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Expressions that don't directly translate from Spanish

3 years ago
When we speak a second language, we often want to translate our thoughts from our native language. While to some degree, this is how we learn, it can also us to some mistakes. As an English teacher living in Spain, I see this all the time from my Spanish-speaking students. Here are a few Spanish expressions that translate a little bit differently in English:

Spanish: no tiene sentido, English: It doesn't make sense (we use make instead of have)

Spanish: estoy de acuerdo, English: I agree (agree here is the verb whereas in Spanish the verb is estar. Saying "I'm agree" is incorrect)

Spanish: Vamos a cenar (o comer o desayunar) English: Let's have dinner (or breakfast or lunch) (in Spanish, cenar, comer and desayunar are all verbs. In English, they are all nouns so you need to put a verb with it. Eat or have are the verbs often used)

Spanish: Dar recuerdos English: send my love. In Spanish, when someone is feeling sick you might say "da le recuerdos" which would literally translate to "give them memories of me." We would just never say that, but the idea can be expressed with "sent them my love."

Spanish: esta casada con English: she is married to (not with)

There are many more that I probably just can't think of right now. Are there any you can think of that don't translate word-for-word?