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What is the difference between transparent and translucent?

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Quick Answer

The difference between things that are transparent and things that are translucent is that transparent objects are see-through while translucent ones are not. Standard glass windows, for example, are transparent.

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Full Answer

Light can pass through things that are translucent, but if any image shows through at all, it is distorted. Examples of translucent items are glass block windows and dark stained glass, and some seafood, such as shrimp, when it is properly cooked. Other examples of transparent, or see-through items, are the plastic wrap used to wrap food for storage. These terms can also be used to describe a person's actions. For example, someone who is visibly dishonest is said, as an insult, to be transparent, in the sense that the speaker knows about the dishonesty.

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