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The Interpretator

Common mistranslated words between English and Spanish

Posted by rpospina on September 11, 2014 at 3:05 PM

As an interpreter, I constantly hear Spanish-speakers from different backgrounds and levels of education; some remain very loyal to our native language and others, due to the influence of the English language, are starting to blend the two into what we know as “Spanglish”.

 

Spanglish is more than the well-known and obvious expressions such as “yo tengo billes que pagar” [I have bills to pay]; there are many other “additions” to this dictionary that are far more discrete, such as “tengo que llenar una aplicación” [I have to fill out an application]. The latter always makes me question my renditions and wonder if I'm using the right terms.

 


Now I want to share with you this list I started this as a personal exercise and constant reminder of these common false cognates:



The word: Is not:  It should be:

Apply, (to) Aplicar  Solicitar

 

Attend Atender  Asistir

 

Carpet Carpeta Alfombra, tapiz

 

Cervix Cérvix*  Cuello uterino (o del útero)

 

College Colegio Universidad, instituto.

 

Constipation Constipación Estreñimiento

 

Cup Copa Taza

 

Defendant Defendido Acusado, demandado

 

Discuss Discutir Platicar, hablar acerca de [...]

 

Disorder Desorden Trastorno

 

Drugs (medications) Drogas Fármacos, medicinas

 

Embarrassed Embarazada/o Avergonzado, apenado

 

Expiration Expiración Vencimiento

 

Facilities Facilidades Instalaciones

 

Fence Fenza Cerca, verja

 

Insurance Aseguranza Seguro

 

Introduce Introducir Presentar

 

Intoxicated Intoxicado Embriagado, ebrio, borracho

 

Language Lenguaje Idioma, lengua

 

Library Librería Biblioteca


To move (in or out) Moverse Mudarse

 

Nurse Norsa Enfermera

 

Qualified Calificado Capacitado, reúne los requisitos

 

Recipient Recipiente Destinatario, receptor

 

Remark Remarcar Comentario

 

Sympathy Simpatía Empatía

 

Truck Troca Camión, camioneta

 

Tubes (Fallopian) Tubos Trompas

 

Yard Yarda Jardín, patio


* The RAE dictionary (Real Academia Española) has this term under consideration  for future inclusion: RAE.es



 

Categories: Interpreting, Translation, Glossaries

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