Untranslatability

To the extent that she is not merely chucking us clickbait, Elena Horrillo’s piece on supposedly untranslatable Spanish expressions suggests she hasn’t read the English Wikipedia article, some of which has been translated into Spanish. Translating difficult expressions, sayings and proverbs like those cited was already a minor industry in the late Middle Ages (anyone heard of Erasmus?). I think the untranslatability meme is more recent, but I’d be happy to be proved wrong.

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Barcelona (492):

Desiderius Erasmus (5): From a page move: This is a redirect from a page that has been moved.

El País (6): El País is the second most read newspaper in Spanish online and the second most circulated daily newspaper in Spain, and one of three Madrid dailies considered to be national newspapers of record for Spain. Its headquarters and central editorial staff are located in Madrid, although there are regional offices in the principal Spanish cities where regional editions are produced.

English language (432):

Föcked Translation (413): I posted to a light-hearted blog called Fucked Translation over on Blogger from 2007 to 2016, when I was often in Barcelona. Its original subtitle was "What happens when Spanish institutions and businesses give translation contracts to relatives or to some guy in a bar who once went to London and only charges 0.05€/word." I never actually did much Spanish-English translation (most of my work is from Dutch, French and German) but I was intrigued and amused by the hubristic Spanish belief, then common, that nepotism and quality went hand in hand, and by the nemeses that inevitably followed.

Spain (508):

Spanish language (428):

Translation (467):


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