"grandes pulpos mafiosos que han desplegado sus tentáculos"

English translation: mafias/mafia networks that have spread their tentacles across Spain or J. Verne variation below

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Spanish term or phrase:\"grandes pulpos mafiosos que han desplegado sus tentáculos\"
English translation:mafias/mafia networks that have spread their tentacles across Spain or J. Verne variation below
Entered by: Dwain Richardson

03:53 Sep 12, 2011
Spanish to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Journalism / Newspaper article
Spanish term or phrase: "grandes pulpos mafiosos que han desplegado sus tentáculos"
Hi, everyone. I am reviewing a translation I already submitted to a professor this past winter. I was asked to translate an article from Spain's El País from Spanish to French or English. I translated it into English and came across the following phrase in a sentence which is apparently metaphorical:

"...Se trata de una delincuencia nueva, poderosa, sofisticada y desalmada que cuenta con amplias conexiones internacionales. Son las multinacionales del crimen, grandes pulpos mafiosos que han desplegado sus tentáculos en suelo español."

I could not find a suitable English metaphorical equivalent for "grandes pulpos..." I was wondering if anyone is able to give me a few suggestions.

The above excerpt comes from an article that describes European mafias committing serious crimes on Spanish soil in 2005. Half of the 400 foreigners are highly ranked dangerous criminals; the majority of them come from Eastern European countries. Eighty per cent of criminals present in these organizations are Spaniards themselves.
Dwain Richardson
Canada
Local time: 20:33
mafias/mafia networks that have spread their tentacles across Spain or J. Verne variation below
Explanation:
After "They are international criminal organizations . . ."Variations found in Internet: www.southasiaanalysis.org/\papers8\paper773.html - En caché... of the Police and other security agencies in dealing with terrorism and the mafia gangs. ... From there, they have extended their networks, under the instructions of the ISI, ... The implications are particularly ominous in respect of the LET. ... with its tentacles spreading as far east as Indonesia, to the whole of the Gulf and ...; https://lalqila.wordpress.com/.../greedy-selfish-and-immoral... - En caché18 Aug 2011 – Rupert Murdoch hatched the idea of an American TV network ...... How Jew Mafia destroyed America and the World. .... CIA spreads its tentacles in South Punjab. ...... 93′s debris spread over miles when it was supposed to have crashed in ...... represents two unsurprising but ominous things: that the ...; Mafia gangs spreading tentacles around world - [ Traducir esta página ]
www.hvk.org/articles/0202/57.html - En caché8 Feb 2002 – The two main - and rival - mafia gangs have spread their tentacles around the world and are enmeshed in all kinds of illegalities: smuggling, ...; Print Article - Pakistan Today -
www.pakistantoday.com.pk/.../the-struggle-against-human-t..... - En caché15 Aug 2011 – ... networks of human traffickers have spread their tentacles around the ... plagued by the menace of illegal immigration and mafias involved in ... If you want to see a good example of the octopus metaphor, have a look at: www.bibliotecapleyades.net/.../esp_sociopol_rothschild06.h.... - En cachéIf Gorbachov had accepted the plan, he would have remained in power and the Soviet ... This activity has fuelled the growth of the Russian Mafia. ... George Soros is merely the visible face of a vast and very nasty network of private ..... who, like an immense Jules Verne octopus, extends his tentacles all over Eastern Europe, ...
Selected response from:

Jenni Lukac (X)
Local time: 02:33
Grading comment
The news excerpts are very insightful and give me an idea how the idiomatic expression is used in English. Thank you very much!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +4vast/global criminal networks spreading (their tentacles) across Spanish soil
Cecilia Gowar
4 +1major (international) mafia cartels who have descended on Spanish soil en masse
James A. Walsh
4mafias/mafia networks that have spread their tentacles across Spain or J. Verne variation below
Jenni Lukac (X)
4large mafia-like octopi that have spread their tentacles
Steven Huddleston
4vast crime syndicates enveloping Spain like octopi stretching out their tentacles
Jeff Gotfredson
3huge mafiosi octupusses that have spread out their tentacles
David Hollywood
Summary of reference entries provided
On Pluralising 'Octopus'
Barbara Carrara

Discussion entries: 3





  

Answers


7 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
large mafia-like octopi that have spread their tentacles


Explanation:
I feel that the literal translation of the metaphor is just as functional and eloquent in English, in fact, I have seen the “octopus” and “tentacles” metaphors used in other contexts, quite effectively.

Example sentence(s):
  • ...large mafia-like octopi that have spread their tentacles upon Spanish soil.
Steven Huddleston
Mexico
Local time: 19:33
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 4
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4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
huge mafiosi octupusses that have spread out their tentacles


Explanation:
:)

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Note added at 10 mins (2011-09-12 04:04:31 GMT)
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all over/across Spanish soil

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Note added at 14 mins (2011-09-12 04:07:45 GMT)
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on the question of the plural of "octopus" it could be "octopuses" or "octopi" so ...
We would go with "octopuses," a perfectly legitimate English plural, and the oldest attested to. "Octopi" is also an acceptable choice, and one in wide use, but ...


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Note added at 15 mins (2011-09-12 04:08:39 GMT)
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so sorry about original spelling ...

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Note added at 16 mins (2011-09-12 04:09:59 GMT)
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What's the plural of octopus? Octopuses? Octopi? Octopodes? According to this video by Merriam Webster editor Kory Stamper, all three are technically correct. Video link.


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Note added at 21 mins (2011-09-12 04:14:36 GMT)
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or: that have sprawled all over Spanish soil

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Note added at 23 mins (2011-09-12 04:17:12 GMT)
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and I think we can go for "huge" rather than "large" to get the full effect

David Hollywood
Local time: 22:33
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 27
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
grandes pulpos mafiosos que han desplegado sus tentáculos
major (international) mafia cartels who have descended on Spanish soil en masse


Explanation:

The "octopus" metaphor just doesn't carry over in English in my view. I believe this is the idea here.

Example sentence(s):
  • Son las multinacionales del crimen, grandes pulpos mafiosos que han desplegado sus tentáculos en suelo español.
  • These are/We are dealing with major international mafia cartels who have descended on Spanish soil en masse.

    Reference: http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=&q=%22*+international+mafi...
James A. Walsh
Spain
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 12

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  neilmac: I like "major"... and I agree the tentacle metaphor is worn out
2 hrs
  -> Thanks, Neil.
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
vast/global criminal networks spreading (their tentacles) across Spanish soil


Explanation:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1351317/The-criminal-...
"The criminal networks spreading across Britain"

Yyou can also say "spreading into", and you can eliminate entacles.

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Note added at 5 hrs (2011-09-12 09:09:27 GMT)
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Oops. "You", "tentacles"....

Cecilia Gowar
United Kingdom
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 68
Notes to answerer
Asker: Many thanks for your feedback! It is truly appreciated.


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  neilmac: Yes, tentacles out! Off with their tentacles!
53 mins
  -> Thanks Neilmac!

agree  David Ronder
1 hr
  -> Thanks David!

agree  Charles Davis: Octupuses definitely not (nor giant squid); tentacles I can live with. In fact I'd leave them in as a concession to the original metaphor; ok, they're a cliché, but then so are "tentáculos". "Spreading" yes.
3 hrs
  -> Thanks Charles! Yes, I have never seen octopuses or squids or any other seafood used with this meaning in English.

agree  FVS (X)
4 hrs
  -> Thanks FVS!
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6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
mafias/mafia networks that have spread their tentacles across Spain or J. Verne variation below


Explanation:
After "They are international criminal organizations . . ."Variations found in Internet: www.southasiaanalysis.org/\papers8\paper773.html - En caché... of the Police and other security agencies in dealing with terrorism and the mafia gangs. ... From there, they have extended their networks, under the instructions of the ISI, ... The implications are particularly ominous in respect of the LET. ... with its tentacles spreading as far east as Indonesia, to the whole of the Gulf and ...; https://lalqila.wordpress.com/.../greedy-selfish-and-immoral... - En caché18 Aug 2011 – Rupert Murdoch hatched the idea of an American TV network ...... How Jew Mafia destroyed America and the World. .... CIA spreads its tentacles in South Punjab. ...... 93′s debris spread over miles when it was supposed to have crashed in ...... represents two unsurprising but ominous things: that the ...; Mafia gangs spreading tentacles around world - [ Traducir esta página ]
www.hvk.org/articles/0202/57.html - En caché8 Feb 2002 – The two main - and rival - mafia gangs have spread their tentacles around the world and are enmeshed in all kinds of illegalities: smuggling, ...; Print Article - Pakistan Today -
www.pakistantoday.com.pk/.../the-struggle-against-human-t..... - En caché15 Aug 2011 – ... networks of human traffickers have spread their tentacles around the ... plagued by the menace of illegal immigration and mafias involved in ... If you want to see a good example of the octopus metaphor, have a look at: www.bibliotecapleyades.net/.../esp_sociopol_rothschild06.h.... - En cachéIf Gorbachov had accepted the plan, he would have remained in power and the Soviet ... This activity has fuelled the growth of the Russian Mafia. ... George Soros is merely the visible face of a vast and very nasty network of private ..... who, like an immense Jules Verne octopus, extends his tentacles all over Eastern Europe, ...

Jenni Lukac (X)
Local time: 02:33
Works in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 56
Grading comment
The news excerpts are very insightful and give me an idea how the idiomatic expression is used in English. Thank you very much!
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19 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
vast crime syndicates enveloping Spain like octopi stretching out their tentacles


Explanation:
A small change in word order make this sound a bit less like a translation, I think. Good Luck!

Jeff Gotfredson
United States
Local time: 19:33
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
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Reference comments


1 hr peer agreement (net): +3
Reference: On Pluralising 'Octopus'

Reference information:
'Usage
The standard plural in English of octopus is octopuses. However, the word octopus comes from Greek and the Greek plural form octopodes is still occasionally used. The plural form octopi, formed according to rules for some Latin plurals, is incorrect'
(http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/octopus)



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Note added at 1 hr (2011-09-12 05:41:14 GMT)
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'octopus noun
ˈɒk.tə.pəs//ˈɑːk-/ [C] (plural octopuses or octopi/ˈɒk.tə.paɪ//ˈɑːk-/)
(http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/octopus?q...

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Note added at 1 hr (2011-09-12 05:48:37 GMT)
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'oc·to·pus
plural oc·to·pus·es or oc·to·pi'
(http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/octopus?show=0&t=1...


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Note added at 3 hrs (2011-09-12 06:55:58 GMT)
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As I am sure you all know, the zoological reference comes from the Italian 'piovra', which is the term coined to describe the Mafia activities, and its ubiquitous spreading throughout the layers of society. The animal image works in Italian, although you may find it translated into English thus,

'piovra
f.
1 (zool., Octopus) octopus; giant squid
2 (fig.: sfruttatore) bloodsucker (fam.)
3 (fig.: mafia) (the) Mafia; organized crime.'
(Zanichelli dictionary, hard copy)

For those of you who know Italian, here's the definition of 'piovra' provided by the Treccani dictionary:
'Organizzazione criminale, con ramificazioni molto estese, il cui potere e la cui influenza si estendono, in forme anche spietate, in disparati settori della realtà politica, sociale ed economica; l’espressione, che fa allusione non solo ai lunghi e forti tentacoli del mollusco ma anche alla sua vita abissale, e che forse è ispirata da un uso analogo assunto in ingl. da octopus (v. ottopodi), è oggi una metafora corrente con cui è indicata soprattutto la mafia, per influenza del titolo («La piovra») di un ciclo di film televisivi in più puntate, iniziato con quello del regista D. Damiani, mandato in onda nel marzo 1984.'

For the Italian TV series mentioned above, see
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086779/

See also,
http://cup.columbia.edu/book/978-0-231-13134-6/history-of-th...
'... the popular image of a piovra (octopus, a term used colloquially in Italy to describe the Mafia— translator’s note) with one head and a thousand tentacles, with omniscient and omnipotent leadership,...'

and
'Mass media represents the Mafia as a sort of universal Evil, the "octopus" that controls all criminal activities: from drug to arms trafficking and now even radioactive substances. In reality, the Sicilian Mafia can be considered a "winning model" of Organized Crime (at least until now) due to its complexity and long-standing role in society, but care must be taken against stereotypes that always see the octopus' tentacles everywere.'
(http://www.centroimpastato.it/otherlang/mafia-in-italy.php3)

Barbara Carrara
Italy
Works in field
Native speaker of: Italian

Peer comments on this reference comment (and responses from the reference poster)
agree  neilmac: Was just about to post that "octopi" arose from the incorrect assumption that "octopus" is a Latin form, and is now generally considered an incorrect hypercorrection.
3 hrs
  -> Thanks, Neil. Yes, I would stick to 'octopuses', too, also because I find both 'octopodes' and 'octopi' a tad pompous (no offence intended).
agree  David Ronder: Sorry, hadn't seen this when I posted my discussion comment
3 hrs
  -> Thank you, David.
agree  Charles Davis: I always thought "octopi" was a joke, but apparently some people take it seriously. Thanks for clearing this up, Barbara, and for the material on the Italian mafia: fascinating and very useful.
5 hrs
  -> Thank you, Charles.
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