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alucinante

English translation: prodigious/fantastical/surreal/wondrous

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Spanish term or phrase:alucinante
English translation:prodigious/fantastical/surreal/wondrous
Entered by: JaneTranslates
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17:25 Dec 30, 2010
Spanish to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature / García Márquez-Cien años de soledad
Spanish term or phrase: alucinante
I'm translating a book about Caribbean history. The author is comparing Juan Bosch's view of history to the novel by Gabriel García Márquez, Cien años de soledad. Here's the context:

Leyendo los manuscritos de Melquíades el gitano, Aureliano Babilonia, el último descendiente de la **alucinante** familia Buendía, se percató de que Macondo "sería arrasad[o] por el viento y desterrad[o] de la memoria de los hombres".

My current choice for translating "alucinante" is "fantastical." Comments? Suggestions? I did a term search on ProZ.com and found "trippy," which would be perfect in some contexts, but certainly not this one! I could also use "extraordinary" or "amazing," but they seem pedestrian.

The book's register is academic, and the author is well-read and has a rich and broad vocabulary. He is Puerto Rican, and I am translating into U.S. English for a U.S. publisher; the target readership is academic and international.

I greatly appreciate all comments, especially from those familiar with the novel.
JaneTranslates
Puerto Rico
Local time: 12:00
incredible/prodigious
Explanation:
There are really many ways of looking at the Buendías... I would go for something along the lines of "prodigious" or "incredible" because of their exploits in the course of the story.

If anyone hasn't read the book, they should read it now. I was lucky enough to study it at University as part of the Latin American literature course of my Spanish degree.

It too, is prodigious.
Selected response from:

Gilla Evans
Local time: 16:00
Grading comment
Thank you very much, Gilla. I think I still like my "fantastical" best, but the author might not, and "prodigious" runs a close second in my mind. I'm giving him a list of "finalists": Fantastical, prodigious, legendary, surreal, spellbinding, and wondrous. I wonder which he'll pick? Have a great week, and thank you again.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +3incredible/prodigious
Gilla Evans
4marvelous
Aradai Pardo Martínez
4fascinating
Mónica Hanlan
4dazzling
jack_speak
3 +1fabulous/extraordinary
bcsantos
4phenomenal
kittilina
4Mind-boggling, mindblowing...Oliver Toogood
4legendaryMarwen
4spellbindingRobert Forstag
4wondrous
Cecilia Gowar
3outlandish
Steven Huddleston
3phantasmagoricBubo Coromandus
3splendid
Thayenga


Discussion entries: 13





  

Answers


2 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
marvelous


Explanation:
Podría ser una posibilidad, sobre todo por la connotación de "sobrenatural", mira:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/marvelous

Espero te sirva.

¡Feliz año!

Aradai Pardo Martínez
Mexico
Local time: 10:00
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Spanish
PRO pts in category: 8
Notes to answerer
Asker: Gracias, Aradai. Me gusta tu forma de pensar pero temo que pocos lectores pensarían en el sentido sobrenatural, de una maravilla, al ver "marvelous". Más bien si usa ya como un simple intensificador de "bueno". Muchas gracias por tu contribución en la sección de Discusión también. Un saludo cordial desde Puerto Rico.

Asker: Perdón, debí escribir "SE usa."

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4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Mind-boggling, mindblowing...


Explanation:
Brilliant, amazing...

Oliver Toogood
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:00
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 22
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thanks, Oliver! I like your answers, but I know my author and I'm afraid they're not his style--too modern and informal. Have a great week!

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6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
legendary


Explanation:
Just an alternative suggestion, as it could incorporate your 'fantastical' with the more prosaic meaning of 'legendary' as renowned or famous throughout time.

Marwen
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:00
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thanks, Marwen. I don't think this is quite what the author had in mind, but I've left it on my short list of "finalists" for him to choose. Greetings from Puerto Rico!

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10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
spellbinding


Explanation:
This would seem to fit what "alucinante" means in this context.

Suerte.

Robert Forstag
United States
Local time: 11:00
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 188
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thank you, Robert. Your answer is one of my "finalists" to be submitted to the author. We'll see if he likes it! Have a great week.

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11 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
phenomenal


Explanation:
My suggestion. I think it's a good description for the family!

Your fantastical is also good. Chambers Thesaurus also has eccentric or bizarre as alternatives to fantastic.

kittilina
Spain
Local time: 17:00
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 16
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thank you, kittilina. I like "phenomenal" but prefer some of the other suggestions. I appreciate your taking the time to add to the discussion, as well. Have a good week!

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19 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
fabulous/extraordinary


Explanation:
2 other alternatives:)

bcsantos
Gibraltar
Local time: 17:00
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 36
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thank you, bcsantos. I'm very tempted by "fabulous," but as I said to Aradai regarding his suggestion of "marvelous," I fear that most readers would see it as just an intensifier of "good" and miss the sense of "fable" or fantasy. Un saludo cordial desde Puerto Rico.


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Juan Ripoll
4 hrs
  -> Thanks and Happy 2011!
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24 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
outlandish


Explanation:
Just a thought, given the context, maybe this is the intent of the author.

Steven Huddleston
Mexico
Local time: 10:00
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 20
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thanks, Steven. "Outlandish" is actually what I wrote first, before I chose "fantastical." I think, though, that in common usage it has a negative overtone that the author probably didn't intend. I'm mentioning it as a possibility, though, in my translator's notes to the author. Have a great week!

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28 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
incredible/prodigious


Explanation:
There are really many ways of looking at the Buendías... I would go for something along the lines of "prodigious" or "incredible" because of their exploits in the course of the story.

If anyone hasn't read the book, they should read it now. I was lucky enough to study it at University as part of the Latin American literature course of my Spanish degree.

It too, is prodigious.

Gilla Evans
Local time: 16:00
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 72
Grading comment
Thank you very much, Gilla. I think I still like my "fantastical" best, but the author might not, and "prodigious" runs a close second in my mind. I'm giving him a list of "finalists": Fantastical, prodigious, legendary, surreal, spellbinding, and wondrous. I wonder which he'll pick? Have a great week, and thank you again.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  fionn: I reckon 'prodigious' strikes just the right note here, with regard to the novel.
1 hr
  -> thanks fionn, I feel that 'prodigious' best captures what I remember of the Buendía family, I'm not so keen on incredible now.

agree  Eileen Banks
1 hr
  -> thanks, Eileen

agree  xxxjacana54: Lo he leído dos veces y en cualquier momento voy por la tercera, estoy pensando en hacer el arbol genealógico de los Buendía. Como complemento, te sugiero "Vivir para contarla" donde GM cuenta el nacimiento de sus personajes y la historia.
2 hrs
  -> gracias, Lucia. Yo también he leído este libro tres veces, y lo seguiré leendo cien años si vivo tantos...
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51 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
phantasmagoric


Explanation:
because this word contains the element of "surreal" -- to describe the plot of the novel -- and also "greatness" as in "alucinante", to describe the family itself.


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 54 mins (2010-12-30 18:20:12 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

phan·tas·ma·go·ri·a
1.
a. A fantastic sequence of haphazardly associative imagery, as seen in dreams or fever.
b. A constantly changing scene composed of numerous elements.
2. Fantastic imagery as represented in art.
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/phantasmagoric

Bubo Coromandus
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 151
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thank you, Deborah. I like "phantasmagoric," too, but if I'm going to use a derivation of "fantasy" I think I'll stick to my "fantastical." This may be totally subjective, but "phantasmagoric" makes me think of spooks and goblins. "Fantastical"--I think of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. "Phantasmagoric"--I think of The Addams Family and Tim Burton. I am, however, including "surreal" in my list of "finalists" for the author to pick from. Have a great week!

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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
splendid


Explanation:
Es otra posibilidad.

¡Feliz Aňo!

Thayenga
Germany
Local time: 17:00
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 16
Notes to answerer
Asker: Gracias por tu sugerencia, Thayenga. Es uno de muchos adjetivos que se podría aplicar a la familia Buendía, pero busco algo un poco más "flamante". Un cordial saludo desde Puerto Rico.

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6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
wondrous


Explanation:
That would be my choice in this context.

Cecilia Gowar
United Kingdom
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 156
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thank you, cgowar. I like "wondrous" and have included it in the list of "finalists" that I am submitting to the author. Have a great week!

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10 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
dazzling


Explanation:
This should work in all contexts - it's formal and informal all in one and also, and more importantly, neutral as to whether their alucinante condition is a positive or negative attribute. Good luck and have fun!

jack_speak
Local time: 11:00
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thank you, jack_speak. (I don't know whether or not to call you "Jack"!) Your reasoning is excellent--we so often find ourselves in need of a "neutral" choice! I hadn't included "dazzling" in my list of "finalists" for the author, but I may change my mind (I haven't sent my translator's notes yet). Thanks again, and greetings from Puerto Rico!

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4 days   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
fascinating


Explanation:
I have read One hundred years of Solitude several times; it's one of my favourite novels. I would describe the family as "fascinating".

Mónica Hanlan
United Kingdom
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 8
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thank you, monihanlan. They certainly are fascinating, but I think the author had something stranger in mind. I appreciate your contribution and your time. Have a great week!

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Non-PRO (1): Graham Allen-Rawlings


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