It is a good idea to keep practicing your spanish language skills by translating some iconic quotes or phrases in movies. For this week, we would like to suggest Star Wars as reference to understand some expressions and how those should be translated to Spanish.
During one week each month, we are using famous movie quotes as reference for Spanish Practicing, this month the theme is Sci-Fi and Star Wars is one of the most popular titles of the sci-fi genre.
As you may know, translating ‘literally’ doesn't really work well all the time, either from English to Spanish or Spanish to English. So the purpose is to make sense and follow the context of the conversation or situation, otherwise the concept and message in the translation could be wrong. Although, sometimes the exact word for word translation sounds ‘okay’, it is important to communicate the actual meaning of the phrase.
We will begin with the name of the movie… ‘Star Wars’, which literally is translated to ‘LA GUERRA DE ESTRELLAS’, which doesn't make sense as it could be interpreted or taken as ‘celebrities wars’, so the properly, it should be translated to ‘LA GUERRA DE LAS GALAXIAS’ (like ‘Galaxy Wars’), and this is the official title for Latin America.
The famous quote ‘May the Force be with you’... literally is translated to ‘QUE LA FUERZA ESTE CONTIGO’, which is correct, but as stated before, this translation may sound acceptable, it is important to understand the context of the situation… for ‘QUE LA FUERZA ESTE CONTIGO’ could give the idea that ‘the force’ be with you at that place or one particular spot. So the correct translation could be ‘QUE LA FUERZA TE ACOMPAÑE’, which send the message that ‘the force’ will be with you always.
Another famous phrase in Star Wars is ‘I have a bad feeling about this…’, literally is translated to ‘TENGO UN MAL SENTIMIENTO ACERCA DE ESTO’. Again, this could be okay, but for this case the ‘cultural aspect’ of the Spanish language takes place, for we express ourselves in a different way. The correct translation is ‘TENGO UN MAL PRESENTIMIENTO SOBRE ESTO’, note that the word use as ‘feeling’ is ‘PRESENTIMIENTO’. The word ‘presentimiento’ means ‘feeling a sign’ (like an augury on something...) Since in Spanish a ‘bad feeling’ could be like fear, anger or hate, it is actually an emotion and it is taking place in present time… but as for ‘presentimiento’ means that there is something you don't know what could be, but you are having sings about it and it is not happening yet.
These are three examples on how a translation to spanish could or should be interpreted, we will continue with some other examples in our next post.