10 uniquely untranslatable spanish words you’ve got to know


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Have you ever seen a car that is not quite gray, but also not quite brown? Actually, it's very difficult to describe this color for English-speaking people. But Spanish speakers have no problem at all. ''Pardo'' is the color between gray and brown. Pardo is a color between gray and brown. Pardo — the color between gray and brown.


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University students probably would get the most use from this word. ''Trasnochar'' means to spend the whole night awake without sleeping. This could be helpful when describing why you’re falling asleep during an exam the next day.


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Have you ever taken a sip of something and pulled a face because it was too sweet? Or been irritated by a couple on the street who were holding hands and staring lovingly into each other’s eyes? This is to be sickened by something being too sweet, or ''empalagar'' in Spanish.


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This word plagues people who translate Spanish poetry. It’s hard to describe in English the feeling of contentment you get when you go outside or see fantastic art and feel like you’re connected to everything. In Spanish, they can just say ''duende''.


Verguenza ajena
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Have you ever had to turn off a TV show because the character’s behaviour was so cringeworthy? Or have you felt shame for someone else’s actions in public, even if they’re not embarrassed themselves? In Spanish, this is described as ''verguenza ajena'', or sometimes ''pena ajena''. The closest English translation would be ''second-hand embarrassment''.


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''Aturdir'' is when something overwhelms, bewilders, or stuns you to the point that you’re unable to focus and think straight.


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"Enmadrarse" is used to describe the situation when a child is very attached (emotionally) to his/her mother. They become frantic when their mother leaves the room, even if the other parent is present.


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''Quincena'' is a period of 15 days. That’s the bi-monthly payment that many employees receive in the Spanish-speaking world: once on the 15th of the month, and once at the end of the month.


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''Resol'' is the reflection of the sun of a surface or the glare of the sun.


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''Puente'' is when Thursday is a holiday and you take off Friday to bridge the holiday to the weekend, or, likewise, when Tuesday is a holiday and you take off Monday to extend your weekend.

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