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17 Interesting Spanish Words That Can’t Be Directly Translated Into English

17 Interesting Spanish Words That Can’t Be Directly Translated Into English

Do you ever struggle to find the word you are looking for? You know exactly what you mean – but annoyingly enough there isn’t a word for it.

If you can relate to this, you might not be thinking in the right language. Often other languages have the perfect word while English falls speechless due to cultural differences. Check out 17 interesting Spanish words that don’t have an English counterpart below.

1. Cariño

‘Cariño’ describes feeling love for someone who isn’t your partner or your crush, such as the love you feel for your best friends, family and co-workers.

2. Gula

Ever wanted to eat something because it looks delicious, even though you are not hungry? ‘Gula’ describes the feeling of wanting to eat just because the food tastes good, even if you are already full or not hungry.

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3. Botellón

‘Botellón’ is a group of youths who meet in a public area to socialize and consume alcohol. The youths buy the alcohol from local stores as a cheap alternative to an expensive night out. The phrases literally means “big bottle.”

Most people have walked past teenagers who are getting tipsy in the park, but there isn’t a word in the English language to describe this gathering. Now you can use the Spanish equivalent!

4. Madrugada

‘Madrugada’ refers to the period between the middle of the night and early morning, which is roughly between 1AM and 4AM.

5. Pena Ajena

This Spanish word means feeling shame on behalf of another person (even if that person doesn’t actually feel ashamed.) Perfect for when your friend accidentally trips over!

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6. Sobremesa

‘Sobremesa’ describes the time spent after lunch or dinner talking to the people you shared the meal with.

7. Empacho (Mexican Spanish)

Most of us have experienced Empacho – the uncomfortable, distended abdominal pain that you feel after eating too much food. It isn’t as bad as indigestion or food poisoning, although it can result it vomiting, bloating, diarrhoea and flatulence. It simply means feeling really, really full – so rather than being an infection, the pain is self-inflicted.

8. Duende

This Spanish word describes a climactic show of spirit in either a performance or a work of art. It is often applied to flamenco dancing or bull-fighting.

9. Empalagarse

‘Empalagarse’ is a Spanish word that refers to the strange, fluffy sensation your tongue has after you have eaten too much sweet food. This is the perfect word for people with a sweet tooth!

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10. Fiambre

‘Fiambre’ refers to food that is prepared for spirits and the dead. Fiambre is often a salad, and it is prepared yearly to celebrate Day of the Dead.

11. Atolondrar

Most people have probably felt ‘Atolondrar’ – to become so overwhelmed by something that you become distracted and careless. After a long day of emails, phone calls, texts, work, meetings and deadlines, you may find yourself making silly spelling mistakes and errors.

12. Consuegro

If you are close to your family, ‘Consuegro’ is a useful word to know; it describes the relationship between two people whose children are married to each other. For instance, your mother and your mother-in-law are consuegros.

13. Friolero

A ‘Friolero’ is a person who is especially sensitive to cold weather and temperatures.

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14. Merienda

A ‘Merienda’ is a light, quick meal that is eaten between lunch and dinner, normally in the late afternoon. It is normally considered a meal for children, and if adults eat at the same time they don’t refer to the meal as merienda.

15. Conmoción

‘Conmoción’ is the emotion held in common by a group or gathering.

16. Te quiero

Lots of people will wish there was an English equivalent to the Spanish word ‘Te quiero’; it is a way to tell someone that you care about them. It is more meaningful than ‘I like you’ but less meaningful than ‘I love you’, and is often used between close friends.

17. Lampiño

‘Lampiño’ describes a man who struggles to grow facial hair, and has very little or none at all.

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Amy Johnson

Freelance writer, editor and social media manager.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

What do I want to do with my life? It’s a question all of us think about at one point or another.

For some, the answer comes easily. For others, it takes a lifetime to figure out.

It’s easy to just go through the motions and continue to do what’s comfortable and familiar. But for those of you who seek fulfillment, who want to do more, these questions will help you paint a clearer picture of what you want to do with your life.

1. What are the things I’m most passionate about?

The first step to living a more fulfilling life is to think about the things that you’re passionate about.

What do you love? What fulfills you? What “work” do you do that doesn’t feel like work? Maybe you enjoy writing, maybe you love working with animals or maybe you have a knack for photography.

The point is, figure out what you love doing, then do more of it.

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2. What are my greatest accomplishments in life so far?

Think about your past experiences and the things in your life you’re most proud of.

How did those accomplishments make you feel? Pretty darn good, right? So why not try and emulate those experiences and feelings?

If you ran a marathon once and loved the feeling you had afterwards, start training for another one. If your child grew up to be a star athlete or musician because of your teachings, then be a coach or mentor for other kids.

Continue to do the things that have been most fulfilling for you.

3. If my life had absolutely no limits, what would I choose to have and what would I choose to do?

Here’s a cool exercise: Think about what you would do if you had no limits.

If you had all the money and time in the world, where would you go? What would you do? Who would you spend time with?

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These answers can help you figure out what you want to do with your life. It doesn’t mean you need millions of dollars to be happy though.

What it does mean is answering these questions will help you set goals to reach certain milestones and create a path toward happiness and fulfillment. Which leads to our next question …

4. What are my goals in life?

Goals are a necessary component to set you up for a happy future. So answer these questions:

Once you figure out the answers to each of these, you’ll have a much better idea of what you should do with your life.

5. Whom do I admire most in the world?

Following the path of successful people can set you up for success.

Think about the people you respect and admire most. What are their best qualities? Why do you respect them? What can you learn from them?

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You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.[1] So don’t waste your time with people who hold you back from achieving your dreams.

Spend more time with happy, successful, optimistic people and you’ll become one of them.

6. What do I not like to do?

An important part of figuring out what you want to do with your life is honestly assessing what you don’t want to do.

What are the things you despise? What bugs you the most about your current job?

Maybe you hate meetings even though you sit through 6 hours of them every day. If that’s the case, find a job where you can work more independently.

The point is, if you want something to change in your life, you need to take action. Which leads to our final question …

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7. How hard am I willing to work to get what I want?

Great accomplishments never come easy. If you want to do great things with your life, you’re going to have to make a great effort. That will probably mean putting in more hours the average person, getting outside your comfort zone and learning as much as you can to achieve as much as you can.

But here’s the cool part: it’s often the journey that is the most fulfilling part. It’s during these seemingly small, insignificant moments that you’ll often find that “aha” moments that helps you answer the question,

“What do I want to do with my life?”

So take the first step toward improving your life. You won’t regret it.

Featured photo credit: Andrew Ly via unsplash.com

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