Spanish which don’t have an exact translation in English. 

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