prebenda

English translation: perks/cushy jobs

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18:42 Jun 24, 2018
Spanish to English translations [PRO]
Social Sciences - Government / Politics / Colombia - government
Spanish term or phrase: prebenda
I actually would like to understand the difference between "prebenda" and "canonjía" in the following phrase (it's from Iván Duque's acceptance speech):

Acá nunca se pensó en una coalición de prebendas y mucho menos de canonjías, aquí se trató siempre de respaldar un programa y por eso hoy puedo con la frente en alto y con el cuerpo erguido decirle a los colombianos que conformaremos un gabinete con las mejores personas, con la mejor formación, con el mejor compromiso ético.
Wendy Gosselin
Local time: 12:32
English translation:perks/cushy jobs
Explanation:
cushy job
A job that is easy, stress free, and/or very well paid. Since I got this cushy job managing a toy store, I've gotten to sit around playing with toys all day. Since Sarah got that cushy job with the bank, she has been driving a sports car and is buying a second home!


https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/perk
Selected response from:

Francois Boye
United States
Local time: 11:32
Grading comment
After reading ALL of the discussion entries, I decided to go with your answer. Thanks!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +2cronyism / jobs for the boys
Charles Davis
3 +2sinecures
AllegroTrans
4 +1perks/cushy jobs
Francois Boye
Summary of reference entries provided
prebenda vs canonjía in the Church
Charles Davis

Discussion entries: 22





  

Answers


36 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
prebenda/canonjia
perks/cushy jobs


Explanation:
cushy job
A job that is easy, stress free, and/or very well paid. Since I got this cushy job managing a toy store, I've gotten to sit around playing with toys all day. Since Sarah got that cushy job with the bank, she has been driving a sports car and is buying a second home!


https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/perk

Francois Boye
United States
Local time: 11:32
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in category: 24
Grading comment
After reading ALL of the discussion entries, I decided to go with your answer. Thanks!
Notes to answerer
Asker: I think there's an issue with "cushy jobs" because you could get a cushy job at Macy's but I understand that these are government jobs you get for having provided support to a candidate who then got elected.


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Marcelo González: I think 'cushy jobs and plum appointments' (with the latter understood as more serious) might be a good option for this pair.
22 mins
  -> Thanks!
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
sinecures


Explanation:
The more formal word

Sinecure - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinecure

A sinecure (from Latin sine = "without" and cura = "care") means an office that requires or involves little or no responsibility, labour, or active service.
‎History · ‎Current usage · ‎United Kingdom

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Note added at 4 hrs (2018-06-24 23:02:56 GMT)
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phrase requests - What's a less obscure word for "sinecure"? - English ...
https://english.stackexchange.com/q/205655

5 answers
The term cushy is often applied to sinecures. (Of a job, task, or situation) undemanding, easy, or secure: cushy jobs that pay you to ski [Oxford Dictionaries ...
How can we use the word sinecure in a sentence? - Quora
https://www.quora.com/How-can-we-use-the-word-sinecure-in-a-...
Sinecure is an word meaning “An office or work requiring little or no work, but still provides good enough salary”. ... She found him an exalted sinecure as a fellow of the Library of Congress. He was provided a sinecure job by his best friend granting 40m a year as a package.

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Note added at 4 hrs (2018-06-24 23:04:45 GMT)
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People who have sinecure jobs, what do you do all day? : AskReddit
https://www.reddit.com/r/.../people_who_have_sinecure_jobs_w...

25 Apr 2016 - 1 answer - ‎1 author
Not myself, but I knew a guy that did "firewatching" for companies. All he did was sit at his post and watch for potential fire hazards as others ...

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Note added at 4 hrs (2018-06-24 23:05:25 GMT)
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How To Build An Antifragile Career - Fast Company
https://www.fastcompany.com/3003416/how-build-antifragile-ca...

28 Nov 2012 - “Literary writers should have a menial job or (if possible) a sinecure, and write on the side. Otherwise writing for a living under other people's ...

AllegroTrans
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:32
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 103

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Marcelo González: To reproduce the source text formality, while also producing an equivalent (head-scratching) effect (of leaving the reader wondering what this might all mean) this might be a good option too, as long as the second term were similarly non-transparent.
37 mins
  -> thanks

neutral  Francois Boye: sinecure = cushy job, but a cushy job is not a perk
1 hr
  -> no?

agree  Jessica Noyes: I don't think this is obscure at all. I like it.
18 hrs
  -> thanks
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6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
cronyism / jobs for the boys


Explanation:
As suggested in the discussion. I'll transfer what I said there.

I agree with Marcelo that "ni mucho menos" clearly implies that "canonjías" represent a more serious abuse than "prebendas". But it remains difficult to interpret, because really these two words are normally used synonymously in their colloquial meanings; outside strictly eccesiastical contexts they are the same thing and often appear together.

Both can mean cushy or plum jobs, or perks, or simply favours granted to friends, as in this example from Mexico on Vicente Fox and TV channels, which also illustrates the fact that the two words are normally interchangeable:

"Prebendas a medios arriesgan la democracia
Durante el gobierno de Vicente Fox las dos principales televisoras -Televisa y Tv Azteca- ''han conseguido las más grandes canonjías y dispensas legales que grupo particular alguno haya obtenido del Estado mexicano jamás"
http://www.jornada.com.mx/2005/09/25/index.php?section=polit...

Yet here Iván Duque is evidently distinguishing the two, in degree if not in kind. I don't know much about Duque but he is said to be a devout Catholic. He may very well be aware of the difference between ecclesiastical prebends and canonries. Perhaps he is playing on their original meanings. The coalition he refers to is obviously the coalition of the right that put him in power, with Marta Lucía Ramírez and Alejandro Ordóñez. He goes on to refer to cabinet posts: he says they’ll go to the best and most ethical people, implying that they won’t automatically go to political cronies.

So in the light of all this I wonder whether he’s using “prebendas” to mean cronyism in general, and “canonjías” to refer specifically to cabinet positions. The cabinet is like a cathedral chapter, with himself as bishop. I could see this metaphor appealing to the kind of person Duque appears to be.

In British English, I would be tempted to translate this along the following lines: “this was never intended to be a coalition of jobs for the boys, let alone/least of all cabinet jobs…”. The expression “jobs for the boys” is British and I don’t know whether Americans understand it. There is a recent book by Merilee S. Grindle called Jobs for the Boys: Patronage and the State in Comparative Perspective, published by Harvard University Press and largely about political patronage in Latin America:
http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674065703

So perhaps it might work.

However, it might be better not to refer explicitly to cabinet posts for "canonjías", even if that's what he really means by it (as I strongly suspect). Another approach (with a fortuitous alliteration thrown in) might be something like: "this was never intended to be a coalition of cronies/cronyism, least of all at the top". The distinction between "prebendas" and "canonjías" would be that prebendas are posts at any level and canonjías are posts are the top of the hierarchy — just as it is in the Church.

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Note added at 1 day 16 hrs (2018-06-26 11:15:30 GMT)
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After our discussion, I now agree with Chema that the distinction is probably that "prebendas" refers to financial favours and benefits and "canonjías" refers to jobs (not necessarily sinecures) awarded through favouritism. So my revised proposal would be something like:

not ... a coalition of perks and privileges, and certainly not of cronyism

Charles Davis
Spain
Local time: 17:32
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 260

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Marcelo González: Nice discussion, Charles; valid options indeed. And yes, "for the boys" would also be understood in the U.S., with "old boys' club" being widely used in this context. Cheers
24 mins
  -> Thanks very much, Marcelo :-)

agree  Chema Nieto Castañón: As per discussion ;) / Right. But irrelevant ;) What I think is that we are now agreed that you've come out with very good ideas for both original terms!
1 day 10 hrs
  -> Many thanks, Chema :-) Though I think we're now agreed that my first idea was probably not right.
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Reference comments


1 hr peer agreement (net): +3
Reference: prebenda vs canonjía in the Church

Reference information:
I don't think the difference between the ecclesiastical meanings of "prebenda" and "canonjía" will help you much with the translation, and virtually no English-speaking reader will understand the English equivalents (prebend and canonry) if you use them. But since you ask, the difference is that although both are benefices (sources of income attached to church appointments), a canonry is a particular type of prebend, specifically the most prestigious (and lucrative) type, giving the holder a seat on the cathedral chapter, with decision-making powers that holders of non-canonical prebends do not have. Here's an explanation:

"CANONJIA. Es un beneficio eclesiástico que tiene anexa la obligacion de celebrar los oficios divinos en la Iglesia catedral o colejial, con los derechos de silla en el coro, i asiento i voz deliberativa en los acuerdos capitulares. Suélese confundir, a menudo, la Canonjia con la Prebenda; pero hablando con propiedad, esta segunda no es mas que el derecho de percibir ciertos frutos o réditos de los bienes de la Iglesia; de donde es que la denominacion de prebendados, no solo conviene a los canónigos, sino tambien a otros clérigos que en la catedral o colejiatas, asisten al coro i prestan otros servicios, gozando por eso de una determinada asignacion de los bienes de la Iglesia, pero sin el derecho de asiento ni voz en los acuerdos capitulares."
Justo Donoso, Diccionario teolójico, canónico, jurídico, litúrjico, bíblico, etc. (Valparaíso, 1855), I, p. 282
https://books.google.es/books?id=8h4AAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA282

Charles Davis
Spain
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 260

Peer comments on this reference comment (and responses from the reference poster)
agree  AllegroTrans: good background, not too sure it will help the asker
2 hrs
  -> I doubt it! But I thought it should be noted for the record. The speaker doubtless had a religious education. I suspect he may be comparing canonries with cabinet posts and prebends with jobs at lower levels, but who knows?
agree  Marcelo González
3 hrs
  -> Thanks, Marcelo :-)
agree  neilmac
10 hrs
  -> Cheers, Neil :-)
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