“Mille cose avanzano, novecentonovantanove regrediscono” vs “one step forward, two steps back” (“two steps forward, one step back” is the minority usage): in Italian you achieve breathtaking gains and suffer devastating losses, always ending slightly ahead; in English our forward motion is slight, and as another tiring day draws to a close we have slipped that little bit closer to the flames. (What is the literal translation of the original title of Lenin’s famous pamphlet?)
- Two steps forward, one step back
Chez Lenox, not to be confused in any way or to the slightest degree with Lenin, whose typically deranged pamphlet, One step forward, two steps back, is here. Comrade Vladimir doesn’t address our particular theme, but those interested in the recent roots of Iberian politics may inspect with interest the mud he throws in the great …
- Degerundisation in Furrin
In Spanish etc., campsite > camping, carpark > parking, etc., but then in German happy ending > happy End. Who cares? End is a genital euphemism in English, so a happy ending in a London massage parlour loses nothing in translation. The Happy End of Georg Anton Benda’s version of Romeo and Juliet is more of a struggle:
Tired of my never-ending get-poor-slow schemes, I went gold-panning in the national park today with Lluís, who is 74 but doesn’t look a day over 90. Scrupulously avoiding bars and the agents rurals in them on the way up (mining is illegal in national parks unless you build a really big one), we found a quiet …
- Castilla y León -> Catalunya
Our sands may be shifting more than we thought: Google Translate thinks (< Carlos Ferrero) that Castile and León in Spanish is Catalonia in Catalan. X steps forward, Y steps back.