luchador a campo abierto

English translation: was unwilling to court controversy

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13:49 May 16, 2018
Spanish to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Idioms / Maxims / Sayings / Opera
Spanish term or phrase: luchador a campo abierto
Hi folks,

This is an informative text on the background of Bellini's opera 'I Puritani'. I'm not too sure about this expression. I think it means that Bellini wasn't as defiant as Hugo, and because he didn't want to make any waves, he abandoned the idea of creating a work that the authorities at the very least wouldn't like and would probably prohibit. Maybe you have a brilliant way to express this that retains the colour of the original expression?

But Bellini, unlike Hugo, wasn't xxxx.

Antes de idear I Puritani Bellini había acariciado el proyecto de componer una ópera inspirada en Hernani. Pero Bellini, a diferencia de Hugo, no era un luchador a campo abierto. Abandonó ese proyecto por encontrarse desasistido de su experimentado libretista Romani y porque se preveían problemas con las censuras austríaca y napolitana.
Lisa Mann
English translation:was unwilling to court controversy
Explanation:
I think your interpretation is correct, Lisa.
Perhaps this would work:

"...unlike Hugo, preferred to avoid courting controversy"
or
"...unlike Hugo, was unwilling to court controversy"
Selected response from:

Robert Carter
Mexico
Local time: 00:26
Grading comment
Thanks Robert. I liked your solution a lot. It is exactly what I was thinking.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
3 +1fight battles out in the open
Marie Wilson
3 +1was unwilling to court controversy
Robert Carter
3unwilling to take on an open fight/competition
Muriel Vasconcellos
2 +1a lone warrior / a lone wolf
Robert Forstag


Discussion entries: 7





  

Answers


12 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
no era un luchador a campo abierto
was unwilling to court controversy


Explanation:
I think your interpretation is correct, Lisa.
Perhaps this would work:

"...unlike Hugo, preferred to avoid courting controversy"
or
"...unlike Hugo, was unwilling to court controversy"

Robert Carter
Mexico
Local time: 00:26
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 28
Grading comment
Thanks Robert. I liked your solution a lot. It is exactly what I was thinking.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  philgoddard: No, that's only one of the reasons why he abandoned the project, the other being that he lost his librettist.
16 mins
  -> Thanks, Phil, but I don't see what that has to do with the phrase "no era un luchador a campo abierto".

agree  Charles Davis: Good solution. / It occurs to me that one might add "openly" to this to take account of "a campo abierto".
2 hrs
  -> Thanks, Charles :-)
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18 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5 peer agreement (net): +1
a lone warrior / a lone wolf


Explanation:
Two options.

Judging from the fact that there are fewer than 10 independent Google references, the phrase does not seem to be particularly common in Spanish.

Here is one reference from a blog referring to Che Guevara:

http://pc-celulaluisemiliomendozav.blogspot.mx/2007/10/

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 20 mins (2018-05-16 14:09:48 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I see the phrase as having the sense of "being willing to take on the world against all odds, no matter what the consequences.

Robert Forstag
United States
Local time: 01:26
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 88

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  philgoddard: I agree with your final sentence, though I think you have to say "warrior" rather than "wolf", which simply means he preferred his own company. You could also say "he was not one to go to the barricades for/fight to the death over a project".
3 hrs
  -> Maybe even: "He wasn't willing to die on that hill." Thank you, Phil.
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56 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
fight battles out in the open


Explanation:
Another option.

Bellini, unlike Hugo, prefered not to fight his battles out in the open.

Marie Wilson
Spain
Local time: 07:26
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  franglish
43 mins
  -> Thank you, Franglish.

neutral  philgoddard: This implies that he fought them in private, which he didn't.
2 hrs
  -> I don't see how my suggestion implies that any more than the original does.
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9 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
unwilling to take on an open fight/competition


Explanation:
In this answer, 'take on' is key. The solution is not as bellicose and I think it captures the original intent more accurately.

take on someone/something
— phrasal verb with take US ​ /teɪk/ verb [ T ] past tense took /tʊk/

to fight or compete against someone or something:

I’ll take you on in a game of chess.
You have to be brave to take on a big corporation in court.

Muriel Vasconcellos
United States
Local time: 22:26
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 40
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