English to Spanish translations gone bad!

Hola chicos,

Buenos días y feliz jueves :)


Today I want to address translations.


When you first start to learn a foreign language, you are pretty much translating from your native language, often word by word.  This is how you first start to learn to speak and it’s perfectly normal.

The issue is when you get to a more conversational level and are still doing it.

There comes a point when you need to pay special attention to how things are said in Spanish and learn phrases more than words.  

For example, in Spanish we “make” parties (hacer una fiesta), we don’t “have” them.  

We also “breakfast, lunch & dine” (desayunar, almorzar, cenar), we don’t “have” meals.  

We also don’t put an “s” at the end of a person’s name to show possession (my Mom’s house/mi mama’s casa), we say that it is “the x of (someone’s) x” (la casa de mi mamá).

These are the little nuances that you can pick up by listening to the language spoken by native speakers.


One more thing I would recommend is acceptance.  Students often get frustrated that Spanish is not like English.  Well guess what?  It’s a whole different language!  And Spanish speakers learning to speak English get frustrated too, by the 7 different pronunciations of the letter “a,” for example (there’s only 1 in Spanish).  But there’s nothing that can be done about it, as it is what it is.  So next time that you are reading subtitles and realize that the language used in Spanish is very different than in English, don’t get mad, use it as an opportunity to learn something new :)


Is there anything that you have recently discovered that is expressed differently in Spanish than in English?



“Éxito aquí” means “Success here.”