lengua
feminine noun
1. tongue (órgano)
  • las malas lenguas dicen que… -> according to the gossip…
  • irse de la lengua (informal) -> to let the cat out of the bag
  • ir/llegar con la lengua fuera (informal) -> to go along/arrive puffing and panting
  • morderse la lengua -> to bite one's tongue
  • se le trabó la lengua -> she stumbled over her words
  • tener la lengua muy larga (informal) -> to be a gossip
  • tirar a alguien de la lengua (informal figurative) -> to draw somebody out
  • lengua de gato -> chocolate finger (biscuit) (de chocolate) (peninsular Spanish)
  • lengua de víbora o viperina (figurative) -> malicious tongue
  • lengua de tierra -> tongue of land
2. language (idioma, lenguaje)
  • lengua materna -> mother tongue
  • lengua muerta -> dead language

lengua [len’-goo-ah]
noun
1. The tongue. (f)
2. Language (idioma), idiom. (f)
3. Information, advice. (f)
4. Speech. (f)
5. Tongue or needle of a balance. (f)
6. Clapper of a bell. (f)
  • Lengua de tierra -> neck of land running out into the sea
  • Tener algo en la punta de la lengua -> to have something on the tip of one’s tongue
  • Lengua sabia -> learned language
  • Lengua de vaca -> cow's tongue
  • De lengua en lengua -> from mouth to mouth
  • Irse de la lengua -> to give loose rein to one’s tongue
7. (Antiq.) Interpreter. (f)
  • Andar en lenguas -> to be much talked of
  • Morderse la lengua -> (Met.) to curb one’s speech sharply
  • Dar a la lengua -> to chatter
  • No morderse la lengua -> not to mince one's words
  • Sacar la lengua a uno -> to poke one's tongue out at somebody

lengua
1 (Anatomía) tongue
me he mordido la lengua I've bitten my tongue
beber con la lengua to lap up
mala lengua gossip
según las malas lenguas ... according to gossip ...
sacar la lengua
abra la boca y saque la lengua open your mouth and put o stick your tongue out; no le saques la lengua a tu hermana don't stick your tongue out at your sister
[trabársele] la lengua a algn se le trabó la lengua tener la lengua blanca o sucia
andar en lenguas to be the talk of the town
atar la lengua a algn to silence sb
buscar la lengua a algn to pick a quarrel with sb
¿te ha comido la lengua el gato? has the cat got your tongue?
darle a la lengua to chatter; talk too much
darse la lengua to french-kiss
hacerse lenguas de algn/algo to praise sb/sth to the skies; rave about sb/sth
irse de la lengua to let the cat out of the bag
[estar] con la lengua fuera
llegar con la lengua fuera to arrive out of breath
llegaron con la lengua fuera
morderse la lengua to hold one's tongue; bite one's lip o tongue
nacer con la lengua fuera to be born idle
no morderse la lengua not to mince one's words; not to pull one's punches
no tener pelos en la lengua not to mince one's words; not to pull one's punches
tener algo en la punta de la lengua to have sth on the tip of one's tongue
soltar la lengua to spill the beans (familiar)
tener mucha lengua to be lippy (familiar); be cheeky (familiar)
tirar de la lengua a algn to draw sb out; make sb talk
lengua de trapo baby talk
lengua larga (Latinoamérica)lengua viperina sharp tongue; vicious tongue
2 [de campana] tongue; clapper
3 (Geografía)
lengua de tierra spit of land; tongue of land
4 (Lingüística) language; tongue; (España) (Escol) Spanish language as a school subject; (as a school subject)
hablar en lengua (And) to speak Quichua
lengua de destino target language
lengua de especialidad
lengua de origen source language
lengua de trabajo working language
lengua franca lingua franca
lengua madre parent language
lengua materna mother tongue
lengua minoritaria minority language
lengua moderna modern language
lengua muerta dead language
lengua oficial official language
lengua viva living language
Under the Spanish constitution catalán, euskera and gallego are lenguas oficiales and enjoy the same status as castellano in the autonomous regions in which they are spoken. These languages are also known as lenguas cooficiales to show they enjoy equal status with Spanish. The regional governments actively promote their use through the media and the education system.
note See culture box in entry catalán.note See culture box in entry euskera.note See culture box in entry gallego.

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