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por ventura comiera su merced

English translation: if perchance his worship would eat cod

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Spanish term or phrase:por ventura comiera su merced
English translation:if perchance his worship would eat cod
Entered by: Lisa McCarthy
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07:06 Sep 23, 2011
Spanish to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature / Cervantes - El Quijote
Spanish term or phrase: por ventura comiera su merced
From "El Quijote", in reference to cod.

"if perchance he would eat ...................cod"

“… que en Castilla llaman abadejo y en Andalucía bacalao y en otras truchuelas”
"A dicho acertó a ser viernes aquel día, y no había en toda la venta sino unas raciones de pescado, que en Castilla llaman abadejo y en Andalucía bacalao y en otras truchuelas. Preguntáronle si **por ventura comiera su merced truchuela, que no había otro pescado que dar a comer... Pusiéronle la mesa por el fresco, y trájole el huésped una porción de mal mojado y peor cocinado bacalao"

Cervantes “El Quijote”, 1605
Lisa McCarthy
Spain
Local time: 19:57
if perchance his worship would eat cod
Explanation:
or if "sir" would eat cod

'Su merced' is an antiquated expression. I'm pretty sure that this is what it means
Selected response from:

Carol Gullidge
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:57
Grading comment
Thanks, Carol and everybody for the help :)
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +2if perchance his worship would eat cod
Carol Gullidge
5if, by chance, his grace would not like some
cnelson
4They asked if his grace would like a little smoked cod
Gilla Evans
Summary of reference entries provided
Some existing versions
Charles Davis

  

Answers


1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
if perchance his worship would eat cod


Explanation:
or if "sir" would eat cod

'Su merced' is an antiquated expression. I'm pretty sure that this is what it means

Carol Gullidge
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:57
Meets criteria
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 311
Grading comment
Thanks, Carol and everybody for the help :)
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thanks, Carol!


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
11 hrs
  -> many thanks Beatriz!

agree  anademahomar: Excellent!
4 days
  -> many thanks anademahomar!
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
They asked if his grace would like a little smoked cod


Explanation:
I have Edith Grossman's translation and it reads:

"They asked if his grace would like a little smoked cod"

If you want an accepted version, I think she is a good authority!

Gilla Evans
Local time: 18:57
Meets criteria
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 72
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thanks, Gilla!

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4 days   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
if, by chance, his grace would not like some


Explanation:
According to the REA "su/vuestra merced" is a form of address used for someone who does not have a higher, official title. Therefore, depending on the tone you are choosing for your translation (e.g. 16th century English, 21st century English) you will render this differently.
You may want to keep in mind that the term "vuestra merced" eventually became "usted" (http://spanish.about.com/od/historyofspanish/a/usted_vd.htm)... A discussion of the term is also on KudoZ (http://www.proz.com/kudoz/Spanish/linguistics/1131729-segund...
General concept: "sir" (a. used for a man of rank or position b. a respectful form of address - MWebster), "sire" (MW: middle English form of sir);
Same context as text: your grace, your worship, your honor, you

Of course, there are a multitude of translations of the work that you may also consult.


    Reference: http://spanish.about.com/od/historyofspanish/a/usted_vd.htm
    Reference: http://www.proz.com/kudoz/Spanish/linguistics/1131729-segund...
cnelson
Local time: 12:57
Meets criteria
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 4
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Reference comments


1 hr peer agreement (net): +1
Reference: Some existing versions

Reference information:
There are at least twenty or so published English translations of Don Quixote.

Here is the first, by Thomas Shelton (1612):
"They demanded of him, therefore, whether he would eat thereof, giving it the name, used in that place, of truchuela, or little trout"

And here is one of the most recent, by Edith Grossman (2003):
"They asked if his grace would like a little smoked cod."

John Ormsby's version (1885) has been much admired. Here is how he translates this:
"so they asked him if he thought he could eat troutlet".

John Rutherford (who once taught me literary translation) does it like this in his Penguin version (2000):
"They asked him if he'd like some of this troutling"

There are all sorts of ways of doing it. I'd go easy on the "perchance", myself, though it's a matter of taste. If you want to use a title for "su merced", the historically correct one is "your worship" (I once spent a great deal of time researching this).

According to Francisco Rico, whom I trust absolutely, "truchuela" is salt cod.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2011-09-23 08:33:27 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I would just add that although "truchuela" is not part of the question, the Ormsby and Rutherford approach of inventing a word like "troutlet" or "troutling" makes a lot of sense, because the point is that Quixote here does not understand what sort of fish he's getting. He believes himself to be a famous knight at a castle, who would be served a delicacy like trout; the joke is that he's getting "truchuela", which sounds as though it might be a nice little trout but is actually boring old salt cod.

I'd biased, but I found Rutherford an inspiring teacher and a superb translator. I almost prefer his version of La Regenta (of which he used to give us passages as homework) to the original, and that's saying something!

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 hrs (2011-09-23 10:24:05 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Just seen that Smollett's version (1782) is available online:
"so they inquired if his worship could eat truchuela"
http://bib.cervantesvirtual.com/servlet/SirveObras/791949305...

Confirms what I said about "his worship"! I love the older versions.

Charles Davis
Spain
Meets criteria
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 228
Note to reference poster
Asker: Thank, Charles - great info! Scary to see so many different translations though :(


Peer comments on this reference comment (and responses from the reference poster)
agree  Christine Walsh: Really enjoyed this, Charles :)
9 hrs
  -> Thanks, Christine :) I know it's a cliché, but I never tire of DQ.
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