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buscar la fiebre en las sábanas

English translation: we would be looking/going in the wrong direction

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17:53 Nov 20, 2006
Spanish to English translations [PRO]
General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters / Proverb
Spanish term or phrase: buscar la fiebre en las sábanas
This is from a speech, Castilian Spanish, using the example of the circulatory system as a metaphor for migration:

Pero a pesar de la existencia de algunos organismos dañinos en estos flujos, nadie ha pensado que la forma de prevenir los perjuicios que éstos puedan causar sea eliminar el sistema circulatorio. Sería recurrir a la lógica inútil de buscar la fiebre en las sábanas.

Have we got a proverb or saying about looking for the source of a problem in the wrong place? Mixing up results with causes?
Alayna Keller
Local time: 18:03
English translation:we would be looking/going in the wrong direction
Explanation:
Instead of searching for the perfect proverb, how about just saying what might happen?Please see below:
In spite of the existence of some harmful organisms...
we would definitely be looking/going in the wrong direction if we were to assume that eliminating the cirulatory system could in any way prevent this damage.
Selected response from:

Jan Castillo
Local time: 12:03
Grading comment
I don't despair of eventually finding exactly the right turn of colloquial phrase, but until then, I believe your answer is going to be the most faithful to what the original was trying to say. Thanks very much.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +2throwing out the baby with the bath water
George Rabel
4we would be looking/going in the wrong direction
Jan Castillo
4barking up the wrong tree
Edward Tully


  

Answers


2 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
barking up the wrong tree


Explanation:
not sure re the context though...

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Note added at 4 mins (2006-11-20 17:58:02 GMT)
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or "of the tail wagging the dog"!

Edward Tully
Local time: 18:03
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 200
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
throwing out the baby with the bath water


Explanation:
seems to me:
throw out the baby with the bath water: Information from Answers.comthrow out the baby with the bath water Discard something valuable along with something not wanted. For example, I know you don't approve of that one.
www.answers.com/topic/throw-out-the-baby-with-the-bath-wate... - 32k - Cached - Similar pages


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Note added at 14 mins (2006-11-20 18:08:15 GMT)
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Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water


In getting rid of waste, don’t also discard what is worth keeping.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. 2002.

George Rabel
Local time: 12:03
Works in field
Native speaker of: Spanish
PRO pts in category: 48

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Ian Wrentmore: You have correctly described what the phrase means in English, but is this the message trying to be conveyed? Here is another example of the saying: http://otrosatrabiliosos.blogspot.com/2005/08/un-paralelo-sa...
26 mins
  -> Thank you Ian. In the example you provide the phrase is used with a different meaning. Within the context of THIS question, I stand by my answer, and I also encourage you to provide your own suggestion, since you disagree with mine.

agree  xxxtazdog: I agree with you--it's not how this expression would normally be translated, but in this particular example, your suggestion works.
2 hrs
  -> Thank you Cindy. I believe out job is to convey the IDEA of the original, and that´s the idea. The speaker´s choice of words leads to confusion, and the translation would be even more confusing.

agree  Ivannia Garcia: überagree
4 hrs
  -> uberthanks

agree  Marsha Wilkie: Like Cindy, I also agree with you, although it is not the translation of the saying.
22 hrs
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7 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
we would be looking/going in the wrong direction


Explanation:
Instead of searching for the perfect proverb, how about just saying what might happen?Please see below:
In spite of the existence of some harmful organisms...
we would definitely be looking/going in the wrong direction if we were to assume that eliminating the cirulatory system could in any way prevent this damage.


Jan Castillo
Local time: 12:03
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12
Grading comment
I don't despair of eventually finding exactly the right turn of colloquial phrase, but until then, I believe your answer is going to be the most faithful to what the original was trying to say. Thanks very much.
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




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