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Spanish-English Translation Example

The following example details how I worked with Carlos Alberto Montaner in editing the English translation of his book The Twisted Roots of Latin America: How History and Culture Have Contributed to Shape the Poorest, Most Unstable and Most Backward Region in the West. 

PREGUNTAS POR CAPÍTULO DOS, PÁGINAS 1- 7½

ONE STATE TO THE DISSATISFACTION OF ALL

A.  en inglés: The term “Style Sheet” refers to consistent decisions about usage, punctuation, spelling, hyphenation, abbreviation, capitalization, word choice and sentence construction to achieve accuracy, brevity and clarity.

As I encounter matters of style in each chapter, I will add to the following table, which establishes treatment for various particulars in Chapter 2:

Style Sheet for The Twisted Roots of Latin America: How History and Culture Have Contributed to Shape the Poorest, Most Unstable and Most Backward Region in the West. 

NO

YES

Mestizos

mestizos

Joint venture

joint venture

Phillip

Philip

Creolles

Creoles

Council of Indians

Council of Indians

hispanic

Hispanic

19th Century

nineteenth century

de facto

de facto

PROBANZAS

probanzas

25 thousand

25,000

B. en español: La manera que uso a sugerir los cambios en el manuscrito:

En el capítulo redactado la palabra, frase, o oración original lo que tengo una pregunta se enseña en italics y boldface. Sugerencias mias paracen en brackets en boldface.  Dos o más sugerencias son separadas por /. Dos ejemplos siguen para ilustrar:

1. condotieros significa ¿mercenaries? SI, ES UNA MEZCLA DE AVENTUREROS Y MERCENARIOS.

2. quinto real (por favor, en inglés: DESPUÉS DE LA EXPRESIÓN EN ESPANOL UTILIZARÍA LA TRADUCCIÓN AL INGLÉS <ROYAL FIFTH>. ERA LA QUINTA PARTE DEL BOTÍN QUE DEBÍA ENTREGARSE AL REY.________________________)

3. por la Hacienda pública significa ¿public treasury? TAMBIÉN <PUBLIC FINANCES>

4. español: …un territorio, además, inmensamente rico en metales preciosos, sostén principal en aquel entonces de la poco refinada tesorería pública española…

English: …a land also immensely rich in the precious metals that sustained the much depleted national treasury. 

Pregunta mia: ¿la poco refinada significa que la tesorería era little distinguished? NO. SIGNIFICA <LITTLE SOPHISTICATED>

5. “pardas” significa ¿brown/dark/mulatto? MULATTO

6. protagonista significa ¿veteran/hero/leader? MAIN CHARACTER. SOMEONE WHO HAS AN IMPORTANT ROLE.

C. Aquí van las preguntas de la primera mitad de capítulo dos:

1. español original: Generalmente, se trataba de segundones de algo menos de treinta años, mejor educados que la media nacional, que no herederarían fortuna alguna.

English translation: They were mostly under 30, better educated than the national mainstream, and without inheritable fortunes. 

recommended: Generally, they were second sons mostly under 30, better educated than the national average, and without other fortunes to inherit. ESTA ES MEJOR TRADUCCIÓN.

2. español original: Los beneficios que pudieran derivarse se dividían de una manera muy favorable a la Corona ―los monarcas se reservaban, por lo menos, el consabido quinto real―, pero en manos de los Conquistadores quedaban otros notables privilegios.

English translation: The benefits derived from this tilted heavily toward the Crown, but the Conquistadores kept some notable advantages.

recommended: The benefits derived tilted favorably toward the Crown –the monarchs kept for themselves ¿¿at least the well-known?? ROYAL fifth (LA QUINTA PARTE) _____–  but some notable privileges remained in the hands of the Conquistadores.

3. español original: ...por la folclórica presencia en Barcelona…

English translation: ...by the renowned presence in Barcelona…

recommended: ...by the popular presence in Barcelona... ESTA ES MEJOR TRADUCCIÓN. TAL VEZ ES MEJOR <COLOUR LOUD> O <FLASHY>.

4. español original: Curiosamente, la diferencia entre las huestes de conquista y las huestes reales era la que existía entre el medievo y los tiempos modernos que comenzaban a cristalizar.

English translation: Curiously, the difference between the Conquering Horde and the official army was the same as the one between  medieval  and modern times. 

recommended: Curiously, the difference between the Conquering Horde and the official army was the same as the one between  medieval  and modern times that began to take shape. ESTA ES MEJOR TRADUCCIÓN. 

5. español original: ...o inversión económica en la compañía.

 English translation: ...or trading among the company

recommended: ...or economic investment in the company. ESTA ES MEJOR.

6. español original: Se desplazaban juntos, con el mismo pie y a la misma distancia.

English translation:  They moved all together in lock step and separated at equal distances in a martial choreography. ESTA ME GUSTA MÁS.

recommended:  They all moved together in martial lock step,  each foot at equal distance from every other.

7. español original: ...una sensación sicológica

English translation: ...a sociological sensation…

recommended:  ...a psychological sensation… ESTA ES LA CORRECTA.

8. español original: El propio Colón acabó de regreso en España, preso y encadenado, como consecuencia de intrigas, acusaciones de corrupción, arbitrariedad y nepotismo que probablemente encubrían una lucha por el poder. 

English translation:  Columbus himself, newly returned to Spain, was imprisoned in chains as a result of intrigues, corruption charges, confusion, and nepotism that probably concealed a struggle for power.  recommended:  Columbus himself, newly returned to Spain, was imprisoned in chains as a result of intrigues, charges of corruption, arbitrary abuse and nepotism that probably concealed a struggle for power. ESTA ES MEJOR.

9. español original: Mientras avanzaban las huestes de conquista, los funcionarios reales y los religiosos ―que generalmente respondían a los monarcas, que eran quienes los asignaban en las expediciones― iban estableciendo los límites de mando y acotando las zonas de la autoridad castellana.

English translation: As the Armies of Conquest advanced in America, governmental and religious leaders - who generally obeyed the monarchs who assigned them to the expeditions - began marking the limits and zones of Spanish authority. 

Recommended: As the armies of conquest advanced in America, royal OFFICIALS and PRIESTS generally obedient to the monarchs who assigned them to the expeditions began marking the limits and zones of Spanish authority.

10. español original: Ese control fue más estrecho, por supuesto, con el paso de los años, y se endureció significativamente con la llegada de los Borbones.

English translation: This control extended as years went by, and significantly hardened with the arrival of the Bourbons.

Recommended: This control grew more rigid, of course, as the years passed, and hardened significantly when the Bourbons arrived. ESTA ES MEJOR.

11. español original: La ficción, sostenida por la Corona, y sustentada por juristas y teólogos hasta 1519…

English translation: The fiction, spread by the Crown and maintained by judges and theologians until 1519…

Recommended: The fiction, sustained by the Crown and maintained by judges and theologians until 1519…ESTA ES MEJOR.

12. español original: Un judío o un moro conversos al cristianismo, a trancas y barrancas podían integrarse a la españolidad. Un indio o un mestizo siempre se quedaban en la entrada.

English translation: A Jew or Moor converted to Christianity through fire and water could integrate into Spanish society, but an Indian or Mestizo was left at the entrance.

Recommended: A Jew or Moor converted to Christianity despite great difficulty could integrate into Spanish society. An Indian or mestizo always remained outside the gate. ESTA ES MEJOR.

13. español original: Si para España los territorios recién descubiertos eran difíciles de absorber e incluso de entender, al otro lado del espejo sucedía lo mismo. Desde la perspectiva americana, España resultaba un mundo remoto y ajeno.

English translation: If for Spain the newly-discovered territories were hard to absorb, let alone understand, on the other side of the glass, the same was true.  From the American perspective, Spain was a remote, alien world. 

Recommended: If for Spain the newly discovered territories were hard to absorb, let alone understand, on the other side of the mirror the same was happening. From the American perspective, Spain seemed to be a remote, alien world. ASÍ ME GUSTA MÁS.

14. español original: Obsérvese el fenómeno: no se gestaba un Estado a la medida de las necesidades de los ciudadanos, ni siquiera de los ciudadanos españoles, sino un instrumento de control de la Corona.

English translation: Observe the phenomenon: a State developing not out of the needs of its citizens, nor even Spanish citizens, but as an instrument under the Crown’s control. ASÍ ME GUSTA MÁS.

Recommended: a State developed not in proportion to the needs of its citizens…

15. español original: España, en donde los reyes aplastaban conjuras de nobles levantiscos, sofocaban brotes nacionalistas, perseguían desviaciones heterodoxas

English translation: Spain; where the monarchs crushed conspiracies by REBELLIOUS nobles, squashed nationalistic outbreaks, persecuted unorthodox deviations…ME GUSTA MÁS ASÍ.

Recommended: Spain, where the monarchs crushed conspiracies by upwardly mobile nobles, squashed nationalistic outbreaks, persecuted deviations…

16. español original: habían derrochado valor e imaginación como pocos conquistadores en la historia conocida, habían soportado peligros y adversidades sin cuento ―todo ello, claro, sin ahorrarles quebrantos a los vencidos―, pero no lograban convertirse en los dueños del destino político y económico de los territorios ganados. La hazaña era de ellos. La gloria y la parte del león se la quedaban los monarcas.

English translation had shown more valor and imagination than almost any men in history, had survived countless perils and foes; of course often without sparing damage to the losers; but they were unable to become masters of their own political and economic destiny in their conquered landThey had done great deeds, but the glory and the lion’s share went to the monarchs.

Recommended: ...had shown valor and imagination as few Conquistadores known to history, had survived countless perils and foes – all of it, of course, without sparing damage to the losers- but they were unable to become masters of their own political and economic destiny in the land they had won. The deed was theirs, but the monarchs kept the glory and the lion’s share of the spoils. ME GUSTA MÁS ASÍ.

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