translate from english to spanish
April 21, 2006 2:51 PM   Subscribe

Need help translating english to spanish...

So I need two phrases translated:

"Don't tell the Gringos."


"The undisputed, heavyweight champion of... Burritos"

any fluent Spanish speakers want to help me out? I ran it through, but you can never really trust their results...

Also, is there a better place online for this question? some sort of ask.mefi just for translating things, maybe?

thanks in advance!
posted by cusack to Writing & Language (24 answers total) is a big translators' portal which has a query section for words/phrases/sentences of fewer than 10 words - go to the 'KudoZ' section and you'll be able to post these. Post them as two separate questions, or they'll be deleted - and make sure you read the instructions, you'll need to grade the answers you get.

do you know any Spanish? The quality of answers there can be excellent and can also be terrible, so it'll help if you have some way of knowing what's vaguely right.
posted by altolinguistic at 3:02 PM on April 21, 2006

"No se lo digas a los gringos."

"El campeón indisputado de los pesos pesados de ... burritos."

Disclaimer: I am not a native speaker.
posted by donpedro at 3:03 PM on April 21, 2006

I think has a forum for this sort of question.
My attempts:
No digas a los gringoes.
El es el vencedor indiscutible de peso pesado de burritos.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 3:04 PM on April 21, 2006

For the first one, "no lo digas a los gringos" feels right (over including the "se" in there) -- but I'm not a native speaker either.

For the second, I think donpedro has it.

On preview: martinX's "gringoes" is the Portuguese spelling.
posted by penchant at 3:09 PM on April 21, 2006

Okay, looking at the second one, maybe "El campeón peso pesado indisputado de ... burritos."

Same caveat as my earlier post.
posted by penchant at 3:11 PM on April 21, 2006

On preview: martinX's "gringoes" is the Portuguese spelling.
actually it was a typo, sorry.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 3:12 PM on April 21, 2006

Best answer: Native spanish speaker here:

"indisputado" is a not a word in any variant of Spanish I've come within kissing distance of. Google shows 861 uses of it though, so YMMV. It's a clumsy construct in Spanish, though.

Don't tell the Gringos. -> "No se lo digas a los gringos. "
You need the "se", it's reflex thing, like "no te sientes" (don't sit), etc.

The undisputed, heavyweight champion of... Burritos -> "El campeón peso pesado sin disputa de... los Burritos". (You need to invert the order of modifiers ; "red house"->"casa roja", and you need the "los", you just do.)

This is from a South of Rio Grande perspective, of course, the various idioms spoken in the US use a much more englishified grammar.
posted by signal at 3:24 PM on April 21, 2006

Best answer: Of course, if this is intended for consumption in the US by non.spanish speaking people, you should probably go with the simpler sentence forms, and "indisputado". It's like engrish, it's not meant to be 'proper' english, but understood by its target audience.
posted by signal at 3:27 PM on April 21, 2006

"se" isn't reflexive, it's a replacement for "les". It would be "No les lo digas..." if not for the substitution.
posted by Khalad at 3:47 PM on April 21, 2006

Signal's is likely a more elegant translation than mine. I wasn't happy myself at the time with "indisputado," which I can't say I've ever heard either but was, I thought, a logically constructed variation based on the verb "disputar."
posted by donpedro at 3:52 PM on April 21, 2006

It would be "No les lo digas..." if not for the substitution.

"No les lo digas" doesn't make any sense, at least in Spanish.
posted by signal at 3:57 PM on April 21, 2006

Of course, I'm not sure that "se" is relflexive, but I think it is (see my "no te sientes" example above). Anyway, it's neccesary.
posted by signal at 3:59 PM on April 21, 2006

I seem to use "of course" a lot, too.
posted by signal at 4:00 PM on April 21, 2006

The "se" is filling in for "les" as Khalad points out, as an indirect pronoun.

To native speakers (such as you and me) it just doesnt "sound right" but thats because "les lo" is changed to "se lo" as a rule. I just recently learned this too in an attempt to learn more about Spanish grammar:

Whenever both pronouns begin with the letter "l" change the first pronoun to "se."
posted by vacapinta at 4:19 PM on April 21, 2006

Hmm, I see your point. Never thought about that before.
posted by signal at 4:22 PM on April 21, 2006

my understanding of the grammar involved: if it were reflexive it would be "te" (you're talking to "tu", as in "no te sientes"); instead it refers to the indirect object (the gringos) and the way i was taught it similar to what khalad said - normally a plural indirect object doohickie would be "les", but you can't have "les lo" (which is why signal says that's just wrong) so it gets changed to "se lo". but i don't know if that's a real rule, or just something used to make things clearer to stupid old gringos...
posted by andrew cooke at 4:26 PM on April 21, 2006

oh, sorry. took a while typing.
posted by andrew cooke at 4:26 PM on April 21, 2006

Could one of you grammar geeks explain why we need "los burritos"?
posted by signal at 9:59 PM on April 21, 2006

The definite article is universal in Spanish. 'El gato', 'la corbata', 'los burritos', 'las chicas'.

It indicates the gender of a noun, especially useful in cases of irregular words. Like 'el agua'.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:24 PM on April 21, 2006

yup, in some languages the article is obligatory practically everywhere - in English it isn't. That's it, really.

and when requesting a translation, it is almost always a good idea to get it done by a native speaker of the language you want it translated into.
posted by altolinguistic at 5:08 AM on April 22, 2006

It might just be me, but I think it sound better when you say "El campeón de peso pesado sin disputa de... los Burritos"
posted by Number27 at 5:51 AM on April 22, 2006

I also feel that I should add that when requesting a translation, you may be asking different questions without knowing it. For example, the phrase "Don't tell the Gringos!" is short enough to fit on a button or bumpersticker. Its longer Spanish equivalent is not.

However, if you are willing to compromise shades of meaning you may get an "equivalent" phrase which fits other constraints - shortness, impact etc. With the second phrase you may just want to drop the "indisputable" altogether for example, and go for say "el campeon mundial de peso los burritos??"
posted by vacapinta at 10:25 AM on April 22, 2006

indisuptado - 117 hits
sin disputa - 4 hits

the google - she speaks!
posted by andrew cooke at 2:56 PM on April 22, 2006

Response by poster: thanky thanky thanky...

lots of useful info!
posted by cusack at 6:56 AM on April 24, 2006

« Older Architecture or engineering?   |   Okay to use non-musical samples in music? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.