1. Gabss Junior Member

    Español- Argentina
    Hi People! necesitaría saber como se dice en inglés "amor propio", es decir el amor a uno mismo.

    "El amor propio se puede definir como la manera en que las personas se sienten de ellas mismas."

    Thanks :)
  2. Cracker Jack Senior Member

  3. ghoti

    ghoti Senior Member

    English USA
    self-love (legitimate and in the dictionary, although not often used, maybe because it can seem rather proud or vain)
  4. Amoha Junior Member


    I've seen several old replies regarding "amor propio" and something seems to be missing.

    The online Diccionario de la Real Academia Española admits two meanings, only one of which (pride, self-esteem) is adequately covered by other posts in this thread. The other is "afán de mejorar la propia actuación", i.e., an eagerness to improve on one's performance.

    The phrase "tiene mucho amor propio" would be used, for example, to explain the behavior of a child who is learning something difficult (like riding a bike or skating on ice) and refuses to stay down when he/she falls, always getting back up and trying again until he/she gets it right.

    There is indeed a large measure of self-respect involved in that attitude, but isn't there a more specific term? I wonder if sticking to the literal translation of "self-" for "propio" is keeping me from finding it, but I just can't quite put my finger on it.

    I realize I'm sacrificing a bit of my "amor propio" by asking this, but perhaps with a small joint effort we might improve on our performance as a forum... which is what counts after all, right?
  5. aztlaniano

    aztlaniano Senior Member

    Lavapiestán, Madrid
    English (Aztlán, US sector)
  6. Amoha Junior Member

    Thanks. I've checked the link you provide and have seen a number of alleged synonyms for "amor propio":

    Synonyms: complacence, bighead, complacency, conceit, conceitedness, ego, egotism, pomposity, pompousness, pride, pridefulness, self-admiration, self-assumption, self-conceit, self-congratulation, self-esteem, self-glory, self-importance, self-love, self-opinion, self-satisfaction, smugness, swelled head, swellheadedness, vaingloriousness, vainglory, vainness, vanity

    Hardly encouraging, I'd say. Neither are the antonyms "humbleness, humility, modesty".

    As in previous posts in this thread, this is just one side of "amor propio", so, for me, we're back at square one.

    Problem is, it seems to me that "amor propio" can be quite a positive concept in Spanish. I think any parent would love to see their kids behaving with "amor propio", as it would almost betoken how well they will get ahead in life.

    There is a large amount of self-reliance in "amor propio", which might even entail refusing any help from others and insisting on getting it right oneself, whatever "it" is.

    In fact, I would venture that somebody who refuses others' help and fails might be considered "testarudo" or "obcecado"; but if he/she succeeds, people would say he/she has a lot of "amor propio".

    I've heard this applied, for example, to a kid who was slow in math but would work at his homework into the wee hours of the night if necessary until he cracked the problems. He is now one of the foremost piano tuners in Spain.

    So, I'm sticking to my guns (pace Merriam-Webster) and holding out for a positive equivalent of "amor propio" in English.

    It seems like a distinctive value of the American frontier, wouldn't you say? There's gotta be a better translation.
  7. aztlaniano

    aztlaniano Senior Member

    Lavapiestán, Madrid
    English (Aztlán, US sector)
    "Self-esteem", at least (also cited by Cracker Jack earlier in the thread, in the previous decade), is almost always positive.
    "Pride" is usually positive as well, although certainly not always.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2011
  8. Idiomático Senior Member

    Virginia, USA
    Latin American Spanish
    Tanto amor propio como amour propre tienen significados que equivalen, en inglés, a self-esteem, pride, vanity... según el contexto en que se usen.
  9. Amoha Junior Member

    Sí, claro, en eso estamos de acuerdo: hay significados que equivalen a self-esteem, pride, vanity... según el contexto en que se usen.

    La cuestión es que hay otro sentido reconocido por el DRAE y que se usa habitualmente en España ("afán de mejorar la propia actuación") que no he encontrado reflejado en ninguna de las respuestas de este hilo y sin embargo me parece igualmente válido (aparte de encajar mucho mejor en algunas traducciones).

    A mi juicio, hay varios ingredientes en este segundo sentido de amor propio: por ilustrarlo en términos de psicología popular, se podría explicar como una imagen positiva de uno mismo que conlleva cierta autoexigencia, lo cual se manifiesta a su vez en un esfuerzo perseverante impulsado por la determinación de sacar adelante el problema que sea confiando exclusivamente de los propios medios.

    Es cierto que desde fuera se puede criticar esa actitud como orgullosa, individualista o incluso desafiante; pero los que estén de parte de quien demuestra amor propio igualmente lo valorarán como ejemplo de autonomía, resolución y éxito merecido.

    ¿Hay alguna palabra o expresión que refleje todo eso en inglés? Aye, there's the rub...
  10. Amoha Junior Member

  11. Amoha Junior Member

    Más sobre el amor propio.

    Ahora añadiría a mi definición provisional otro matiz: "Se podría explicar como una imagen positiva de uno mismo que conlleva cierta autoexigencia, lo cual se manifiesta a su vez en un esfuerzo perseverante impulsado por la determinación de sacar adelante el problema que sea confiando exclusivamente de los propios medios, cueste lo que cueste".

    Uno de los rasgos de quien tiene amor propio sería una dogged tenacity, que en términos coloquiales también se dice sticktoitiveness.

    Probablemente en inglés se le llamaría quitter a quien no tiene amor propio.

    En MSN Encarta se ofrece go-getter como antónimo de quitter, pero eso no cubre más que una parte del campo semántico de amor propio.

    ¿Veis por qué términos como self-esteem, pride, vanity, etc. no me valen?
  12. nelliot53

    nelliot53 Senior Member

    Puerto Rico
    Spanish [PR], English [US]
  13. Idiomático Senior Member

    Virginia, USA
    Latin American Spanish
  14. Amoha Junior Member


    I just got this from a US friend who's quite a wordsmith in his own right:

    Amour propre, the French term sometimes interjected in refined English prose, implies something mildly negative: confidence tinged with conceit.

    It's your call whether or not to buy his definition, of course, but he's got a pretty good ear for idiomatic English, both written and spoken.
  15. aztlaniano

    aztlaniano Senior Member

    Lavapiestán, Madrid
    English (Aztlán, US sector)
    Often, sure. I see it as closely related to "self-image". If you're concerned about that, you may be principled, or just vain.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2011
  16. Amoha Junior Member

    Ok. My friend just offered "grit" as a possible translation for amor propio, and I think it's in that ballpark. We're getting closer.

    I think the best way to explain it is thus: in Spanish, you'd say somebody has amor propio when they refuse to fail or be defeated out of self-respect. This attitude may result in behavior that seems gritty from the outside, but the inner motivating factor is one's self-image. It's a matter of principle. There some things (such as failure) that people with much amor propio simply won't allow themselves to do.

    I think this incorporates most of the suggestions made in the thread (self-esteem, pride, self-respect, being principled), albeit in a slightly more elaborate, and hopefully precise, manner... Hooray for the dialogic method!

    Now, is there a single English word that conveys all these nuances?
  17. kreiner Senior Member

    En inglés no se me ocurren más posibilidades que las que te han dado. En español, sin embargo, un buen sinónimo creo que sería pundonor.
  18. Deru

    Deru New Member

    Mexican Spanish
    Pues buscando por ahi encontre unos terminillos algo interesantes en la wikipedia, a una persona con amor propio se le podria llamar optimalist, que no es lo mismo que optimist, segun el articulo que lei llamado optimism, pero creo que el amor propio en si, en ingles, el termino que mejor lo describe es self-efficacy, un niño con mucho amor propio seria algo como that kid has a strong sense of self-efficacy a mi parecer. Citando brevemente un parrafo de la wikipedia en Self-Efficacy:

    Self-efficacy is a term used in psychology, roughly corresponding to a person's belief in their own competence.
    It has been defined as the belief that one is capable of performing in a certain manner to attain a certain set of goals. It is believed that our personalized ideas of self-efficacy affect our social interactions in almost every way. Understanding how to foster the development of self-efficacy is a vitally important goal for positive psychology because it can lead to living a more productive and happy life.

    Bueno, espero haberte sido de ayuda, te recomiendo ver el articulo en ingles del termino y tambien el de optimism, donde lo relevante del articulo estaria en la seccion de optimalism.
  19. Chispa123

    Chispa123 Senior Member

    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    USA English
    I think Deru has found the exact word Self-efficacy to fit your requirements. As they said, this is not a word normally used by laymen, more of an academic term, but would certainly be understood by an intelligent listener. Thank you for teaching me a new Spanish term!
  20. FromPA

    FromPA Senior Member

    Philadelphia area
    USA English
    I would agree about the context. Self-love without context sounds negative, but the Bible tells us that the second greatest rule is "to love thy neighbor as thyself." I think Amoha is on the right track.
  21. Deru

    Deru New Member

    Mexican Spanish
    Thank you Chispa123, I hope Gabsss thinks the same when he sees the word.

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