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Suppose you are not very good at English. When you are talking to someone, but get stuck because you do not know a certain word, then what would you say (meaning that you do not know how to explain it).
I guess it is a bit hard to describe it, but a lot of guys around me keep asking me this question. Someone use "How to say?" which does not sound so good to me. I would use "How to put it?" or "How to explain it?" But they say that these two are a bit different from what they want to explain.
To give an example: "Breakfast is provided for free in the hotel. I always have some milk, egg and cake. There is a (waffle maker)... [How to explain it?] a device through which we can make cake with egg, flour and water." In this case, the speaker does not know the word waffle maker, what would he/she say in such a situation.
I hope that I have made myself understood. Thank you very much.
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"I don't know the English word for it," or if it's not a particular thing, "I don't know how to say it in English" would do. "How to say" (or "how do you say") has the advantage of being quick and easy to say, and is the stereotypical way a foreigner announces that he is struggling to find the right word. But I agree, there are more better ways to express the dilemma.
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I've heard 'Oh, what's the word' many times. I've even used it myself. But then again you need to explain what the unknown word is like or what it does. So, if you don't know how to explain it, this isn't the best choice.
Better, not more better.
Thank you very much.
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