Questions tagged [translation]

Determining English equivalents for words or phrases in other languages (that is, translation into English). We don't actually do translations: we can try and help you with your own translation. Please see the detailed tag info for guidance on what to ask.

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Wrestling with someone "chest to chest"?

I am looking for an expression which would enhance the idea of wrestling. This is a text I am translating from another language (Greek) where the expression (ἀντιπαλαίω στῆθος με στῆθος) means ...
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3 answers
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Is there an equivalent to the assertive/polite expression "je me permets de ..." in English?

Is there an equivalent to the expression "je me permets de ..." in English? I think this expression has two usages: to convey an assertive tone: Je me permets de vous rappeler que la date ...
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9 votes
2 answers
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What is the English equivalent to the proverb "Somebody finds his soup not thick enough, and somebody finds his pearls too small"

What's the equivalent to the Russian proverb "Somebody finds his soup not thick enough, and somebody finds his pearls too small"("Кому суп не густ, кому жемчуг мелок")? It means a ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
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What is a background check? [closed]

I wanna understand the meaning of the background check? Like I don’t know how to do one or even get one. I really want to know the purpose of a background check.
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0 votes
1 answer
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Translate "Lengua Bífida" to English [closed]

I am trying to translate "Lengua Bífida" from Spanish to English. The text "Lengua bífida" in Spanish expresses that someone has a tempting form of talking, normally in a bad way. ...
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1 vote
1 answer
78 views

Does William Shakespeare use the double negative in the speech below to yield a different meaning, or is it just for emphasis? (Merchant of Venice) [closed]

....So can I give no reason, nor I will not, More than a lodged hate and a certain loathing... ~ Shylock answering to the Duke in the court In the above extract from Merchant of Venice - Act IV, ...
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Rhyming answers with implicit irritation to the words like "where", "who", "well", etc

‎Are there any rhyming words with which one answers to or comments the words like "where", "who", "how" or "so" and "well" or "like" (which ...
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2 votes
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What is the equivalent of the Russian "Masha-rasteryasha" (Masha who loses things)?

Is there any equivalent for the Russian expression "Маша-растеряша" ("Masha-rasteryasha") in English? Its word-for-word translation is "Masha (a girl's name) who always loses ...
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  • 181
5 votes
4 answers
682 views

Long sentence between "make" and adjective

Consider the text below, which is an attempt of translation from Italian. This is needed in order to make all the editorial processes the manuscript will undergo transparent. The boldface words show ...
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6 votes
5 answers
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Choosing between oblivion, forgetfulness, and forgetting

I am trying to figure out what is the right word related to forgetting in this quote by Blasco Ibáñez: Tenemos dos fuerzas que nos ayudan a vivir: el olvido y la esperanza. which translated in ...
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Can I use "customer service" in a Public Sector context?

Dears, I'm translating a cover letter from Portuguese to English. In it, my client states she's worked in government agencies answering phone calls, giving information etc. If it were in a Private ...
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2 votes
1 answer
162 views

What is the antonym for OK?

I am trying to translate a web application, where if a specific condition is met it is necessary to write x < y : OK whereas, if not, one writes: x < y : KO This is a short message meaning that ...
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19 votes
9 answers
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What is the English idiomatic equivalent to the Russian “бряцать регалиями” (to “rattle one’s medals”)?

The expression contains two words: бряцать – to rattle регалиями – stems from regalia, but more like medals here The figurative meaning is to show off one’s life experience. I.e., in an argument, ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Modern usage of the word 'hearken'

I'm doing some translation work and would like to use the word 'hearken' as the original piece (Chinese) has a religious and traditional feel to it. Question: Would the sentence, "Such an ...
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4 votes
2 answers
275 views

English equivalent of the German suffix '-weise'

In German, if we want to formulate that we conduct the same procedure for a number of items that are all of one kind, we can use the suffix "-weise". So for example, if we want to say that ...
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1 vote
3 answers
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Which idiom corresponds to the Hungarian expression translated 'as if they have agreed ahead of time – although we know that they didn't'?

The Hungarian phrase 'mintha összebeszéltek volna' means 'as if they have agreed ahead of time – although we know that they didn't". How would this appear in English? Edit: example. Imagine four ...
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What is the meaning of sub-second-level in this context?

We use the term data acquisition to refer to a process of collecting and storing raw sub-second-level smartphone measurements for the purpose of human activity recognition.
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3 answers
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Perforability - a correct term similar to Russian "перфорированность", meaning "relative area of a surface occupied by pores"

I'm looking for the correct translation of the Russian term "перфорированность" and find the "perforability" but don't know, is it correct? From the physical point of view "...
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2 votes
1 answer
75 views

What are the English terms for the Dutch words "kooktraject" and "smelttraject"

If a material has a melting temperature range instead of a melting point, then the dedicated Dutch word "smelttraject" applies. Similarly, "kooktraject" indicates a boiling ...
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8 votes
3 answers
623 views

Is there a good equivalent for the Italian proverb "Non tutte le ciambelle riescono col buco"?

One of my favorite Italian sayings is Non tutte le ciambelle riescono col buco (literally "Not all donuts come out with holes"). It usually gets a smile from another Italian speaker, ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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Will the word sour in "sweet and sour" dish give negative connotation?

Will the word sour in "sweet and sour" dish give negative connotation? In Chinese we actually say "sweet and vinegary" dish ('糖醋' as '醋' is vinegar). Check https://en.wikipedia.org/...
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1 vote
0 answers
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English equivalent of Russian "понаберут по объявлению" [duplicate]

In Russian, there's an idiom "понаберут по объявлению". Directly it can be translated as "[they] recruit by ads". The intention behind this idiom is to derogate the one who was &...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Settlement or billing?

Recently got into discussion on how precisely and professionally translate the polish word "rozliczenie/rozrachunek". Some of us are more convinced into "billing" and some into &...
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2 votes
2 answers
207 views

What do you call the layout that organizes the decorative moldings and ornamental features of a building?

In french it's called Modénature. Is there an equivalent in English ?
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14 votes
11 answers
4k views

What do you call the floor-level space that allows someone to traverse from one floor to another with stairs?

In French it's called a trémie,. This element is unlikely to be a hopper or funnel. What is it called in English? Would "Stairs aperture" be good enough for people to understand?
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0 votes
1 answer
62 views

How can I build impersonal sentences like this one from Spanish

I don't know how to build in English impersonal sentences like this one from Spanish: Es feliz quien quiere serlo. I've thought of this one: He's happy who wants to be it. But I don't like it ...
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2 votes
1 answer
261 views

What's an early modern English excalmation roughly meaning "raise the roof!"?

I am a translator of Russian historical fiction set in the early modern period (mid-late 16th century) and I am looking for some good period-specific English equivalents of the phrase "жги-говори!...
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10 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is there a term for "symbolic photo" (German "Symbolfoto")?

In German there is the term Symbolfoto or Symbolbild. It describes a photographic picture that represents a concept by means of abstraction or indirection. A Symbolfoto could be a picture of food ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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Possible meanings of “[they] are forming a procession in the square” in context

This is from Baltasar and Blimunda (1998, p. 3), a translation of José Saramago’s Memorial do Convento (1982). Broader context: it’s the 1700s, an Austrian princess married the Portuguese King to “...
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1 vote
2 answers
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How do you say that "while" is frequently followed by past continuous?

I usually explain grammar in private lessons and there's an expression I would like to know. For example, I was trying to explain that when you use while, it is frequently followed by past continuous. ...
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0 votes
0 answers
69 views

Looking for pejorative terms for the military, the wealthy classes

As a translator of Latin American literature, I'm often in need of negative slang words for describing soldiers or the military as a whole. The equivalent of "pigs" for police. Any ideas? ...
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0 votes
2 answers
79 views

"Nineteenth hundred and sive" instead of "Nineteenth hundred and seven"

From the copyright page of Retana's Vida y escritos del Rizal (1907) Se acabó de imprimir el 30 de Junio de 1907. — Inscripto en la oficina de la Propiedad literaria de los Estados Unidos, donde fué ...
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2 votes
3 answers
103 views

What is the English equivalent for "向...交代“ (meaning how am I supposed to face someone if I fail to keep the promise I made)?

This is usually used in family-related settings. The audience is usually some family member of the person with whom you made a promise. I'll give you a typical example. Tom is dying, so he asks his ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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Determining the meaning of "Par Excellence"

In a translation test nearly impossible to pass, I am required to accurately translate a paragraph about a code editor, and I got stuck trying to translate the following: [The software] is a ...
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11 votes
4 answers
1k views

English equivalent of מסגרת, used to describe a person who gets along in a routine with a rigid routine, responsibilities, etc

My native tongue is Hebrew, and we have a word that I just don't know how to effectively translate to English. My American-Israeli friends tell me that they just say it in Hebrew because they can't ...
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7 votes
4 answers
710 views

Can you say "bald hill" to mean a hill that has no trees on it? [closed]

I am translating from Russian to English, and came across the phrase "На краю долины на вершине лысого холма стоит [...]" - trying to describe a hill at the edge of a valley. I've never ...
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2 votes
1 answer
120 views

Understanding 'rather do we'

I came across a peculiar sentence structure today: Rather do we do A; but B. I think this is an archaic grammatica structure. What is the meaning of the above structure? The full phrase is given ...
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3 votes
4 answers
172 views

Is it rude to say "damn it"? [closed]

The context: Not connected with anything. Just sharing a feeling when nobody asked, like: "Damn it, I love ice cream." Is it rude to write or say it in UK? Australia and New Zealand? USA? ...
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4 votes
2 answers
195 views

What does “takes advantage of their head rope runs the risk” mean?

The fol­low­ing line is from the 2015 trans­la­tion from the Span­ish of des­a­pa­re­ci­do Ar­gen­tine writer Ha­rol­do Con­ti’s 1962 novel, South­easter (orig­i­nal Span­ish ti­tle, Sud­este): This ...
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0 votes
0 answers
129 views

Onomatopoeia for the sound of something coming to a complete halt or fitting right in

There is a Japanese onomatopoeia "pita(ピタッ)" indicating something coming to a complete halt or fitting right in. What is an English equivalaent for this onomatopoeia? A few websites ...
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21 votes
6 answers
4k views

What do we call a price that is chosen by a customer?

I'm a native French speaker. In recent years, there has been a new concept of price in French that is "prix libre". A literal translation of "prix libre" is "free price". ...
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1 vote
3 answers
96 views

Better expression than chauvinist for male dominant attitude [duplicate]

I'm getting a hard time to find an appropriate word on English with similar meaning to the portuguese word "machismo". In portuguese this word means a conservative pro-male attitude, like an ...
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1 vote
1 answer
44 views

Synonym for asking for a discount just before closing a deal

In persian we have this phrase which translates to "the seasoning for the deal" or "نمک معامله" in the exact literature. Now, a realtor friend, as it is common in persian culture, ...
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0 votes
1 answer
69 views

Which/ That/ Present Participle

I'm working on the translation of a product packaging. Uses: Boosting liver function which helps cleanse blood plasma, the liquid portion of blood which/that accounts for 55% of its volume. Would it ...
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0 votes
1 answer
171 views

Among these translations of the Bible, which one has the meaning of being intoxicated?

Biblehub contains various translations of John 2:10. For example, in https://biblehub.com/john/2-10.htm. Some translations use phrases like: too much to drink a lot to drink drunk freely are drunk ...
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37 votes
15 answers
4k views

What is the equivalent in English of the French "pipotron", which refers to meaningless filler content that looks like it was written by a bot?

I cannot find a good translation in English of the French word "pipotron". Could you help me? In French, it refers originally to an automated process to randomly generate sentences. Now it ...
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2 votes
1 answer
691 views

How to translate "por la cara" to English?

I'm looking for a suitable English translation of the Spanish expression "por la cara". In Spanish, unless you go very deep into the details, for various context that are very specific, ...
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0 votes
0 answers
435 views

Correct use of the terms "posting" and "booking" in accounting

When translating phrases for a commercial software system, I encountered a few uncertainties with accounting terms (my native language, as well as the system's source language, is German.) I know that ...
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20 votes
8 answers
5k views

What’s the English for “democrature”, a dictatorship pretending to be a democracy through fraudulent elections?

The French term democrature (from democratie + dictature) is defined as: Dictature déguisée en démocratie par l’organisation d’élections non libres, contrôlées et/ou frauduleuses. Par extension, tout ...
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3 votes
1 answer
77 views

Is there an Idiom for someone who tried but failed because it was too much for him

I'm wondering if there's an idiom similar to an idiom in Czech. In Czech, it's 'Vylámat si na něčem zuby' ~ 'To break one's teeth on something'. To try and do something but failing nonetheless. It's ...
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