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a cuenta gotas

English translation: in dribs and drabs / little by little / a few at a time

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Spanish term or phrase:a cuenta gotas
English translation:in dribs and drabs / little by little / a few at a time
Entered by: Myriam S
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11:27 Apr 22, 2008
Spanish to English translations [PRO]
Social Sciences - Idioms / Maxims / Sayings / Source text from Colombia
Spanish term or phrase: a cuenta gotas
The article deals with forced displacement in regions of armed conflict, and the text uses several idiomatic expressions, ¨a cuenta gotas¨ is one of them.

Here's how it appears in the sentence in quesiton:

XYZ es uno los departamentos donde históricamente el conflicto social y armado ha generado el mayor número de desplazados del país; especialmente en la región del XYZ donde no existe un censo confiable del total de desplazados; sólo es posible conocer aquellos sitios en los cuales ocurre el desplazamiento de manera masiva, pues hay lugares en los cuales este se da a cuenta gotas y de manera muy discreta y que difícilmente son catalogados como tal por la entidades encargadas de ello.
Myriam S
United States
Local time: 05:19
in dribs and drabs / little by little / a few at a time
Explanation:
-

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 hrs (2008-04-22 14:52:39 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Here are articles, some similar in context to your text, using DRIBS AND DRABS:

However, instead of arriving as expected en masse[1] Iraqi refugees **have arrived in dribs and drabs** – threatened both by bullets and loss of livelihoods – as the situation in Iraq has continued to deterioratehttp://www.fmreview.org/text/FMR/23/17.htm

http://www.economist.com/research/Backgrounders/displaystory...

Local staffer: In that sense it’s every day. They go to churches looking for help separately, in dribs and drabs.
http://www.northkoreanrefugees.com/2006-1-interview.htm

It would be wrong to say there were two clear and
organised camps. Most were making up their minds as
individuals and people left in **dribs and drabs**.
http://www.liberator.org.uk/media/lib-1204.pdf





Selected response from:

Lisa McCarthy
Spain
Local time: 11:19
Grading comment
Thank you also for providing the reference links.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +4in dribs and drabs / little by little / a few at a time
Lisa McCarthy
4 +3little by little
Fabio Descalzi
4 +2trickle in
Cecilia Gowar
4in a restrained manner
John Rawlins
4pues hay lugares en los cuales este se da a cuenta gotasSagitario
4very slowly, little by little, bit by bitOlga Shabarina
4Sparingliy
Gad Kohenov
3only snippets of itxxxeloso


  

Answers


13 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
little by little


Explanation:
Little by little - that is the most common translation for "con cuentagotas" (literally "with eye-dropper", i.e. "drop by drop")

Fabio Descalzi
Uruguay
Local time: 06:19
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  María Angélica Fernández
5 mins

agree  Rosa Elena Lozano Arton
1 hr

agree  Noni Gilbert: For this context.
2 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
trickle in


Explanation:
discreetly...
Una idea :-)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 13 mins (2008-04-22 11:40:28 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Sorry should have specified that it would be "refugees trickle in..."

Cecilia Gowar
United Kingdom
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Sandra Rodriguez: muy apropiado para el contexto
1 hr
  -> ¡Gracias Sandra!

agree  Janine Libbey
4 hrs
  -> ¡Gracias viva Madrid!
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18 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Sparingliy


Explanation:
This is the figurative translation. In French it's the same: "au compte-gouttes".

Gad Kohenov
Israel
Local time: 12:19
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench, Native in HebrewHebrew

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Lisa McCarthy: This doesn't work in this context - you use something sparingly but people can't enter a country `sparingly'
2 hrs
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19 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
pues hay lugares en los cuales este se da a cuenta gotas


Explanation:
la expresión en inglés es "in drips and draps"

year-they have finally started to give them to me in drips and draps but they refuse to indicate what time frame they are paying me for. ...

También podríamos decir:

trickle...


Sagitario
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22 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
very slowly, little by little, bit by bit


Explanation:
A cuenta gotas = a cuentagotas = gota a gota = muy lentamente

Olga Shabarina
Local time: 05:19
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
in a restrained manner


Explanation:
I believe the point of the expression 'a cuenta gotas' is that the information is being delivered in small packets - on purpose. This is an intentional rationing of information.
--------------

From Oxford Spanish

cuentagotas m (pl cuentagotas) dropper; dar algo con cuentagotas (fam): los permisos los
dan con cuentagotas it’s very difficult to get a permit out of them, they’re very mean with
the permits; nos van dando la información con cuentagotas they just keep feeding us tiny snippets of information
------------------
From Maria Moliner

Con cuentagotas (inf.). Aplicado a la manera de dar o recibir algo, con tacañería o muy poco a poco.
-----------------


From Shorter Oxford

restrained /rstrend/ a. L16. [f. RESTRAIN + -ED1.] That has been restrained; repressed; kept under control or within bounds; confined; held in place, as by a safety belt or harness; characterized by restraint or reserve, not excessive or extravagant.restrainedly /-ndli/ adv. in a restrained manner, with restraint
-----------------



John Rawlins
Spain
Local time: 11:19
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 16
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13 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
in dribs and drabs / little by little / a few at a time


Explanation:
-

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 hrs (2008-04-22 14:52:39 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Here are articles, some similar in context to your text, using DRIBS AND DRABS:

However, instead of arriving as expected en masse[1] Iraqi refugees **have arrived in dribs and drabs** – threatened both by bullets and loss of livelihoods – as the situation in Iraq has continued to deterioratehttp://www.fmreview.org/text/FMR/23/17.htm

http://www.economist.com/research/Backgrounders/displaystory...

Local staffer: In that sense it’s every day. They go to churches looking for help separately, in dribs and drabs.
http://www.northkoreanrefugees.com/2006-1-interview.htm

It would be wrong to say there were two clear and
organised camps. Most were making up their minds as
individuals and people left in **dribs and drabs**.
http://www.liberator.org.uk/media/lib-1204.pdf







Lisa McCarthy
Spain
Local time: 11:19
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 63
Grading comment
Thank you also for providing the reference links.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Carol Gullidge: a few at a time (or in small numbers?)
5 mins
  -> Thanks Carol!

agree  kjmcguire
28 mins
  -> Thanks Kelly!

agree  Rosa Elena Lozano Arton
1 hr
  -> Thanks Rosa!

agree  Noni Gilbert: For this context.
2 hrs
  -> Thanks Noni!
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

17 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
only snippets of it


Explanation:
One more option

xxxeloso
Argentina
Local time: 06:19
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in SpanishSpanish
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Changes made by editors
Apr 22, 2008 - Changes made by Fabio Descalzi:
Term askeda cuenta gotas (idiomatic expression) » a cuenta gotas
FieldLaw/Patents » Social Sciences
Field (specific)Government / Politics » Idioms / Maxims / Sayings


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