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Translation Procedures on culture bound term "Pancake day" from English to Spanish
Thread poster: JamesSlater

JamesSlater
United Kingdom
Spanish to English
Nov 25, 2017

I need help on the different translation procedures that can be used to translate pancake day, for example, using a cultural equivalent for Spain which would be "Dia de las tortillas". I would like to know which would be the best method.

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:15
Spanish to English
+ ...
Pancake day Nov 27, 2017

AFAIK, Pancake day in the UK corresponds to the religious festival of Shrove Tuesday, which in turn corresponds to Mardi Gras (or "Fat Tuesday"which I find much less appealing,)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mardi_Gras

https://www.vintagetravel.co.uk/blog/the-spanish-festivals-of-shrove-tuesday/

The formal Spanish term is Martes de Carnaval... And I personally would avoid inventing anything along the lines of "martes de las tortillas", mainly because in Spain, pancakes are not tortillas and/or vice versa. And what in some Spanish-speaking countries might be called "panqueque" may not always resemble a British pancake

[Edited at 2017-11-27 08:24 GMT]


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:15
Member (2008)
Italian to English
El Martes de Carnaval Nov 27, 2017

or (unbelievably) Martes de Pancake

https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martes_de_Carnaval

In the UK I've never heard anyone use the expression "Pancake Day". It's "Shrove Tuesday".


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:15
Spanish to English
+ ...
Once a pancake... Nov 27, 2017

Tom in London wrote:

or (unbelievably) Martes de Pancake

https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martes_de_Carnaval

In the UK I've never heard anyone use the expression "Pancake Day". It's "Shrove Tuesday".


When I was growing up in Glasgow, we always called it "Pancake (Tues)day". Shrove Tuesday was what you heard on the BBC, the formal version the Minister used in church...


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Tania123
Argentina
Local time: 09:15
Member (2017)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Pancake tuesday Nov 27, 2017

I´m Irish, and we always called it Pancake Tuesday

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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:15
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Crêpes Nov 27, 2017

I grew up with Pancake Day in the south of England in the '60s, although I knew the formal Shrove Tuesday too. Here in the Canaries they're called crêpes. At least, I think the circumflex is used, but the pronunciation is not French. I think tortillas would be highly misleading, particularly for Spanish rather than Latin American readers. There's a vast difference between pancakes and potato omelettes!

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Mark
Local time: 14:15
Italian to English
You surprise me. Nov 27, 2017

In the UK I've never heard anyone use the expression "Pancake Day". It's "Shrove Tuesday".
I would have said Pancake Day was the more common expression. Jif Lemon played on this some time ago, with its slogan “Don't forget the pancakes on Jif Lemon Day.”


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:15
Member (2008)
Italian to English
YEs but no Nov 27, 2017

Tania123 wrote:

I´m Irish, and we always called it Pancake Tuesday


Pancake Tuesday yes. Pancake Day, NEVER. I'm Irish too and my mother (but alas, not I) made pancakes on Pancake **Tuesday**

[Edited at 2017-11-27 14:58 GMT]


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James C.  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:15
Spanish to English
Flapjacks? Nov 27, 2017

I've heard the Canadians call it Flapjack Friday.

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James C.  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:15
Spanish to English
A less snarky answer... Nov 27, 2017

Hi James,

My previous post was a bit snarky (just an attempt at a little Monday afternoon humor), so I thought I should try to provide my own (brief) version of an answer to your question. I hope it doesn't seem condescending, but I'm trying to keep it simple and your profile says that you're a student, so:

Professional translators don't necessarily follow some formal set of methods for a situation like the one you describe, by carefully selecting the best method or procedure from a set of pre-established options. It's not always that simple.

Instead, they must think about the specific situation in all of its facets and then decide upon the best translation after considering, for example, who is the intended reader? What will the reader understand or not understand? Will a literal translation work or not?

This is in fact what you see 'neilmac' doing in his response just below your question: he quickly and somewhat informally links Pancake Day with Shrove Tuesday and then with Mardi Gras and then with Martes de Carnaval, as part of his method/procedure, since all of these terms do in fact refer to the same date on the calendar, and all of them may or may not be understood by the intended reader(s) of your translation.

For example, imagine you were hired by a client from Spain named Alfredo to translate a short email he received from his English colleague Ian, specifically: "Hi Alfredo, let's meet in Madrid on Pancake Day! Cheers, Ian". In this particular case, it would seem to be very important for Alfredo to know, based upon your translation, which exact date Ian was referring to. However, a literal translation of "Dia de Panqueques" might not get him there, and he would have to do his own research to figure out what Ian was talking about (this may not sound like a big deal, but in the real world it can end up as "the client doesn't like your translation, we aren't going to pay you", etc.).

Perhaps the other English term for the same date would be better, Shrove Tuesday -- how would that translate into Spanish? I don't know, what is a shrove? Right, nobody really knows, and definitely not Alberto. But then, through the magic of toggling between languages in Wikipedia, you find that the Spanish version of the English page about "Pancake Day" there says "Martes de Carnaval", but also "Martes de Pancake".

Remembering that some people will say, "Wikipedia is NOT a reliable source, anybody can write anything there..." (yeah, kind of like the entire rest of the internet, I know, but they do say these things), you decide that "Martes de Pancake" seems a little dodgy, like "Spanglish". You do a little more research and decide that "Martes de Carnaval" seems pretty solid, so you decide to translate "Pancake Day" as "Martes de Carnaval".

It works! Alberto and Ian meet in Madrid on the right day. You feel great satisfaction, and you get paid (but not much, it was quite a short project).

Now imagine you have the same term to deal with, but this time you have been hired to translate a blog post focused on English history, called "Why is Pancake Day called Pancake Day?", and it then goes on to discuss a lady running up the street to church with a pan in her hand (it's true, you can't make this stuff up). The translation you decide upon in the end, in this case, may be completely different -- even though you apply a similar method: by thinking about the various aspects of the specific case, the purpose of the translation, the intended readers and what they will understand, etc.

I hope this helps and sorry for the snark (and my apologies to Canadians too, they don't really call it that).


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JamesSlater
United Kingdom
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Nov 28, 2017

James C. wrote:

Hi James,

My previous post was a bit snarky (just an attempt at a little Monday afternoon humor), so I thought I should try to provide my own (brief) version of an answer to your question. I hope it doesn't seem condescending, but I'm trying to keep it simple and your profile says that you're a student, so:

Professional translators don't necessarily follow some formal set of methods for a situation like the one you describe, by carefully selecting the best method or procedure from a set of pre-established options. It's not always that simple.

Instead, they must think about the specific situation in all of its facets and then decide upon the best translation after considering, for example, who is the intended reader? What will the reader understand or not understand? Will a literal translation work or not?

This is in fact what you see 'neilmac' doing in his response just below your question: he quickly and somewhat informally links Pancake Day with Shrove Tuesday and then with Mardi Gras and then with Martes de Carnaval, as part of his method/procedure, since all of these terms do in fact refer to the same date on the calendar, and all of them may or may not be understood by the intended reader(s) of your translation.

For example, imagine you were hired by a client from Spain named Alfredo to translate a short email he received from his English colleague Ian, specifically: "Hi Alfredo, let's meet in Madrid on Pancake Day! Cheers, Ian". In this particular case, it would seem to be very important for Alfredo to know, based upon your translation, which exact date Ian was referring to. However, a literal translation of "Dia de Panqueques" might not get him there, and he would have to do his own research to figure out what Ian was talking about (this may not sound like a big deal, but in the real world it can end up as "the client doesn't like your translation, we aren't going to pay you", etc.).

Perhaps the other English term for the same date would be better, Shrove Tuesday -- how would that translate into Spanish? I don't know, what is a shrove? Right, nobody really knows, and definitely not Alberto. But then, through the magic of toggling between languages in Wikipedia, you find that the Spanish version of the English page about "Pancake Day" there says "Martes de Carnaval", but also "Martes de Pancake".

Remembering that some people will say, "Wikipedia is NOT a reliable source, anybody can write anything there..." (yeah, kind of like the entire rest of the internet, I know, but they do say these things), you decide that "Martes de Pancake" seems a little dodgy, like "Spanglish". You do a little more research and decide that "Martes de Carnaval" seems pretty solid, so you decide to translate "Pancake Day" as "Martes de Carnaval".

It works! Alberto and Ian meet in Madrid on the right day. You feel great satisfaction, and you get paid (but not much, it was quite a short project).

Now imagine you have the same term to deal with, but this time you have been hired to translate a blog post focused on English history, called "Why is Pancake Day called Pancake Day?", and it then goes on to discuss a lady running up the street to church with a pan in her hand (it's true, you can't make this stuff up). The translation you decide upon in the end, in this case, may be completely different -- even though you apply a similar method: by thinking about the various aspects of the specific case, the purpose of the translation, the intended readers and what they will understand, etc.

I hope this helps and sorry for the snark (and my apologies to Canadians too, they don't really call it that).


Thank you for taking the time to clearly explain the processes i need to think about. This is information i needed for a presentation I am doing on Thursday. And no worries regarding the joke.


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JamesSlater
United Kingdom
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
My gratitude Nov 28, 2017

Thank you everyone for helping me out. I never expected to get a reply. Your knowledge as translators is invaluable to me.

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Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:15
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
Pancake day Nov 28, 2017

It was always pancake day for me, as a child in the south of England. Shrove Tuesday was the official religious term, but nobody was interested in that, only in eating as many pancakes as possible. My mother served them dripping in lemon juice and coated with sugar.

As a mother myself, I started out serving savoury pancakes, usually egg and cheese and tomato or spinach with cream and chili and sesame seeds, ending with nutella and banana pancakes.
Not sure I want to wait till February for that now


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Helena Chavarria  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:15
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday Nov 28, 2017

Sheila Wilson wrote:

I grew up with Pancake Day in the south of England in the '60s, although I knew the formal Shrove Tuesday too.


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:15
French to English
Shrove Tuesday (last day before lent), "Pancake day", Mardi Gras Nov 28, 2017

http://www.wordreference.com/es/translation.asp?tranword=Mardi%20Gras

Principal Translations
Inglés Español
Mardi Gras n (Christian calendar: last day before Lent) Mardi Gras nm
Note: In the UK this day is called 'Shrove Tuesday', and typically, pancakes are eaten.
Note: palabra francesa, no es de uso frecuente.
Mardi Gras means "fat Tuesday" and is celebrated with festivals in many countries before fasting for Lent begins.
Martes de Carnaval nm
Note: In the UK this day is called 'Shrove Tuesday', and typically, pancakes are eaten.
ⓘ El Martes de Carnaval p


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Translation Procedures on culture bound term "Pancake day" from English to Spanish

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