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un tópico cierto, o un cierto tópico?

English translation: a hot topic or (all) hot air?

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Spanish term or phrase:un tópico cierto, o un cierto tópico?
English translation:a hot topic or (all) hot air?
Entered by: Lisa McCarthy
Options:
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15:45 Dec 22, 2010
Spanish to English translations [PRO]
Tourism & Travel /
Spanish term or phrase: un tópico cierto, o un cierto tópico?
This is an interview, talking about the AVE now going to Valencia.
A translation is not going to work in English without tackling it from another angle. Any suggestions as to how to deal with it would be welcome :) For a UK audience.


Interviewr: ¿Lo del antes y el después del AVE es un tópico cierto, o un cierto tópico?-

Interviewee: Cuando el metro llegó por fin a la calle Colón y al centro de la ciudad, también vinieron los Reyes. Cualquier infraestructura importante, y el AVE lo es, supone un antes y un después. Las sociedades están avanzando a gran ritmo en un mundo globalizado en el que me parece que no hay que sacralizar nada, sino aprovecharlo, utilizarlo y sacarle el máximo rendimiento.
Lisa McCarthy
Spain
Local time: 04:04
a hot topic or (all) hot air?
Explanation:
another option!
Selected response from:

Edward Tully
Local time: 04:04
Grading comment
Thanks, Edward! Close call between this and David's suggestion. Just preferred the sound of this one :)
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +3a hot topic or (all) hot air?
Edward Tully
4 +2a talking point - or all pointless talk?
David Ronder
4a real issue, or just media hype
Charles Davis
4any real clout? Or is it just hearsay?
James A. Walsh
4Newsworthy or not worthy?
lorenab23
4a topic for discussion or a discussion topic?Gallagy
4truth or myth
Andres Pacheco
3chalk and cheese, or two sides of the same coin?Patrick Jones
3a matter of fact, or a matter for discussion?Patrick Jones
2Life pre AVE and life after AVE - is it really such a difference?
Neil Ashby


Discussion entries: 10





  

Answers


17 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
truth or myth


Explanation:
...

Andres Pacheco
Local time: 00:04
Does not meet criteria
Works in field
Native speaker of: Spanish
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47 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Newsworthy or not worthy?


Explanation:
Just an idea

lorenab23
United States
Local time: 19:04
Meets criteria
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 8
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34 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5
Life pre AVE and life after AVE - is it really such a difference?


Explanation:
...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 51 mins (2010-12-22 16:37:23 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Sorry, would read better as - "is there really such a difference?"

Neil Ashby
Spain
Local time: 04:04
Meets criteria
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
chalk and cheese, or two sides of the same coin?


Explanation:
'Un tópico cierto' could be described as a 'truth/fact', but I am not convinced that 'un cierto tópico' can be described as a 'myth/fiction'.

One definition of 'tópico' is 'trite', which could be expressed as 'a dead letter/hot air', but I can not see how it could ever mean 'still in play/hot topic'.

I do not think the interviewer was trying to use wordplay to oppose the phrases. Instead they seem to be asking if the difference in life is an accepted fact or if it is still open for debate.

As such I would say that Dr Neil has the best approach so far since the question seems to accept that there is a difference but asks the extent to shich it is felt.

This solution essentially keeps the meanings but changes the logical mechanism of the question from wordplay to a contrast of idioms. If it doesn't seem right then making a slight alteration to Dr Neil's answer is probably the best solution.

Patrick Jones
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:04
Meets criteria
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
a talking point - or all pointless talk?


Explanation:
I think that's the idea

David Ronder
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:04
Meets criteria
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 24

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Robert Forstag: A clever idea here. But, in American English at least, "talking points" often refer to the "script" or "spiel" that politicians or representatives of powerful lobbying groups recite--and which may therefore be more "pointless" than substantial. Best. :)
8 mins
  -> Interesting - I've never come across it used like that. I'm hoping Lisa needs British English, though, in which it definitely means 'hot topic' or similar.

agree  Charles Davis: I think this works, and it's the only one so far that keeps the original structure (AB BA). // Robert: I don't think it means that in British English; it just means "a topic that invites discussion or argument" (Oxford). And Lisa says "for a UK audience".
10 mins
  -> Thanks, Charles. Could be an ABBA lyric, too, couldn't it?

agree  Neil Ashby: Sounds brilliant to me "a talking point - or pointless talk" - I don't see why the 'all' is necessary??
37 mins
  -> Yes, of course - snappier. Thanks, Doc.
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
a topic for discussion or a discussion topic?


Explanation:
another option

Gallagy
Ireland
Local time: 03:04
Meets criteria
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 8
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
a hot topic or (all) hot air?


Explanation:
another option!

Edward Tully
Local time: 04:04
Meets criteria
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 106
Grading comment
Thanks, Edward! Close call between this and David's suggestion. Just preferred the sound of this one :)

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Neil Ashby
10 mins
  -> Thank you! Merry Christmas! ;-)

agree  Charles Davis: Nice one!
13 mins
  -> Thank you! Merry Christmas! ;-)

agree  Robert Forstag
47 mins
  -> Thank you! Merry Christmas! ;-)
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
a matter of fact, or a matter for discussion?


Explanation:
Hopefully one of the many suggestions will be suitable for you!

Patrick Jones
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:04
Meets criteria
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
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7 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
a real issue, or just media hype


Explanation:
More than enough answers already, but I didn't want to feel left out. I can't think of any better ideas for a tricksy wordplay kind of solution than those already suggested. But even these, though very clever and even inspired in some cases, are not entirely unforced. Fair enough; the Spanish original is very forced, I think. Anyway, I though I'd try out the opposite approach, forget all about a clever formulation and try to capture what (to my mind) the interviewer is really trying to say, in the most natural way I can think of. So there you are -- and we're into double figures!

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 7 hrs (2010-12-22 22:58:03 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

After all that, I forgot the question mark!
A real issue, or just media hype?

Charles Davis
Spain
Local time: 04:04
Meets criteria
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 91
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6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
un tópico cierto, o un cierto tópico?
any real clout? Or is it just hearsay?


Explanation:
Based on the research I’ve done about high-speed rail in Spain, this is my suggestion. You’ve already got some great suggestions, but I couldn’t construct any sort of coherent, natural-sounding question out of them in English, so added ‘effect’ to be able to understand the whole question (and not just that part of it).

From the link below, scroll down to the article entitled: “Talgo: at the forefront of high-speed railway technology”, where you can read the beginning of the article for free. Here’s the opening paragraph:

“The effect of implementing a high-speed network in Spain has been incredibly positive and it has created a ‘before and an after’ effect in the Spanish railway sector. Not long ago, trains were competing against cars, but nowadays trains are in competition with planes and this radical change shows the technological jump that the railway sector is going through thanks to high-speed worldwide.”

Cheers.

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Note added at 1 day6 hrs (2010-12-23 22:08:29 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Just a note to say, I also considered the part of the interviewee's response when he/she says: "Cualquier infraestructura importante, y el AVE lo es, supone un antes y un después." Hence the inclusion of 'effect'. Happy Christmas :-)

Example sentence(s):
  • ¿Lo del antes y el después del AVE es un tópico cierto, o un cierto tópico?
  • Does the AVE’s ‘before and after’ effect have any real clout? Or is it just hearsay?

    Reference: http://www.europeanrailwayreview.com/tag/high-speed-rail/pag...
James A. Walsh
Spain
Local time: 04:04
Meets criteria
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 43
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