In the world there are currently more than 7,000 different languages, of which the second most spoken is Spanish. This language is increasingly used throughout the world and in addition to being spoken in Spain, it is the native language of many Latin American countries and is increasingly common among the inhabitants of the United States. Spanish is composed of almost 300 thousand different words and although it seems surprising among all of them there are some that have no translation into English. This fact is not so rare since it occurs because in English there is no exact word for that situation or thing although similar, or even because a specific concept does not exist in this language.Words that have no English translationThe day before yesterday: Spanish is one of the few languages that only needs one word to refer to the day before yesterday.Reveal: Term that is used to refer to not being able to sleep or the moment we wake up and we can not fall asleep again.Elf: Word that originated to refer to a fantastic and small being that caused uproar and sometimes even some chaos.Brand New: Wear something that is new for the first time, be it a piece of clothing like a book.Chilly: Spanish is the only language that has a word to refer to people who are much more affected by the cold.To snack: As everyone knows the meal times in Spain are very different from other countries and that is why this term was born that refers to food that is made in the middle of the afternoon.Desktop: Period of time given after lunch or dinner and in which we continue talking with other guests.One-eyed: In English there is no exact word to define a person who has a problem in one eye or even one is missing.Shame on others: In English the word that comes closest to refer to the shame you feel for the things that someone else does is “embarrassed”. Image: iStock There are words in Spanish that have no English translationThis occurs by not having an exact word or the absence of a concept.
The use of genetically modified (GM) crops in Europe is being hampered by a “dysfunctional approval process” imposed by the European Union, says a U.K. government-sponsored report released today. As a result, only a handful of GM crops may be approved in the near future, according to the Council for Science and Technology, which advises the U.K. prime minister on science policy.While stating that the unanimous scientific consensus is that GM crops are safe, the report, whose authors include prominent plant biologists and biotechnologists, criticizes the European Union for regulation that has fettered progress of the technology and risk assessments that have been “influenced by political considerations that do not have a scientific basis.”The council is jointly chaired by Mark Walport, the government’s chief scientific adviser, who was an author on the report. “We’re asking for the regulation to be fit for purpose,” Walport says. Co-author Jim Dunwell, a plant biotechnologist at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, adds: “There has been an accumulation of regulation in a nonscientific way.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Anyone seeking to release a GM organism in Europe has to get approval from Brussels. Applications are assessed largely by the European Food Safety Authority. As yet, only one variety, Bt maize, is grown and its crops are concentrated in Spain. None are grown in the United Kingdom. A vote in February to approve another variety of GM maize saw opposition from most nations, including France, Italy, and Austria. There was support, however, from Spain, Finland, Sweden, Estonia, and the United Kingdom.This is not the first time that British GM researchers have complained about E.U. red tape hampering their work. A purple tomato rich in an antioxidant pigment, recently developed at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, U.K., for instance, has had to be grown in Canada for future research and to attract commercial interest.Instead of the current regulatory system, in which new plant varieties are assessed according to the process used to produce them, the authors suggest that a product-based approach could be adopted, similar to the procedure already used in Canada. This would put the trait above the process so a plant variety produced using GM technology would be treated in the same way as an identical variety produced via conventional plant breeding.“What really matters is the regulation of the trait rather than the method,” says Jonathan Jones of the Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, one of the authors of the report. “The regulation of the technology is not proportionate. … It’s time to remove the red flags.”The report calls for Europe to take a step back by delegating final approval of commercial crop cultivation to individual nations. One route, it suggests, might be for the United Kingdom to create an authority that would be the GM equivalent to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, which vets medicines for use in the United Kingdom. The European Union, meanwhile, could keep an advisory role on risk and safety. The U.K. government already takes a positive line on GM crops. In January, the environment secretary, Owen Paterson, told a farming conference in Oxford that Europe risks becoming “the museum of world farming” if it continues to reject GM crops.In a letter to the prime minister which accompanies the report, the authors state: “The longer the E.U. continues to oppose GM whilst the rest of the world adopts it, the greater the risk that E.U. agriculture will become uncompetitive, especially as more GM crops and traits are commercialized successfully elsewhere.”Dunwell also notes that African farmers successfully growing GM bananas and cassavas for themselves and for export are placed in a commercial quandary by the European Union’s anti-GM stance. “Allow independent E.U. states to go their own way,” he says.The last major U.K. report on GM crops, produced by Britain’s Royal Society in 2009, backed the technology. In particular, it outlined the urgent need to increase food production globally and the importance of science in meeting that demand. Public opposition, however, continues and anti-GM pressure groups continue to attack research. In 2012, a GM wheat trial at Rothamsted Research in Harpenden, U.K., was vandalized by a protestor.John Pickett, who has worked on the wheat trials at Rothamsted Research and is a co-author of the report, says: “The best way to address these concerns is actually to carry out the experiments and assess the potential of newly developed plants to offer solutions to specific agricultural problems.”To this end, the report offers one final suggestion: “A new programme of independent research to field test ‘public good’ GM crops.” Named PubGM, it would assess traits produced by both private and public scientists for potential commercialization. But, adds Jones, “I don’t know exactly how it will work.”