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acometidas perplejas

English translation: fits of confusion/bewilderment

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Spanish term or phrase:acometidas perplejas
English translation:fits of confusion/bewilderment
Entered by: JaneTranslates
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20:06 Sep 6, 2008
Spanish to English translations [PRO]
Social Sciences - History / sociology, early 20th century Puerto Rico
Spanish term or phrase: acometidas perplejas
Newspaper article, 1905, Puerto Rico, about a woman convicted of infanticide. It was much debated in the press whether she was a criminal or insane, since her crime did not make sense, i.e., the motivation was not clear.

"Puede darse el caso de una mujer despiadada que quiera ocultar su deshonra y que obcecada por la idea de salvar su falta, trate de hacer desaparecer las pruebas de su desliz. Pero una mujer que ya tuvo otro hijo, y una mujer de la clase de Luisa que no tiene la concepción clara del honor, no se explica sin **acometidas perplejas,** vacilantes, lllenas de detalles histeriformes, impulsivos a cometer crimen tan horrendo."

If I am reading this correctly, they are saying that she must have been insane, perhaps temporarily; that the only way to explain her behavior is that she had some sort of strange, hysterical episode that impelled her to commit her crime.

Am I understanding this correctly? What's your reading? Either way, how can I express this in English, bearing in mind that the language should be appropriate to 1905?
JaneTranslates
Puerto Rico
Local time: 22:59
fits of confusion/bewilderment
Explanation:
Acometer:
2. tr. Dicho de una enfermedad, del sueño, de un deseo, etc.: Venir, entrar, dar repentinamente. Le acometió un violento ataque de locura.
http://buscon.rae.es/draeI/

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Note added at 53 mins (2008-09-06 21:00:24 GMT)
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"acometida" and "ataque" can both mean a (medical) "fit"

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Note added at 13 hrs (2008-09-07 09:43:08 GMT)
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examples on the Internet:

http://www.google.es/search?hl=en&q="fits of confusion"
Selected response from:

Bubo Coromandus
Grading comment
Thanks, Deborah! This is exactly what I needed to wake up my brain.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +4fits of confusion/bewildermentBubo Coromandus
4 +2attacks/assaults committed with uncertainty
Lydia De Jorge
4Puzzled undertakes
Enrique Reyes
4inexplicable/motiveless/baseless attacks
Edward Tully


Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


25 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Puzzled undertakes


Explanation:
: )

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Note added at 29 minutos (2008-09-06 20:36:29 GMT)
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http://www.proz.com/?sp=gloss/term&id=750250
http://www.proz.com/kudoz/english_to_spanish/poetry_literatu...


Enrique Reyes
Mexico
Local time: 21:59
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thank you, Enrique.

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7 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
attacks/assaults committed with uncertainty


Explanation:
.

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Note added at 13 mins (2008-09-06 20:20:04 GMT)
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Perhaps "bewildering attacks" would fit better.

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Note added at 1 hr (2008-09-06 21:15:56 GMT)
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It appears that her actions are being analyzed and they cannot be explained, without bewildering attacks/attacks of uncertainty… this is how I read it.

Lydia De Jorge
United States
Local time: 22:59
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 40
Notes to answerer
Asker: Lydia, you appear to be suggesting a different interpretation from mine. Could you please explain your overall reading of the sentence? I'm not asking you to translate it all for me, just tell me what you think is being said... maybe we do agree, but I just don't understand what you're saying. What attacks? Against whom? By whom? How does that fit into the sentence? I'm pretty "bewildered" myself!

Asker: Thank you, Lydia! Your answers always help me see the text from a different angle.


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Marjory Hord: or perplexing attacks
14 mins
  -> Thanks! I added "bewildering attacks" which I think works better!

agree  Egmont
1 hr
  -> Thanks again!
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
inexplicable/motiveless/baseless attacks


Explanation:
I think that the general meaning is of how difficult it is to decide if the woman is guilty or not...the meaning being that we have to consider these things...
"But a woman who already had another child, and a woman of Luisa's type who does not have any clear concept of honour cannot be explained without recourse to **acometidas perplejas,** vacilantes, lllenas de detalles histeriformes, impulsivos a cometer crimen tan horrendo."



Edward Tully
Local time: 04:59
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 60
Notes to answerer
Asker: Edward, thank you so much for "without recourse to!" My fried brain hadn't come up with that yet, and once I combined that phrase with Deborah's "fits" it all came together.

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50 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
fits of confusion/bewilderment


Explanation:
Acometer:
2. tr. Dicho de una enfermedad, del sueño, de un deseo, etc.: Venir, entrar, dar repentinamente. Le acometió un violento ataque de locura.
http://buscon.rae.es/draeI/

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 53 mins (2008-09-06 21:00:24 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

"acometida" and "ataque" can both mean a (medical) "fit"

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 13 hrs (2008-09-07 09:43:08 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

examples on the Internet:

http://www.google.es/search?hl=en&q="fits of confusion"

Bubo Coromandus
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 82
Grading comment
Thanks, Deborah! This is exactly what I needed to wake up my brain.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Sandra Rodriguez: “fits” is fine, “bewilderment” also...perhaps they can go together? “Fits in a state of bewilderment?”/ “attacks in fits of bewilderment?”
5 hrs
  -> thanks so much Sandra for the wonderful ideas! Enjoy your Sunday :-) Deborah

agree  jmf: fits/episodes of hysteria/confusion/bewilderment
8 hrs
  -> thanks jmf, enjoy your Sunday! :-) Deborah

agree  franglish: with jmf
12 hrs
  -> thanks Franglish, have a great Sunday! :-) Deborah

agree  liz askew
14 hrs
  -> thanks again Liz! :-) Deborah
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