Exploring a new language is an exciting but challenging experience. As we delve into grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation, we discover that each language is a unique universe.
However, one of the most fascinating aspects of this linguistic journey is tackling those expressions that seem to elude direct translation. Therefore, we will examine some examples of Spanish expressions and how they are interpreted in English.
“Está lloviendo a cántaros”.
In Spanish, this expression is used to talk about heavy rain. However, in English, we do not use the same figurative image. Instead, we say “It’s raining cats and dogs,” which indicates heavy rain, albeit in a more literal way.
“Estar en las nubes”.
When someone is distracted or their mind is somewhere else while something is going on, in Spanish we usually say “está en las nubes.” In English, an equivalent expression might be “to have one’s head in the clouds” or simply “to daydream,” meaning that they are lost in their thoughts and not completely focused on the current situation.
“Dar en el clavo”.
This phrase is used when someone hits the nail on the head with an answer or action. In English, you could say “to hit the nail on the head” to convey the same idea.
“Matar dos pájaros de un tiro”.
When we wish to communicate that we have achieved two goals simultaneously through a single action, in Spanish we use a specific phrase. In English, an equivalent option could be “to kill two birds with one stone,” which means that we have solved two issues at the same time.
“Costar un ojo de la cara”.
The expression is used to refer to something that has a very high price tag. In English, you can use the phrase “to cost an arm and a leg” to convey the same idea, indicating that something is quite expensive.
“Echar agua al mar”.
When we want to express that something is useless or pointless, in Spanish we commonly say it is like “echar agua al mar.” In English, a way of conveying the same idea of a useless effort would be to say “to be like pouring water into a sieve,” which implies that effort is being wasted fruitlessly.which implies that effort is being wasted in a fruitless way.
“No hay mal que por bien no venga”.
This expression is used to find a positive aspect in a negative situation. In English, you can use the phrase “Every cloud has a silver lining” to express a similar idea.
As you progress in learning English, you will realise that each language has its own expressions that add unique colour and nuances to communication. It is always exciting to discover how different cultures and languages express themselves, and these divergences are part of what makes learning a new language an enriching experience.
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