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quien no vive para servir

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by vbergen, Jun 4, 2009.

  1. vbergen

    vbergen Senior Member

    The Ardennes
    spanish, espagnol, español
    Hola, por favor ayuda con esta frase "quien no vive para servir, no sirve para vivir", creo que es atribuida a Teresa de Calcuta...

    :(
     
  2. chileno

    chileno Senior Member

    Las Vegas, Nv. USA
    Castellano - Chile
    Who does not live to be useful, is not useful to live?

    Please wait for others...
     
  3. SDLX Master

    SDLX Master Senior Member

    Lima, Peru
    Spanish - Peru
    This is a pun that makes perfect sense in Spanish, but switching it to English makes the rhyme get lost. I can't think of any similar idea in English at the time.
     
  4. vbergen

    vbergen Senior Member

    The Ardennes
    spanish, espagnol, español
    ¿tiene sentido "Who does not live to serve does not serve to live"? ¿o significaría algo distinto?

    :(
     
  5. kayokid

    kayokid Senior Member

    Chicago
    English, USA

    This doesn't really make sense. If you change it to: Who (or He, who) does not live to serve does not deserve to live, makes a little more sense but it is strong and not what the original intends to say.

    The best I can come up with is: He, who does not live to serve is not worth anything, which is pretty literal and does not have the play on words that the original does.
     
  6. Lamemoor Senior Member

    Perú
    Peru - Spanish

    Hola:
    Encontré esto de Albert Einstein:
    Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.
    ¿ ?
    Saludos
    L.
     
  7. vbergen

    vbergen Senior Member

    The Ardennes
    spanish, espagnol, español
    muchas gracias a todos! esa última frase me gustó bastante ^_^

    saludos
     
  8. Idiomático Senior Member

    Virginia, USA
    Latin American Spanish
    If it was said by Mother Teresa it must have been translated into English (if indeed she didn't say it in English to start with). The trick is to find it.
     
  9. chileno

    chileno Senior Member

    Las Vegas, Nv. USA
    Castellano - Chile
    Can anybody comment on my rendition/interpretation?

    Thanks.
     
  10. Idiomático Senior Member

    Virginia, USA
    Latin American Spanish

    Your rendition does not sound like something a native English speaker would say. The best suggestion so far is Kayokid's "He, who does not live to serve does not deserve to live" but, like him, I'm not sure Mother Teresa would have put it that way.
     
  11. Lamemoor Senior Member

    Perú
    Peru - Spanish

    Yo tampoco creo que lo hubiera dicho así.

    Saludos,

    L.
     
  12. chileno

    chileno Senior Member

    Las Vegas, Nv. USA
    Castellano - Chile
    It seems that there isn't something not even close to that in native English, hence my translation could hardly be mistaken for being said by a native speaker. I think. :)


    The original phrase "quien no vive para servir, no sirve para vivir"

    Cannot be translated as you did because "no sirve para vivir" it does not mean "it does not deserve"

    It merely states that it is not good to be utilized for life, whether a good life or not.

    Do I make sense?
     
  13. Lorenzito Senior Member

    Portland, OR
    Mexican -Spanish
    It is very difficult, if not impossible, to translate something and make it rhyme, that’s why the songs most of the times say something completely different than what the author meant to say. It is just a matter of interpretation. Literal translation don’t work in this kind of cases.
     
  14. chileno

    chileno Senior Member

    Las Vegas, Nv. USA
    Castellano - Chile
    Exactly, That's why I was trying to get a more or less accurate interpretation. :)
     
  15. Idiomático Senior Member

    Virginia, USA
    Latin American Spanish
    Here's a new suggestion:

    He who doesn't live to serve others is not fit to live.
     
  16. chileno

    chileno Senior Member

    Las Vegas, Nv. USA
    Castellano - Chile
    That makes perfect sense and sticks to the original idea.

    Thanks! :)
     
  17. elfuertot New Member

    english
    My take is different, the text says nothing about others really....
    I'd interpret this as:

    A life without purpose, is not worthy of life

    interpreting servir contexual as 'doing something' rather than literally serving. 'not worth of life' probably a bit fishy as a translation goes....
     
  18. vbergen

    vbergen Senior Member

    The Ardennes
    spanish, espagnol, español
    in wikipedia I read that it was a Mother Teresa quote, in other site, Saint Agustine...
    :D

    ¡gracias a todos! :)
     
  19. chileno

    chileno Senior Member

    Las Vegas, Nv. USA
    Castellano - Chile

    Doing something useful
     
  20. Jordi123 Junior Member

    Toronto
    English (Canada), French (Canada)
    Here is the original quote:

    A life not lived in service to others is a life not worth living
     
  21. Jordi123 Junior Member

    Toronto
    English (Canada), French (Canada)
    Somewhat similar to Einstein's quote: Only a life lived in the service to others is worth living.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2009
  22. DWO

    DWO Senior Member

    Spanish - Argentina
    Acá el problema es el "no sirve" que, en este caso, tiene estos dos significados:

    "No servir", significa "no prestar un servicio": El dinero cubre las necesidades, mientras que el servicio a los demás proporciona satisfacción personal.
    "No servir para algo", significa "no tener las cualidades necesarias para cumplir una función determinada": Juan no sirve para este trabajo, es poco inteligente / Esta pinza no me sirve, necesito una más grande.

    No se me ocurre una palabra en inglés que tenga ambas acepciones, pero tal vez a algún nativo (o no), sí se le ocurra.
     
  23. Idiomático Senior Member

    Virginia, USA
    Latin American Spanish
    Thank you Jordi. Would you be good enough to tell us how (or where) you found it?
     
  24. Jordi123 Junior Member

    Toronto
    English (Canada), French (Canada)
    At the end of the page at this website http://www.workersforjesus.com/teresa.htm there is a following paragraph :

    In 1990, after over 40 years of almost constant activity, Mother Teresa began to have trouble with her heart. After she had a heart attack in 1989, a pacemaker was inserted. She offered to resign as head of the Missionaries, but no replacement was available. She agreed to remain on the job. Regardless of the fact she was still recovering from a serious illness the previous year, she insisted on keeping up her frantic pace. Traveling through the countries of eastern Europe took two months. She also spent many days at Calcutta’s Home for the Destitute and Dying. Doctors told her she should "slow down." Her reply: "I have all eternity to rest, and there is still much to do ... Life is not worth living unless it is lived for others."

    Then, there is a quote attributed to Einstein: "Only a life lived in service to others is a life worth living" See: http://www.dictionaryquotes.com/authorquotations/57/Albert_Einstein.php

    There are other quotes online including the one I mentioned before but I don't have the address right now.

    Good luck
     
  25. Idiomático Senior Member

    Virginia, USA
    Latin American Spanish
    Merci beaucoup, Jordi.
     
  26. workingonit Senior Member

    California
    English - American
    If that's the original, I would have put it into Spanish as "La vida en qual alguién no sirve a otros, no sirve bien a lui mismo."

    But then, my Spanish is not good yet. Should that first "sirve" be in the subjunctive?
     
  27. DWO

    DWO Senior Member

    Spanish - Argentina
    "A life not lived in service to others is a life not worth living."

    Literal: "Una vida no vivida al servicio de los demás, (es una vida que) no merece ser vivida."
     
  28. chileno

    chileno Senior Member

    Las Vegas, Nv. USA
    Castellano - Chile
    Could be used, however, it talks about a life of service opposed to that of a person who is useful.
     
  29. carliber1 New Member

    English
    The quote "el que no vive para servir no sirve para vivir" is in fact attributed to Mother Teresa.
    Some translations to English, and vise versa, works differently than one would expect. So, without losing the sense (el sentido) of the original Spanish version by vbergen:
    "A life not lived for others is not a life"
     

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