1. tatianazaranich Junior Member

    Argentina -Spanish
    Necesitaria que me ayuden con esa frase. Quisiera decirla de la fomra mas idiomatica posible en inglés. Muchas gracias
  2. nelliot53

    nelliot53 Senior Member

    Puerto Rico
    Spanish [PR], English [US]
    Saludos, Tatiana.

    "bad omen bird" sería una buena traducción. Por lo general, en inglés y en español, los cuervos son las aves de mal augurio.
  3. Soy Yo Senior Member

    EEUU - inglés
    Creo que es mejor expresarlo: "a bird of bad omen" o "a bird of ill omen". Quizás mejor: a sign of bad luck.
  4. cirrus

    cirrus Senior Member

    UK English
    I am with Soy Yo on that one. To the best of my knowledge, regardless of what the WR dictionary might say, we don't talk about birds of bad omen, at any rate not in the UK. If a situation starts off badly we say it doesn't augur well or it doesn't bode well.

    This thread discusses the theme further. If what you are talking about is a person, we talk about them being a jinx.
  5. lapachis8 Senior Member

    El Defectuoso
    Una diéresis no le hace mal a nadie... agüero
  6. UUBiker Senior Member

    Arlington, Virignia
    United States, English
    Conversationally, when English speakers (at least in the United States, one thinks of cowboys on the plains) see a bird of prey circling, we simply say "That's not a good sign;" the fact that there's a bird is understood.
  7. tatianazaranich Junior Member

    Argentina -Spanish
    Muchas Gracias!
  8. cochabamba

    cochabamba Senior Member

    La Paz, Bolivia
    Cochabamba - Bolivia
    Or a "dry spell" when your bad luck has been lasting for some time.
  9. thetababy New Member

    UK English
    Bird of bad or ill omen is used in the UK, although like many idiomatic expressions seems to be dying out or being gradually phased out for updated, literal expressions.
  10. lapachis8 Senior Member

    El Defectuoso

    I think you are mixing up:
    literal expression:

    "true to fact; not exaggerated; actual or factual: a literal description of conditions. "


    literary expression:

    1. "Of, relating to, or dealing with literature: literary criticism. "
  11. thetababy New Member

    UK English
    what I meant was...

    Most people translate the expression by what it means - a sign of bad luck - they say what they want to say literally instead of using an image.

    Basically, my comment was that it IS used in the UK and I've heard it lots of times although amongst younger people never - most people tend to go for the simplest thing that occurs to them.

    (incidentally, the times I have heard it have been most likely in literature, in which case I read it, unless it was read aloud to me - lol)
  12. cirrus

    cirrus Senior Member

    UK English
    I am interested to hear that. I wonder whether you could elaborate: where and when did you last hear someone say it? What was the situation? Who said it, what sort of people?
  13. ivanovic77

    ivanovic77 Senior Member

    Spanish, Catalan - Spain
    I'm afraid we may be misinterpreting the right meaning of the Spanish expression "pájaro de mal agüero". From the DRAE:

    pájaro de mal agüero m. coloq. Persona que acostumbra a anunciar que algo malo sucederá en el futuro.

    Hence, a "pájaro de mal agüero" is someone who is believed to have some relationship with a bad omen or it is even a hated, evil person that brings bad news/premonitions/forewarnings/whatever.
  14. cirrus

    cirrus Senior Member

    UK English
    Thanks for getting us back on track. So what we are talking about is someone who is a prophet of doom as opposed to an optimist. There must be a snappier way of saying that in English, ideas anyone?
  15. paper Junior Member

    Uk English
    There is "naysayer" and "doomsdayer", but they're not exactly in common usage in 2007.
  16. cirrus

    cirrus Senior Member

    UK English
    I don't know about that. Where I work whenever anything new comes along you'll always find someone pessimist wagging their finger and saying "Mark my words, it'll never work" - prophets of doom and naysayers both.
  17. laly2006 Junior Member

    español Argentina
    Hi every1:)
    In spanish -at least in Argentina, it's very usual to use the phrase: SER PÁJARO DE MAL AGÜERO meaning to be a pessimist, but I'm not sure if u can convey the same idiomatic meaning by saying, for instance: "I don'ty mean to be a bird of bad omen but I think the protest march will be rained off" . Would it sound better to say: "I don't mean to be a jinx but I think the protest march will be rained off" ?:confused: Although I think the latest sentence will carry a different meaning as far I can infer from the LONGMAN DICTIONARY's definition of JINX:

    · someone or something that brings bad luck, or a period of bad luck that results from this:
    The company had suffered so many disasters that some employees feared a jinx.


    Well, I'll be eagerly looking forward for your replies about it.

    Many thanks in advance:thumbsup:

    EVAVIGIL Senior Member

    Spain / Spanish
    Hola, Laly2006

    Sí, existe la expresión bird of ill omen.

    Es diferente de jinx (fúlmine, jetattore, alguien que trae mala suerte, no que la anuncia.)

    Y por favor, escribe you y no "u", que no estamos chateando ni enviando mensajes. Es un foro de lenguas.:)

    Un saludito desde Madrid.

  19. laly2006 Junior Member

    español Argentina
    Hi Eva:)
    Thank you for your swift reply and thank you for your suggestion of not using chatspeak/SMS style:thumbsup: -quite outspoken to my taste for just a single "U", if you ask me, :rolleyes: On the other hand, register IS part of a language. Consecuently it must be subject for discussion in any language forum. Anyway, I'll take it into account from now on.:eek: I promise :D Just one thing, I'm afraid my question was not whether the phrase "to be a bird of bad/ill omen" existed since I'd already used it myself but to point out the difference in use between a Spanish equivalence and how to play safe for a translation as accurate as possible. This topic has already been posted before but it was in November so I decided to post a new thread myself. I've seen that many native English members of the forum considered the aforesaid phrase not usual or phased out for updated colloquial expressions. Now, to sum up, what would the English version of: "No quiero ser pájaro de mal agüero pero me parece que la marcha de protesta será cancelada debido a la lluvia" be or should I just say: "I don't mean to be pessimist but...?:rolleyes:

    Well, let's hope some English native version to enlighten us :p



    EVAVIGIL Senior Member

    Spain / Spanish
    Hello again,

    What do you mean by "outspoken"? I think you should check the meaning of this word. If you mean sincere, honest... well, I certainly am!! :)

    And yes, I suppose you could say:

    "I don't mean to be / sound pessimistic, but..."

    I must say I have never heard the expression bird of ill omen in England... maybe because it is outdated.

    And it is consequently...

    (Don't take it badly, we are all here to learn!) :)

  21. Joey30a Junior Member

    English - Scotland and Scottish Gaelic

    Obviously this reply is going to be too late to help anyone but I think the English expression you're looking for might be "prophet of doom" It is still widely used in Scotland anyway, and means someone who foretells some bad news of some sort or someone who always looks on the pessimistic side of life.


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