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Common non-direct translations

I am looking for a list of Spanish statements where they do not translate directly. Not necessarily idiomatic expressions (I don't need to learn te estoy tomando el pelo--I am pulling your leg (equivalent). I am looking more for things like Dar una vuelta=turn around.

September 4, 2013


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I just found this video on YouTube. It tells how to use SpanishDict. Toward the end of the video, he tells how to use it to find what you are calling 'non-direct translations'. Like the Spanish equivalent for 'I was pulling my hair out', or 'It costs an arm and a leg'.



I don´t know of a list like that, but I find wordreference.com very helpful when I run across a phrase that clearly cannot be read as the sum of its individual parts. If you search for the main word in the phrase, or even the phrase itself, it will very often come up.

There are a lot of these expressions with dar, such as dar la luz (to give birth) and dar alardios (to shriek). Scroll down to "compound forms" here: http://www.wordreference.com/es/en/translation.asp?spen=dar

Some others I've come across: a la sazón (at that time), de trecho en trecho (at intervals, here and there), moler a palos (to beat, thrash someone), tener pinta de pelagatos (to look like a ne'er-do-well), quitar el hipo (to take one's breath away), meter cizaña (to sow discord, to cause trouble).

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