mazorca y espiga de liberación

English translation: germ and spike of liberation / seed and ears of liberation / kernel and substance of liberation

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Spanish term or phrase:mazorca y espiga de liberación
English translation: germ and spike of liberation / seed and ears of liberation / kernel and substance of liberation
Entered by: María Teresa Taylor Oliver

15:40 May 6, 2018
Spanish to English translations [PRO]
Social Sciences - Government / Politics / Nicaraguan newspaper article
Spanish term or phrase: mazorca y espiga de liberación
I'm translating a newspaper article (https://confidencial.com.ni/ortega-amenaza-y-despues-reza-po... on the recent protests in Nicaragua and the rally that the ruling party (Sandinista Front, or FSLN) organized in reaction to the crisis, including President Daniel Ortega's speech.

The article mentions a revolutionary anthem used by the FSLN but after several Google searches I cannot find an English equivalent to the chorus:

"Como un chilotito tierno, fulgurante bajo el sol nació el Frente Sandinista, mazorca y espiga de liberación…"

I did find that "chilotito" or rather "chilote" or "jilote" in Nicaragua means "ear of sweet or young corn":

chilote2
1. m. C. Rica y Nic. jilote.

jilote
Del náhuatl xilotl 'cabello'.
1. m. C. Rica, El Salv., Guat., Hond., Méx. y Nic. Mazorca de maíz cuando sus granos no han cuajado aún.
Real Academia Española © Todos los derechos reservados

But I'm stuck as to how to translate "mazorca y espiga de liberación" when both "mazorca" and "espiga" mean "ear" -- or maybe "sprig"? "ear and sprig of liberation," "of liberty"? Everything sounds weird to me. :(

Thanks in advance!
María Teresa Taylor Oliver
Panama
Local time: 15:07
germ and spike of liberation / seed and ears of liberation / kernel and substance of liberation
Explanation:
I am giving a "medium" level of confidence, more on the side of understanding the Spanish than in terms of suggesting a translation.

But I want to mention that in my last link here I include the "old" Byelorrusian emblem, just to note that these "cobs" and "ears" are clear Communist symbols, and the metaphor is then more understandable.

To note also that "mazorca" has an additional meaning (as noted in DRAE, for Guatemala, but easily extrapolated to Nicaragua:

5. f. Guat. Grupo de personas íntimamente relacionadas.

http://dle.rae.es/?id=OhBfC8z

In other words, the Frente Sandinista is no just a germ, but also a "hard core" group of individuals. So the song plays with both the literal and figurative secondary meaning (but a connotation fully applicable here) of "mazorca".
Also, "espiga", despite the literal meaning, it has also a war-like connotation, as it is also defined as (per DRAE),

espiga
5. f. Parte superior de la espada, en donde se asegura la guarnición.

So, if the above is understood (and the one thousand and one nuances that that "poetic" discourse may imply), then you can try with terms in English that may include these different nuances and connotations, which would sound meaningless, unless we put them in the revolutionary-Communist context.

Here are some definitions that may help (check also the synonyms, as Allegro notes in the Discussion, or any other Thesaurus)

Defn 2 here,
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/kernel

Definitions 2.1 and 2.2. here,
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/germ

spike1
NOUN
1 A thin, pointed piece of metal, wood, or another rigid material.
Synonyms
prong, barb, point, skewer, stake,

spike 2
NOUN
Botany
A flower cluster formed of many flower heads attached directly to a long stem.

Origin
Late Middle English (denoting an ear of corn): from Latin spica (see spica).

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/spike

Wheat ears surround the central device, with flowers on each ear;

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

At any rate, this sounds like an interesting challenge. I hope I gave some inspiration and additional ideas to fully understand the original, and thus, render it in English to the best of your abilities.

Saludos cordiales.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 5 days (2018-05-11 21:22:28 GMT) Post-grading
--------------------------------------------------

You're welcome. :-)

¡Buen fin de semana para ti también!
Selected response from:

JohnMcDove
United States
Local time: 13:07
Grading comment
Thank you so much, everyone! What a bounty of information! Les agradezco un montón a todos por su dedicación para investigar el tema. ¡Que tengan buen fin de semana! :)
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
3germ and spike of liberation / seed and ears of liberation / kernel and substance of liberation
JohnMcDove
3heart and soul
bigedsenior
3ear and spike of liberation
Marcelo González
Summary of reference entries provided
Helena Chavarria
Refs.
Taña Dalglish

Discussion entries: 7





  

Answers


8 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
ear and spike of liberation


Explanation:
Following the discussion, including María Teresa's comment about mazorca and espiga meaning 'ear,' I think this might be a good option, even if the connection between ear and spike may not be as easily understood as in the source text.

Like tender corn on the cob, gleaming beneath the sun, the Sandinista Front was born, [as] the ear and spike of liberation.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 9 hrs (2018-05-07 01:24:42 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Hola María Teresa:

Following your lead with respect to 'ear,' I think 'ear and spike' work, both semantically and stylistically, perfectly fine, as they appear to be synonyms in the same way as the source text's mazorca y espiga, and, very importantly, translating it this way would allow for 'chilotito tierno' to be rendered as 'tender corn on the cob,' as it's important to retain as much of this (extended) metaphor as possible.

Como un chilotito tierno, fulgurante bajo el sol nació el Frente Sandinista, mazorca y espiga de liberación = Like tender corn on the cob, gleaming beneath the sun, the Sandinista Front was born, as the ear and spike of liberation.

Michael Hanne on translating metaphors:

“Translating metaphor is one of the most fascinating challenges for translators of journalistic and literary texts, since it requires us to draw on a great range of our imaginative, cultural and linguistic resources” ('Metaphors for the Translator' in (Susan Bassnett and Peter Bush) "The Translator as Writer" quoted in 'Metaphor and Agency' 2015: 47).

Metaphor and Agency in the English-Spanish Translation of Texts in the Social Sciences (2015)
https://figshare.com/articles/Metaphor_and_agency_in_the_Eng...

I hope this helps. Cheers from Honduras :-)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 day 2 hrs (2018-05-07 17:45:05 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Now that I´ve examined this a bit more, I think a literal translation may, in fact, be not only possible but preferible, at least for mazorca y espiga, even if that means using a target language term that may not be as frequently used as its equivalent in Spanish.

milpa
s. f. Méx. AGRICULTURA Maizal, terreno sembrado de maíz.
https://es.thefreedictionary.com/milpa

tapizca [sic]>>tapisca
s. f. Amér. Central AGRICULTURA Recolección del maíz.
https://es.thefreedictionary.com/tapisca

spike
1. an ear, as of wheat or other grain.
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/spike (see several entries, at this same URL, from different dictionaries, all or many of which stating "ear" and "spike" are synonyms)

If this small part can be translated more or less literally, which apparently it can, I´d render it in this way to convey the full force of this extended metaphor.

Como un chilotito tierno, fulgurante bajo el sol nació el Frente Sandinista, mazorca y espiga de liberación. Cada grano fue una bala para conquistar la paz. Y levantamos la milpa, para la tapizca de la libertad = Like tender corn on the cob, gleaming beneath the sun, the Sandinista Front was born, as the ear and spike of liberation. Each kernel [was] a bullet to achieve [or "bring about"] peace. And we harvest our fields of maize/corn, gathering the crops of freedom.

Marcelo González
Vietnam
Local time: 03:07
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 207
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2 days 1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
heart and soul


Explanation:
'Vanguard' could be substituted for soul, which would make it closer to the meaning of the original, but it does not sound too well in English.

https://books.google.com/books?id=5FwUAAAAYAAJ
Isaac Frederick Marcosson - 1917 - ‎Soviet Union
Those were the years of research and he spent the greater part of 1904 and the beginning of 1905 in London working in the British Museum. But the Voice of Revolution was calling to, him from his native land. He returned to Petrograd with summer and devoted himself heart and soul to the liberation movement which was ...
Heart and soul: meet the UK groups changing activism | openDemocracy
https://www.opendemocracy.net/.../heart-and-soul-meet-uk-gro...
Oct 2, 2015 - We can't change where we're from, but building a mass movement means confronting power and privilege. Sisters Uncut May Day action. Credit: Eilidh Macpherson. Building movements that are truly liberating takes heart and soul. Recently, from #BlackLivesMatter to the Scottish Independence Campaign

bigedsenior
Local time: 13:07
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 113
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5 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
germ and spike of liberation / seed and ears of liberation / kernel and substance of liberation


Explanation:
I am giving a "medium" level of confidence, more on the side of understanding the Spanish than in terms of suggesting a translation.

But I want to mention that in my last link here I include the "old" Byelorrusian emblem, just to note that these "cobs" and "ears" are clear Communist symbols, and the metaphor is then more understandable.

To note also that "mazorca" has an additional meaning (as noted in DRAE, for Guatemala, but easily extrapolated to Nicaragua:

5. f. Guat. Grupo de personas íntimamente relacionadas.

http://dle.rae.es/?id=OhBfC8z

In other words, the Frente Sandinista is no just a germ, but also a "hard core" group of individuals. So the song plays with both the literal and figurative secondary meaning (but a connotation fully applicable here) of "mazorca".
Also, "espiga", despite the literal meaning, it has also a war-like connotation, as it is also defined as (per DRAE),

espiga
5. f. Parte superior de la espada, en donde se asegura la guarnición.

So, if the above is understood (and the one thousand and one nuances that that "poetic" discourse may imply), then you can try with terms in English that may include these different nuances and connotations, which would sound meaningless, unless we put them in the revolutionary-Communist context.

Here are some definitions that may help (check also the synonyms, as Allegro notes in the Discussion, or any other Thesaurus)

Defn 2 here,
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/kernel

Definitions 2.1 and 2.2. here,
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/germ

spike1
NOUN
1 A thin, pointed piece of metal, wood, or another rigid material.
Synonyms
prong, barb, point, skewer, stake,

spike 2
NOUN
Botany
A flower cluster formed of many flower heads attached directly to a long stem.

Origin
Late Middle English (denoting an ear of corn): from Latin spica (see spica).

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/spike

Wheat ears surround the central device, with flowers on each ear;

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

At any rate, this sounds like an interesting challenge. I hope I gave some inspiration and additional ideas to fully understand the original, and thus, render it in English to the best of your abilities.

Saludos cordiales.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 5 days (2018-05-11 21:22:28 GMT) Post-grading
--------------------------------------------------

You're welcome. :-)

¡Buen fin de semana para ti también!

JohnMcDove
United States
Local time: 13:07
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 12
Grading comment
Thank you so much, everyone! What a bounty of information! Les agradezco un montón a todos por su dedicación para investigar el tema. ¡Que tengan buen fin de semana! :)
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Reference comments


21 mins peer agreement (net): +2
Reference

Reference information:
Cómo un chilotito tierno fulgurante bajo el sol.
Nace el frente sandinistas mazorca y espiga de liberación.
Cada grano fue una bala para conquistar la paz.
Y levantamos la milpa, para la tapizca de la libertad.

https://www.musixmatch.com/es/letras/Carlos-Mejia-Godoy-Los-...

'milpa' also means 'maize' or 'corn'.

Helena Chavarria
Spain
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 16

Peer comments on this reference comment (and responses from the reference poster)
agree  JohnMcDove: /../ You're welcome, Helena. Yes, it is important to know we are talking about all this corn... oops! (No pun intended, with these serious matters! ;-)
5 hrs
  -> I thought it would be useful to know that the whole anthem refers to corn. Thank you, John :-)
agree  Marcelo González: Helpful, though milpa is not corn, but the plots of land where it´s cultivated, i.e., maizal. https://es.thefreedictionary.com/milpa
7 hrs
  -> Hi, Marcelo! Thank you for the information :-)
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2 hrs peer agreement (net): +4
Reference: Refs.

Reference information:
http://selucha.tumblr.com/page/165
"Como un chilotito tierno fulgurante bajo el sol, nace el Frente Sandinista, mazorca y espiga de liberación. Cada grano fue una bala para conquistar la paz, y levantamos la milpa para la tapisca de la libertad!"
-Carlos Mejia Godoy, El Nacimiento
***“Like a tender corn cob gleaming beneath the sun, the Sandinista Front was born as the seed of liberation. Each grain was a bullet to conquer peace, and we gathered the cop (sic) to celebrate our freedom.”*** ---I assume it should be either the “corn” “maize” (milpa) as Helena stated. Error in the original text.---
Carlos Mejia Godoy is a famous Nicaraguan folk singer, well known for his songs extolling the virtues of the Sandinista National Liberation Front during the 1970s. His younger brother Luis Enrique has achieved similar levels of fame for the same reasons. Click the link above to watch a video of a live performance of this song at the Abril en Managua concert of 1983 with his band, Los de Palacagüina. Carlos is the main guy singing and (in this situation) playing the marimba, though he usually plays accordion.

Makes for interesting reading:
https://books.google.com.jm/books?id=xV3_AQAAQBAJ&pg=PA225&l...
Music and Marx: Ideas, Practice, Politics
edited by Regula Burckhardt Qureshi
See chapter 10 “Central American Revolutionary Music”. “Como un Chilotito Tierno” does not appear, but excerpts of other revolutionary songs do appear, and may give you some ideas. CMG’s name is mentioned in this chapter (somewhere)!

Taña Dalglish
Jamaica
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 96

Peer comments on this reference comment (and responses from the reference poster)
agree  Toni Castano: Hi, Taña, haha, apologies rejected :-) I´ve just read your comment in the discussion area. Well, it seems to me that we posted the same reference simultaneously. Abrazo grande, Toni. // No idea about "milpa", totally unknown here in Spain. Abrazos.
4 mins
  -> Great ... Ha..ha! Thanks Tony. I only added my comment re "milpa" which appears to be an error (cop?)./As Helena said and http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/milpa
agree  JohnMcDove: All these revolutionary things always remind me the best slogan, "Dyslexics of the world, UNTIE!!" :-)
3 hrs
  -> Thanks John.
agree  Helena Chavarria: 'milpa' http://www.wordreference.com/es/en/translation.asp?spen=milp...
4 hrs
  -> Thank you Helena.
agree  Marcelo González
5 hrs
  -> Thank you Marcelo.
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