• Lost in Translation – English Words that are Hard to Translate (Video)

    Google produced a very interesting video recently to promote Input, a new product that allows you to type on a virtual keyboard that is standard for your language. The video animates the voices of three people talking about words in their languages that are difficult to translate.

    This made me start thinking about words that are difficult to translate from English to other languages. According to this article from The Atlantic, the English word “fair” has no 1-to-1 translation. I’m not a translator, but as someone who has studied Spanish, I always thought phrasal verbs, especially ones that are used in English slang, were hard to translate.

    Words like “bust out” which means to quickly remove something from concealment, as in, ” He busted out his phone and called the police.” Or “freak out,” a word that can be used with several meanings, including “to freak (someone) out,” which is sort of like scaring and confusing and offending someone, but not exactly.

    Anyway, let me bust out Google’s video for you:

    I hope you found that as interesting as we did. Do you have any words that are very difficult to translate from your language to English? Let us know in comments.