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in the catbird seat

Spanish translation: tener la sartén por el mango (España, Argentina); cortar/partir el bacalao (España); llevar el timón (España)

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:in the catbird seat
Spanish translation:tener la sartén por el mango (España, Argentina); cortar/partir el bacalao (España); llevar el timón (España)
Entered by: Susana Galilea
Options:
- Contribute to this entry
- Include in personal glossary

00:24 Dec 14, 2005
English to Spanish translations [PRO]
Social Sciences - Idioms / Maxims / Sayings
English term or phrase: in the catbird seat
I have decided to compile a somewhat thorough English-Spanish glossary, a long-standing goal I have had for many years but never actually done. In approximately 10% of the cases, I am recurring to you, my colleagues on Proz, to ask you to help me get appropriate translations into Spanish of a number of idioms.

I want to assure everyone that ALL TRANSLATIONS WILL BE SHARED on the open forum we have in Proz. The way I guarantee this is by choosing “one answer” to which I incorporate many of the other answers, and then I click to save the question and answer on the open Proz forum.

Selection criteria: 1) extensive usage throughout the Spanish-speaking world. I am counting on your help, and since usually colleagues simply agree without adding where they know the translated term to be used, I am not able to specify this in the answers. This is not a commercial enterprise, but rather an informal exercise for the benefit of all of us. 2) Many times there are really creative idioms that are used which, although not used necessarily throughout the Spanish-speaking world, would be readily understood by all. I am particularly happy to include these in the open forum so that we can all enjoy them in our use, whether literally, or perhaps with an adaptation to the degree that each translator deems appropriate for that particular target population.
Please, when you agree with an answer, mention the countries in which you know such idiom to be used, if not already mentioned by another colleague. Since this project is so time-consuming and endless, and since, like you, I have such a heavy load of translations and interpreting jobs to do and cannot spend umpteen million hours on it, I must count on your help. And although simply listing countries because another translator says so is in no way scientific, at least it is an interesting start.

Finally, I know context is everything. Quite often I will give the meaning(s) in which I am interested, and I will attempt to include a sample. Some sources, such as the Random House Dictionary, already have an example, so there is no need for me to do this, since time is of essence.

Thank you for your help.

definition: in a superior or advantageous situation


example:

What did Bob Woodward know, and when did he know it?

That's the first question that came to my mind as today's (Nov. 16) Page One story in the Washington Post, "Woodward Was Told of Plame More Than Two Years Ago," knocked me off my seat, spilling steaming hot coffee all down my Slate insignia bib.

For the last two years, every reader and reporter in America has been adjusting his Valerie Plame timetable, trying to figure out who in the government leaked her name to whom and in what order. Meanwhile, Woodward was sitting mum in the catbird seat, the scoop trapped in his bill. The information would still be there if Woodward's source—unnamed in the Post account and unnamed by Woodward in his "statement"—hadn't told Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald about the conversation on Nov. 3. Fitzgerald deposed Woodward for more than two hours yesterday.
Michael Powers (PhD)
United States
Local time: 05:46
tener la sartén por el mango
Explanation:
otra opción que se usa España


sartén.

tener alguien la ~ por el mango.
1. fr. coloq. Ser dueño de la situación, poder decidir o mandar.


Real Academia Española © Todos los derechos reservados
Selected response from:

Susana Galilea
United States
Local time: 04:46
Grading comment
gracias,

Mike :)
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +4tener la sartén por el mangoSusana Galilea
5 +3cortar/partir el bacalao
Juan Hernández
5llevar el timón
Gerardo Comino
5tener el (absoluto) control sobre (una situación)
Ana Brassara
4estar en la silla de mando
posada


  

Answers


2 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
tener el (absoluto) control sobre (una situación)


Explanation:
Meaning

In complete control of a situation.

Origin

From the belief previously circulating in the US southern states that the Catbird gains dominance over others. Catbirds do seek the highest perches in trees.



Ana Brassara
Local time: 06:46
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 12
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
estar en la silla de mando


Explanation:
esta al mando o en control.

posada
Local time: 04:46
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 20
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
llevar el timón


Explanation:
Sugg.
Regards,
Gerardo

Gerardo Comino
Local time: 11:46
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

25 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +3
cortar/partir el bacalao


Explanation:
Quien corta el bacalao es el jefe. Muy popular en España. Suerte.

Juan Hernández
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Francisco Bolaños: Ello! :-))
12 mins
  -> Gracias Francisco. Saludos.

agree  Penelope Ausejo: Sí.. así también se dice mucho en España. Salu2 Juan :)
8 hrs
  -> Gracias Pepis.

agree  Victoria Gil Talavera
11 hrs
  -> Gracias Victoria.
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

51 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
tener la sartén por el mango


Explanation:
otra opción que se usa España


sartén.

tener alguien la ~ por el mango.
1. fr. coloq. Ser dueño de la situación, poder decidir o mandar.


Real Academia Española © Todos los derechos reservados


Susana Galilea
United States
Local time: 04:46
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 44
Grading comment
gracias,

Mike :)

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Marina Soldati: Si, en Argentina también, hay una canción que dice "la sartén por el mango, y el mango también"
17 mins

agree  Paola Giardina
29 mins

agree  Penelope Ausejo: Sí, en España lo decimos así. Salu2 otra vez :)
7 hrs

agree  Victoria Gil Talavera
10 hrs
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