Determining English equivalents for words or phrases in other languages (that is, translation into English)

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2answers
72 views

Verb meaning “Verbally correct”? [Translating “Regañar” from spanish]

Talking with my spanish colleagues one used the word Regañar and explained that it means 'tell someone what they are doing wrong', like telling a child to correct their behavior. Can anyone think of ...
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2answers
785 views

Does the word “vain” necessarily have a negative denotation or connotation?

I don't really know how to answer my Brazilian students when they ask me how to say "vaidoso/a" in English. The Portuguese word does not convey a bad idea but "vain" does. Or does it?
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6answers
4k views

Pessimism idiom - opposite of rose-tinted glasses?

In Hebrew, we say "pink glasses" to mean optimistic observation, and "black glasses" for pessimism. I was trying to figure out how popular the literal translations are in English. I found "rose-tinted ...
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3answers
320 views

What does “in charge look” in this sentence mean?

A guy sent me this: I love your in charge look lol guys should bow to you. I really don't get what he means especially that "in charge look " part, as English isn't my native language. Thanks in ...
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1answer
137 views

“The” before person name and context indication

I'm a native French speaker and the following is translated from French: A production still in which the beauty of the natural elements and colours evoke the Renoir of A Day in the Country (1936) ...
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2answers
160 views

What does “cost hit to something” mean?

Please help with understanding phrase "cost hit to something" The original sentence "Is there a cost hit to registering a new account for existing ones?"
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3answers
164 views

Translation for German “brav aussehen”

Although related to English brave, the German word brav doesn't mean being courageous (any more). It rather has the sense of decency. "Sei brav", for instance, would be translated as "Be a good boy/...
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1answer
702 views

How to spell and write ஃ(tamil) in English? [closed]

I need a English word for the sound of one famous Tamil language letter ஃ How is this sound written in English?
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1answer
75 views

Translation of the Russian term “распорядок дня” [closed]

Russian has the term "Распорядок дня." It means a to-do list of things that you do every day or your "order of life" (routine). For example: Get up at 7:00 Work from 9:00 to 15:00 Go to sleep ...
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2answers
192 views

Translation suggestion for the name of a book [closed]

I'm not a native English speaker, and trying to translate the name of a book into English. It's a book about how to travel by bike, and the name I can come up with is An alternative way to travel -- ...
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1answer
311 views

Is the word “Shinobi” an accepted English word?

I've been wondering if the word "Shinobi" is an accepted English word. As far as I know, its synonym "Ninja" is an accepted English word where "Spy" is the nearest common English.
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4answers
29k views

What is the difference between translation and transliteration [closed]

It's always intrigued me what the difference is between these two terms. I can guess that translation is a contextual translation whereby the original foreign text is maintained with any language ...
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3answers
89 views

Party organized by the students of a department

At German universities, there student councils, called "Fachshaft", which is an extracurricular representative structure for students. Each year (or semester), the student councils organize parties ...
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1answer
38 views

meaning of “shifts of activity” in this context

I'm currently translating a paper into Spanish for an assignment and I'm having trouble understanding this small paragraph: Constraints (C1) and (C2), respectively, constrain shifts of activity ...
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1answer
84 views

Translation of the German term “steile These”

Is there any good translation for German steile These, which means something like daring hypothesis? A Steile These is a contentious hypothesis which is or can not really be proven. Examples from the ...
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2answers
69 views

Person who consumes in a restaurant or bar [closed]

What's the word that refers to the person that consumes dishes and/or cocktails in a bar or restaurant? In Spanish, it would be "Comensal". Google translate suggests me "diner", which might cause ...
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1answer
125 views

What term describes words like “scapegoat”?

I have heard that there is a term for words like scapegoat, i.e. words that are translated directly from another language into English, but do not make literal sense out of their original cultural/...
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2answers
221 views

American products, first, last, and foremost

I have a survey and I need to translate it into another language. There is a question in the survey - "American products, first, last, and foremost.". Users have to answer using scale from 1 to 7, ...
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4answers
289 views

How do you say “question de cours” in English?

In French, une question de cours, is a question in a test for which you just need to know the content of your course. It is an easy question (usually) which does not require any reflection.
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1answer
135 views

Why do people use the word “or” when offering a translation?

Normally, "or" is used in situations where either side of the "or" can be true: I want an easy job or a short job. The job can be easy, the job can be short, or the job can be both easy and ...
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2answers
3k views

Can you begin a sentence with an emotion?

Is it incorrect to begin a sentence with an emotion? For example: "Afraid and alone, he no longer wished to continue on." I'm translating some work from a foreign language into English, but I ...
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1answer
223 views

How should this sentence be interpreted?

So I am reading the essay "On Some Verses of Virgil" by Michel de Montaigne (translation by Donald M. Frame) and I came across this particular sentence. Is there any ugliness in doing wrong that ...
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2answers
227 views

The opposite of close set (eyes)

What's the opposite of close set eyes? wide set eyes? far set eyes? :D I heard this in the TV show Grimm. I got curious what would be the opposite
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1answer
312 views

How do you say 'cooked pig small intestine filled with pig blood' in English?

In our culture, we usually serve cooked pig small intestine filled with pig blood in times of feast. Is there a single English word for this? In our language, it's Sa-thithun.
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1answer
260 views

Is this sentence well formed? [closed]

I want a well formed sentence in english GB and US (two sentences if necessary…) from this french sentence: Cette page n'existe pas dans cette langue. Voici son contenu original : Here is what ...
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2answers
61 views

English word for “monnaie” in the context of money creation

The actual quote is: Un débat sur la monnaie n'a pas encore eu lieu. Il aiderait pourtant à clarifier les choses, plutôt que d'attendre la prochaine crise. Current translation is: A debate ...
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1answer
48 views

Alternates for “If quoted the words of …”

Today, I have been doing an 'as-it-is' translation of a non-English text. I have asked the same question before but I think that then I was unable to provide a context for my question to the answerers....
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1answer
53 views

What does “All-stars” mean? [closed]

What does All-star mean in for example Dota All Stars or All star Superman? I am russian speaker so i think it some kind of english idiom, because direct translation doesn't make any sense.
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3answers
50 views

A collocation meaning “one has anger”

In the sentence "[...] once anger prevails our consciousness we should immediately distract ourselves to avoid its subsequent effects.", I have directly translated from Turkish, but I was told that ...
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2answers
93 views

What is an inlay apartment?

I am not sure if this word really exists. I am trying to translate the German word Einliegerwohnung into English. I live in the ground floor of a house and the owner lives in the upper floor. So what ...
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1answer
118 views

What is the difference between a “certificate” and a “diploma”, and do you write “diploma of X” or “X diploma”

I am translating my BSc curriculum to apply to a US university and I can't seem to find any consistency online or a rule to help me translate this line. First the exact French title of this 'diploma' ...
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3answers
119 views

How do I translate “Zwangsrouter”?

I tried to translate Zwangsrouter to English, but couldn't think of a proper translation. Ideas which I had were: forced router sounds somewhat wrong to me, as if the router itself was forced to do ...
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1answer
333 views

Using English naming customs for foreign names

In the English-speaking world, many Russians are known primarily by their first and last name: Fyodor Dostoevsky, Leo Tolstoy. However, from what I've read, the usual practice in Russian is to ...
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1answer
335 views

JFK (Mis)quote Chinese: “不怕神一样的对手 就怕猪一样的队友”

I've been looking for an English equivalent of the Chinese, "不怕神一样的对手 就怕猪一样的队友," which has been, rather directly, translated as: We fear not God-like rivals, but pig-like team members and rather ...
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5answers
12k views

English Translation of “Umay”

As a Filipino-Canadian, I often go to Filipino gatherings with lots of tasty Filipino food. In some cases, we eat so much food that we become full; however, in other cases, we say that we are "umay"......
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4answers
1k views

Word for ability to understand, analyse and judge things

Is there one specific word in English to describe one's ability to understand, analyse and judge things? I'm trying to find an equivalence for 悟性 in English. Thanks.
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3answers
716 views

Meaning of “holloway”

Does it mean just "hollowed underground way" or there is something else? Word is taken from fantasy text.
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2answers
917 views

Translation of foreign company names and abbreviations [closed]

How do I deal with translation of names of foreign organisations or company names and their abbreviations? I have an example where I want to refer to the Swedish television company SVT, which is an ...
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1answer
162 views

“heart advice” - jarring or beautiful?

I'm translating a Tibetan text written in verse into English. The style is one of direct advice rather than learned philosophy. My aim is for the translation to have the same down-to-earth quality as ...
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1answer
703 views

A single word for “blind” and “slow on the uptake” [closed]

We have a word tiomny in Russian which has the meanings blind, dim, and dumb. Is there a word (possibly slang) in American English which is as close in meaning to both blind and slow on the uptake?
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2answers
1k views

Is there a popular / informal way of expressing a need to use a toilet?

In (Canadian?) French, we have an expression, "j'ai envie" (litteraly: I want), which, when used without any subject, means that the speaker needs to use a toilet, either to urinate or defecate. It is ...
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1answer
51 views

Translation of mountain and lake names

I grew up in Geneva, with a beautiful view of Mont Blanc. When I was in university, I hiked up Ben Nevis. Now I'm working in Taiwan, and I talked to colleagues this lunchtime about hiking up Yushan ...
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1answer
46 views

In poetry, what can I use to refer to someone without gender?

I am translating a poem from Korean. The poet is deliberately avoiding a gender reference (or, deeming it unnecessary) by using a neutral impersonal pronoun. In Korean there are generally few inbuilt ...
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1answer
58 views

Translating a surname to English - a tough one

Hello Ladies and Gents! This has been bothering me for the last couple of years. When I was 16-17y old I had a problem with explaining my US/UK friends how to pronounce my surname - "Wieczorek". ...
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1answer
31 views

Martin Fierro chapter division name

The book Martin Fierro has been divided into (in Spanish) "Cantos", chapters written in prose. What is their name in english?
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7answers
244 views

How to translate the modern use of dutch term 'strippenkaart' [duplicate]

Originally, in the Netherlands, a 'strippenkaart' (literally 'stripescard') was a paper card with stripes one could use to travel. Each stripe was equivalent to a certain distance. If you wanted to ...
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1answer
121 views

“When I think to”

Yesterday I saw in a poster ad the following phrase "When I think to Modena, I recall ...". Now, IMHO it should be "think of" or "think about"; sadly, it looks like a terrible Google translation of ...
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1answer
80 views

“What are our numbers?”

How can I correctly ask a question like "What are our numbers?" meaning what are the number of people in the audience in comparison with number of people in some other audience.
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1answer
87 views

What is the meaning of the phrase “failure to fail”? [closed]

What is the meaning of the phrase "failure to fail"?, And If I close now by professing that abject/ecstatic failure to fail, it is only by way of reminding myself..."
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1answer
202 views

Words that mean “obsessed with theory” and “obsessed with data”

I'm looking for one-word terms to describe someone obsessed with theory and someone obsessed with data. We use the Spanish terms 'teoricón' and 'datoso' which roughly translate to 'theorophile' and '...