to cost of

English translation: not worth the cost of a few destroyers, or less than the cost of a battleship

23:26 Nov 22, 2006
English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature / Spanish Civil War
English term or phrase: to cost of
These are 2 points of a letter from 1940 in which the American ambassador in Spain tries to convince the United States of extending credits to Spain, not only to lessen the impending hunger but also to guarantee its neutrality during WWII. I am not sure about the meaning of the part between ***

c) It is therefore evident that a prompt granting of credits by our Government and the supplying of articles made available thereunder, are essential to the maintenance of Spanish neutrality.
d) Considered in baldest terms, and leaving aside the obvious humanitarian aspects of aid to Spain, the question of our Administration should ask itself is whether in view of the present world situation, the neutrality of Spain ***is not worth to cost of a few destroyers or less the cost of a battleship***.

Thanks in advance,
Maria
Maria Rosich Andreu
Spain
Local time: 03:09
English translation:not worth the cost of a few destroyers, or less than the cost of a battleship
Explanation:
This would seem to make sense. It would be worth investing the amount of money it would cost to acquire a few destroyers, in other words, less than the cost of one battleship, in easing the impending hunger in Spain and thus ensuring its neutrality.
Selected response from:

Caryl Swift
Poland
Local time: 03:09
Grading comment
Thank you everyone, I think this is the right option.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
3 +6not worth the cost of a few destroyers, or less than the cost of a battleship
Caryl Swift
4 +1not worth the cost of a few destroyers (typo)
Anna Maria Augustine at proZ.com (X)
4is not worth the cost of a few destroyers, far less the cost of a battleship
kmtext
3is not worth the cost of a few destroyers or less, the cost of a battleship
Tony M


Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
not worth the cost of a few destroyers (typo)


Explanation:
*

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 5 mins (2006-11-22 23:32:11 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

or less than the cost of a battleship

Anna Maria Augustine at proZ.com (X)
France
Local time: 03:09
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in category: 52

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Valters Feists
1 hr
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6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +6
not worth the cost of a few destroyers, or less than the cost of a battleship


Explanation:
This would seem to make sense. It would be worth investing the amount of money it would cost to acquire a few destroyers, in other words, less than the cost of one battleship, in easing the impending hunger in Spain and thus ensuring its neutrality.


Caryl Swift
Poland
Local time: 03:09
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 76
Grading comment
Thank you everyone, I think this is the right option.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Cristina Chaplin
50 mins
  -> Thank you! :-)

agree  Dave Calderhead
1 hr
  -> Thank you :-)

agree  Michael Barnett
2 hrs
  -> Thank you :-)

agree  Andy Watkinson: Sounds more like a dodgy transcription than a written piece. i.e. confusion between "to"/"the", as if misheard, rather than badly written.
3 hrs
  -> Yes-there's certainly something amiss. Thank you :-)

agree  Bettina GJ
5 hrs
  -> Thank you :-)

agree  Alfa Trans (X)
1 day 18 hrs
  -> Thank you :-)
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8 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
is not worth the cost of a few destroyers, far less the cost of a battleship


Explanation:
It's a comparative statement. Basically it means that guaranteeing Spanish neutrality would be worth a lot more in the long run than the relatively small cost involved.

kmtext
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:09
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GaelicGaelic
PRO pts in category: 56
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10 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
is not worth to cost of a few destroyers or less the cost of a battleship [presumed typo]
is not worth the cost of a few destroyers or less, the cost of a battleship


Explanation:
I agree with the other answerers in feeling pretty convinced that the 'to' in question simply has to be a typo for 'the', very likely a stenographer's transcription error as Andy suggests.

However, I am not entirely agreement with the other answerers' interpretations of the latter part of the sentence; I don't think it is necessary to assume the omission of a whole word, if you simply read it as if there were a comma after 'less' (might be an moission, or simply writer's style); I don't know anything about the comparative costs of naval veseels, but I could well imagine that one battleship could well cost a bit less than a number of destroyers.

I think the Ambassador is saying they should send a few destroyers, or at least a single battleship (which would be cheaper still)

Tony M
France
Local time: 03:09
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 256
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