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negro (in this context)

English translation: burdened

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Spanish term or phrase:negro (in this context)
English translation:burdened
Entered by: Lydia De Jorge
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17:49 Sep 2, 2008
Spanish to English translations [PRO]
History
Spanish term or phrase: negro (in this context)
I'm translating the script for a short video on the Spanish Reconquest. It's done with Time as the "cuentacuentos", and he is talking about all of the battles he has witnessed, all of the suffering, etc. As he reaches the end of the story (he has just finished talking about the brutal Battle of Alarcos and the loss of Salvatierra), he just can't go on anymore, and he ends it like this:


Estos recuerdos me han hecho sentir el temor de los hombres que claman a Dios y luego se lanzan a la Guerra…lo he visto, y lo veo tantas veces...

Una última cosa les digo.

Ahora, cuando cuente tres acabaré la historia.

UNO. Cada vez que escucho las voces de la guerra, un enorme peso se carga sobre el infinito de mi espalda...

DOS.
Y entonces, me da por pensar:
esta espalda mía…que negra a veces, qué negra....

TRES:
La espalda del tiempo.

(cierre súbito el audiovisual se lo traga un agujero negro)


The problem I'm having is with the word "negro". I've translated "la espalda del tiempo" as "the shoulders of time", but I'm not convinced translating "qué negra" as "how black" transmits the same sense in English as it does in Spanish. I've thought about using "dark" instead, but that doesn't convince me either...and I think the options for a literal translation are pretty limited here, but what I'm really looking for doesn't have to be literal, it just has to fit, and if it can tie in with the black hole at the end, so much the better.

Any creative souls out there?
Elizabeth Joy Pitt de Morales
Local time: 23:40
burdened
Explanation:
sugg

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Note added at 8 days (2008-09-10 19:21:16 GMT) Post-grading
--------------------------------------------------

I'm glad I could help!
Selected response from:

Lydia De Jorge
United States
Local time: 17:40
Grading comment
I used "how dark is this burden...".
Thanks for your input!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +4burdened
Lydia De Jorge
5 +1how somber the shadows, how abysmal the dark...
Sandra Rodriguez
4 +1coal-black / pitch-blackBubo Coromandus
3 +2stygian, dismalxxxtazdog
4sinister/mournful/oppressivetrans4u
4black (why not be literal here?)DonM
3gloomypuedover
3how unlucky/what bad luckBarbara Cochran, MFA
2depressing/dismal/gloomy
bcsantos


Discussion entries: 2





  

Answers


8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
gloomy


Explanation:
me parece que black o dark quedarían bien. te mando otra opcion just in case

puedover
Uruguay
Local time: 18:40
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
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13 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5
depressing/dismal/gloomy


Explanation:
..

bcsantos
Gibraltar
Local time: 23:40
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 16
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15 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
stygian, dismal


Explanation:
These come to mind, looking at some synonyms for "black"...

styg·i·an
1.
1. Gloomy and dark.
2. Infernal; hellish.




xxxtazdog
Spain
Local time: 23:40
Works in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 56

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Richard Boulter: Great! Let the visuals do the 'black' and he already said 'heavy'. This is poetic; I prefer 'stygian' (ref is to Greek mythological River Styxx, I think.)
45 mins
  -> yes, exactly, relating to the River Styx

agree  Egmont
1 hr
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
coal-black / pitch-black


Explanation:
"these shoulders of mine... coal-black at times, coal-black..." or

"these shoulders of mine... pitch black at times, pitch black..."

the addition of "coal" or "pitch" intensifies "black", which ties in with the "black hole". Perhaps "pitch black" is better because it's close to "pitch dark" which describes the black hole perfectly.

Bubo Coromandus
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 82

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Sp-EnTranslator
50 mins
  -> thanks Claudia, enjoy your evening! :-) Deborah
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
black (why not be literal here?)


Explanation:
As far as I can see, there's no reason not to be literal and direct in the translation here. "Negro" and "black" have the exact same connotations (the connotations evoked by the excerpt from the script quoted in any case), as do "espalda" and "back" (for example, in English you talk about having a weight on your back in figurative terms just as much as having a weight on your shoulders). Also, as it is a personification of time who is speaking, I think the image being developed here is:
A person (Time) is standing up and everything in front of him/her is the future; everything behind him/her (or at his/her back) is the past. Using "shoulders" would confuse this extended image, I think.
I can't see that "this back of mine...how black sometimes, how black" carries any connotations other than precisely those contained in the Spanish "esta espalda mía…que negra a veces, qué negra.... "
On their own, of course, references to a black back or the back of time would be ambiguous, but in the context of the extended metaphor, they are, I believe, 100% as clear in English as they are in Spanish. And in that case, I think faithfulness to the (letter of the) original would be your best bet.
(I know "the back of time", for example, is faintly ridiculous, but no more so than "la espalda del tiempo". Again, the context of the extended metaphor will remove any ambiguity as regards which meaning of "back" is being referred to here.)

DonM
Ireland
Local time: 22:40
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
how somber the shadows, how abysmal the dark...


Explanation:
Para conservar algo del ritmo en "que negra a veces, qué negra..."

Sandra Rodriguez
Puerto Rico
Local time: 17:40
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 16

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Sp-EnTranslator
28 mins
  -> Gracias Claudia!
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
sinister/mournful/oppressive


Explanation:
synonyms of "black."

trans4u
Local time: 15:40
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 8
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19 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
how unlucky/what bad luck


Explanation:
Otra posibilidad de Larousse.

Barbara Cochran, MFA
United States
Local time: 17:40
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
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20 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
burdened


Explanation:
sugg

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 8 days (2008-09-10 19:21:16 GMT) Post-grading
--------------------------------------------------

I'm glad I could help!

Lydia De Jorge
United States
Local time: 17:40
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 40
Grading comment
I used "how dark is this burden...".
Thanks for your input!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  liz askew: I like this image.
11 mins
  -> Thanks Liz!

agree  margaret caulfield: I first understood "espada"! Yes! You're right!
2 hrs
  -> Thanks Margaret!

agree  Vivian B E
6 hrs
  -> Gracias Vivian!

agree  Edward Tully
4 days
  -> Thank you Edward!
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Changes made by editors
Sep 10, 2008 - Changes made by Lydia De Jorge:
Created KOG entryKudoZ term » KOG term


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