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patear la pelota para un costado

English translation: let it slide, let life go on, decide not to stir things up/stir up a hornet\'s nest, avoid the issue

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Spanish term or phrase:patear la pelota para un costado
English translation:let it slide, let life go on, decide not to stir things up/stir up a hornet\'s nest, avoid the issue
Entered by: JaneTranslates
Options:
- Contribute to this entry
- Include in personal glossary

03:48 Aug 30, 2014
Spanish to English translations [PRO]
Social Sciences - General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters / Argentina
Spanish term or phrase: patear la pelota para un costado
Hello! Can someone help me with what may be a slang phrase from Argentina?

The text is a scholarly paper about DNA testing, adoption, and the lost children of the desaparecidos. The language is contemporary (published 3 or 4 years ago). The speaker is a man born in 1980 near Buenos Aires.

He knows that he was adopted, and suspects that he was the son of desaparecidos, taken from his mother before her execution and given to a military family to raise. His adoptive father, Jorge, has died, and he wants to know about his own past, but doesn't want to cause his adoptive mother, Aída, pain with his questions. So, I think this phrase might mean something like "I decided to bite the bullet" or "tough it out" or "keep a stiff upper lip" rather than ask his questions.

Here's the paragraph:

Cerraba perfecto. Jorge trabajaba en el ejército, en el servicio de inteligencia, allí siguió trabajando hasta el momento de su muerte. Pero yo no me animaba a preguntarle nada a nadie. Ni siquiera insinuar mi sospecha de que no era hijo biológico. Ni años más tarde, cuando llegué a sentir que aquella incertidumbre me estaba ahogando. Me daba miedo preguntarle a Aída. Me dolía pensar que podía hacerla sufrir con mi pregunta. Además, en ese entonces hacía pocos años que Jorge había muerto y decidí **patear la pelota para un costado**. Seguí de frente, andando.

Any help would be welcome. The sooner the better, as I'm very close to my deadline! Thanks in advance.


Argentine Spanish to US English.
JaneTranslates
Puerto Rico
Local time: 06:06
Let life continue without having a hand in it.
Explanation:
Perhaps you could say something like this.

So i decided to let life continue without having a hand in it. I moved forward.
Selected response from:

Judith Armele
Mexico
Local time: 04:06
Grading comment
I don't know if this is cricket (another sports metaphor!) but I'm choosing this answer more on the basis of the discussion entries than on the actual answer. Your explanation of the expression was exactly what I needed! Thank you so much for the timely rescue.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4keep/maintain the status quo/current state of affairsGallagy
4let sleeping dogs lie
Charles Davis
4take life in its stride
telefpro
4let it go, let it slide
Blanca Collazo
4Let life continue without having a hand in it.
Judith Armele


Discussion entries: 7





  

Answers


1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Let life continue without having a hand in it.


Explanation:
Perhaps you could say something like this.

So i decided to let life continue without having a hand in it. I moved forward.

Judith Armele
Mexico
Local time: 04:06
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 16
Grading comment
I don't know if this is cricket (another sports metaphor!) but I'm choosing this answer more on the basis of the discussion entries than on the actual answer. Your explanation of the expression was exactly what I needed! Thank you so much for the timely rescue.
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
let it go, let it slide


Explanation:
...some suggetions

Blanca Collazo
Puerto Rico
Local time: 06:06
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12
Notes to answerer
Asker: I like both of your options, Blanca! Thank you very much.

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7 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
take life in its stride


Explanation:
talvez

telefpro
Local time: 15:36
Native speaker of: Native in PortuguesePortuguese, Native in EnglishEnglish
Notes to answerer
Asker: Good option, telefpro, though I would omit "its." Thanks so much for your answer.

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8 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
let sleeping dogs lie


Explanation:
I've mentioned "kick the issue into touch", almost a literal translation of the original, in the discussion area, and although it's a real option for British English I suspect that American readers would not understand it. But this Spanish expression, though clearly much less common than its English equivalent, does have the air of a proverbial set phrase, and I think it would be nice to find a suitable one in English that would work for US readers. "Let sleeping dogs lie" seems to me a good candidate.

The idea is that this person decides that it would be better not to pursue the subject. You might even say he/she decides to shelve it. I think there is a clear implication that this decision is based on the thought that to pursue it would cause trouble or pain: "Me dolía pensar que podía hacerla sufrir con mi pregunta." That's really the sense of "let sleeping dogs lie": better to let it go than to stir things up further:

"The idiom let sleeping dogs lie means not to stir up old conflicts or provoke an argument over unresolved issues."
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-does-let-sleeping-dogs-lie-mean...

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Note added at 8 hrs (2014-08-30 12:36:08 GMT)
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I think the basic sense of the Spanish expression is to avoid the issue, but as I say, in this case it also seems to have that implication of avoiding the trouble that could be caused by tackling the issue.

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Note added at 12 hrs (2014-08-30 15:56:12 GMT)
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You might also consider "look the other way" or possibly "turn a blind eye", which seem to fit Taña's example, though I'm not sure they fit your context so well.

Charles Davis
Spain
Local time: 11:06
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 271
Notes to answerer
Asker: I've never heard the phrase "into touch." How interesting! To continue the sports metaphors, I thought of "ice the puck" and "punt" (ice hockey and "American football," respectively) but I don't think any of the above quite fits, do you? You've given some very good suggestions here, as always. Thanks, Charles!

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2 days 9 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
keep/maintain the status quo/current state of affairs


Explanation:
more options
or
let it go and
...not let the genie out of the bottle
...open up a can of worms
...open up Pandora's box
stir up a hornet's nest

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Note added at 2 days22 hrs (2014-09-02 02:00:32 GMT)
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oops! let it go and NOT
...let the genie etc...

Gallagy
Ireland
Local time: 10:06
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 19
Notes to answerer
Asker: I got it, Gallagy...the "not" part! I think the hornet's nest image might be very appropriate here. Thank you for some excellent suggestions.

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