define el ser multitud

English translation: is defined/characterized by being a crowd

19:49 May 12, 2015
Spanish to English translations [PRO]
Journalism / Current affairs
Spanish term or phrase: define el ser multitud
The phrase occurs in a newspaper piece (Mexico) about the demonstrations in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray in police custody, in April. I am not confident that I'm getting the sense of the sentence in Spanish. The context is:
"...la denuncia de la brutalidad policiaca y, sobre todo, de la impunidad del cuerpo de policías –la mayoría de los agentes incriminados terminan absueltos–, reúne coaliciones inusitadas: negros, blancos, latinos, organizaciones civiles y de género, estudiantes, profesionistas, vecinos de barrio, grupos religiosos… Ese extraño sujeto colectivo al que hoy sólo define el ser multitud."
I have translated the last sentence as: That strange collective entity that today just becomes a crowd.
All help greatly appreciated.
TomWalker
United States
Local time: 02:31
English translation:is defined/characterized by being a crowd
Explanation:
The meaning of "que hoy sólo define el ser multitud." is that the only characteristic such an heterogenous group has in common that day is being a crowd; the only trait they share is being part of the crowd.
Selected response from:

Antonella Speroni
Argentina
Local time: 06:31
Grading comment
Thanks very much for the explanation - I now have the sense of the phrase
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
5 +3is defined/characterized by being a crowd
Antonella Speroni
4just defined by its sheer numbers
Cecilia Gowar


  

Answers


16 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +3
is defined/characterized by being a crowd


Explanation:
The meaning of "que hoy sólo define el ser multitud." is that the only characteristic such an heterogenous group has in common that day is being a crowd; the only trait they share is being part of the crowd.

Antonella Speroni
Argentina
Local time: 06:31
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Thanks very much for the explanation - I now have the sense of the phrase

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  philgoddard: I actually prefer "the only trait they share". I think it sounds more natural.
39 mins
  -> You're right, it does sound more natural. What I was wanted to convey, though, was the meaning of the phrase and, not being an English native speaker, I didn't think of the most natural option.

agree  Muriel Vasconcellos: Your second answer.
3 hrs

agree  Patricia Fierro, M. Sc.
3 hrs
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51 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
just defined by its sheer numbers


Explanation:
A mixed coalition whose main feature is attracting a great number of people.

Cecilia Gowar
United Kingdom
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 68
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