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How do you translate a sneeze… or a kiss?

By Admin on 12-April-13 21:35. Comments (19)
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Dear reader, Onomatopeia, a powerful expressive resource, represents in written or spoken language a sound, action, or phenomenon. Some months back, we looked at some animal sounds, like the rooster’s “Cock-a-doodle-doo!” that Spanish expresses as ¡Kikirikí  Read more...


“Yours truly” and other linguistic gestures of modesty

By Admin on 10-April-13 21:34. Comments (8)
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Dear reader, In English, an indirect and somewhat humorous way to refer to oneself is “yours truly”, a phrase originating in the common closing for letters (Spanish “Atentamente”is similar). Phrases like “yours truly” (or Spanish “su servidor” a Read more...


The riddle of “fish”

By Admin on 02-April-13 21:34. Comments (11)
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Dear reader, Here’s a little puzzle: how do you translate the noun “fish” into Spanish? A moment’s reflection shows us that, without some context or a visual image, we can’t be sure of the solution. That “fish”, in the river, is translated as pez,&nbs Read more...


Two little letters, a translator’s riddle

By Admin on 02-April-13 21:34. Comments (7)
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Dear reader, Last week, we took on a translation puzzle: how to render the English noun fish into Spanish. It turned out that in that language, it matters whether the creature is alive and kicking, so to speak, in the water (in which case it’s a pez), or lying on a dinner plate Read more...


Translation and interpreting: two different professions

By Admin on 26-March-13 21:33. Comments (11)
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Dear reader, Someone who asks, “Could you translate what that man is saying?” is understood. But the request is really  to “interpret”. The famed School of Translators of Toledo, 16th century   A translator converts the sense of a text from the language in which Read more...


Happy Birthday, Jorge Washington

By Admin on 10-February-13 22:32. Comments (7)
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Dear reader, This edition of “Mysteries and Enigmas” marks the thirtieth time we’ve shared questions and curiosities related to travels between Spanish and English, that journeying between languages and cultures that we call translation. Thanks for the good company! An imagi Read more...


Did you see the Cuervos win Super Tazón XLVII?

By Admin on 04-February-13 22:32. Comments (3)
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Dear reader, For the Spanish-speaking world, the game in which the champion of a league or tournament is decided is known as la final. In the United States, where P.R. is an art and a science, baseball since 1901 has had its “World Series”, a somewhat immodest name. And for nearl Read more...


Spanish on the Map

By Admin on 03-February-13 22:31. Comments (8)
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San Fernando de las Barrancas, Spanish fort at what would become the site of Memphis, Tennessee; c. 1795 …… San Fernando de las Barrancas, fuerte español en la que devendría la ubicación de Memphis, Tennessee; c. 1795. Aquí Memphis: Spanish on the Memphis a Read more...


How not to translate “notary” into Spanish

By Admin on 20-January-13 22:16. Comments (10)
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Dear reader, Many of the words we explore in this column have to do with everyday culture: yapa and “lagniappe”; “¡Felicidades!”and “¡Felicitaciones!” as two varieties of congratulation; the nearly untranslatable piropo. Read more...


Lagniappe, beef jerky, and the Incas

By Admin on 13-January-13 22:16. Comments (20)
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A representation of the famous rope bridges of the Inca Empire, one of that culture’s many stunning achievements. From the monumental visual history of Peru,Nueva corónica y buen gobierno (1615) by Felipe Guamán Poma de Ayala. Dear reader, An Argentine reader of this Read more...


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