“What is he saying?” I asked my bilingual friend while studying Spanish in Chile. He paused, thought about the joke we had both just heard, and then said, “It’s hard to explain.”
I was just learning Spanish but he could speak both English and Spanish fluently, so I couldn’t wrap my mind around his inability to just directly translate.
Take each word, translate it in his mind, and then regurgitate it back in English. That’s all it is, right?
I later learned that sometimes things are hard to translate. Sometimes a word doesn’t have an equivalent in another language and is therefore, untranslatable, or impossible to directly translate without the help of calling upon many other words.