7 (More) Spanish Words That Have No Direct English Translation

Being able to speak more than one language opens people up to an array of amazing experiences. Spanish is the most spoken non-English language in the United States. And for those who speak both English and Spanish, it can sometimes be a frustrating process when you can’t find the exact word you want in the language you need.

Last year we presented 10 Spanish words with no direct English translation, and now we give you seven more:


wedding parents
Used to refer to the father or mother of your daughter or son-in-law.

Mi hija va a pasar navidad con mi consuegro.
Translation: My daughter will spend Christmas with my son-in-law’s father.


snake charmer
A versatile word usually used to express charm, extreme like and sometimes love.

Me encanta el chocolate.
Translation: I really like chocolate.



As a noun, “militar” means “soldier,” but as a verb it doesn’t have a direct equivalent in English. It means to be active in a group, generally for a political cause.

Él siempre militó en el partido liberal.
Translation: He was always an active member of the liberal party.


This verb is used in reference to staying up all night.

Me voy a trasnochar hoy porque tengo que estudiar.
Translation: I’m going to stay up all night because I have to study.


get up early
As a verb, madrugar is used to describe the act of getting up early. While the noun, “madrugada,” can translate directly to dawn there is no one-word translation for the verb.

Tengo que madrugar para no perder mi vuelo mañana.
Translation: I have to get up really early tomorrow so I don’t miss my flight.

Buen provecho

A commonly used phrase to tell someone to enjoy their meal. While it is two words there is nothing that expresses the exact sentiment in English, although sometimes the French version “Bon Appétit” is used.

La cena está servida, buen provecho.
Translation: Dinner is served, enjoy your meal.


The noun refers to someone who was involved in a military coup.

El reconocido militar fue acusado de golpista.
Translation: The well-known soldier was accused of participating in the coup.