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upperground, middleground and underground

Discussion in 'Specialized Terminology' started by itsoundslikeone, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. itsoundslikeone New Member

    Barcelona
    Spanish
    Hello all,

    As part of one research in Social Sciences, I would like to translate to Spanish three terms: upperground, middleground and underground. Unfortunately, I have no clue about any plausible alternatives. My best try would be underground: capa subterránea o clandestina ; middleground: término medio (does not make any sense at all); upperground: capa superior.


    I am going to elaborate a little about the terminology so maybe someone can come up with an idea. They refer to interrelated layers, levels or components of a creative city, each one with specific characteristics.

    The upperground is a formal world that contains institutions or business linked to the commercial world, which market creative or cultural services/products.
    The middleground is formed by communities of practice, that explore and compare the best practices of a given activity or craft as part of a learning process, and by epistemic communities that codify knowledge.
    The underground is formed by groups like gamers or grafitti artista who share a common interest in a defined area and explore new trends in art or culture. This layer is outside any formal organization aiming at the exploitation of creativity (symbolic outputs)

    I hope to have included enough background but don't hesitate to comment if you need further information.

    Thank you in advance for your help.

    Juan
     
  2. Sprachliebhaber Senior Member

    USA English
    Maybe nivel superior/institucional, segundo nivel/nivel intermedio, nivel informal? More literally, ground can be terreno in the sense of area of activity, etc.
     
  3. itsoundslikeone New Member

    Barcelona
    Spanish
    Thanks a lot Sprachliebhaber. Yes, this translation should be appropriate but it losses some original meaning. I am thining of using the original terms in English, even though I certainy will explain them in a footnote.
     
  4. TAMAIDE New Member

    Canary Islands
    Spanish
    Pienso que en este caso se traduciría como capa social alta, media y baja.
     
  5. itsoundslikeone New Member

    Barcelona
    Spanish
    Gracias por tu aportación, Tamaide. El problema con capa social es que se refiere a individuos, mientras que los términos originales incluyen organizaciones de naturaleza variada.
     
  6. cirrus

    cirrus Senior Member

    Warwick
    UK English
    I'd go for your take - put the English and a roundabout explanation. Te serviría plano alto, medio y subterráneo o suena demasiado traducido? Se ve el término underground usado para describir ciertas tendencias musicales por ejemplo:

    • "Empiezan su carrera como banda de Rockabilly en su significado más puro, cuando ese concepto estaba en contra de cualquier movimiento musical y, posiblemente, fuese el estilo más underground del momento. Fuente blog de conciertos radio 3, rtve.es
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
  7. itsoundslikeone New Member

    Barcelona
    Spanish
    Plano alto/medio/subterráneo works, even though it does not sound very natural in Spanish. The term "underground" is commonly used in Spanish but the two others are rarely seen. Muchas gracias por tu ayuda!
     
  8. TAMAIDE New Member

    Canary Islands
    Spanish
    Cuando se refiere al arte, underground significa clandestino o marginal, por lo que hay que traducirlo como sub-mundo, capa social o movimiento clandestino o marginal, gente que no acepta normas etc.
     
  9. TAMAIDE New Member

    Canary Islands
    Spanish
    The upper ground en este caso por referirse a la cultura se traduciría como lo contrario de underground, movimiento convencional, middleground podría ser movimiento situado entre los otros dos ya que se habla de artesanía (compare the best practices of a given activity or craft)
     
  10. itsoundslikeone New Member

    Barcelona
    Spanish
    En el upperground hay empresas e instituciones que pueden ser innovadoras y poco tradicionales como el circo del sol o productoras de animación. Es su relación con la cultura o la creatividad la que determina en qué capa se ubica la organización o el individuo. Upperground explotación, underground exploración y middleground enlace entre ambas.
    Muchas gracias por tus comentarios
     
  11. cirrus

    cirrus Senior Member

    Warwick
    UK English
    Upper- and middleground both sound a bit odd in English if it's any consolation.
     
  12. itsoundslikeone New Member

    Barcelona
    Spanish
    I guess is an odd categorisation in any language. Thanks for your comment
     
  13. hermenator

    hermenator Senior Member

    Dear Juan,

    I agree it sounds/looks odd if you try to stick to the same metaphor, so I would recommend to change it, into something like:

    El mundo creativo se divide en 3 sectores:
    1) Formal (empresas e institutos)
    2) Académico (investigadores)
    3) Informal (artistas y jugadores)

    or simply:

    El mundo creativo se divide en 3 sectores:
    1) Empresarial
    2) Académico
    3) Aficionados

    Good luck!
     
  14. itsoundslikeone New Member

    Barcelona
    Spanish
    Dear Hermenator,
    Thank you for your reply. Well, these terms do describe agents pertaining to the three layers but unfortunately are not exhaustive enough to susbstitute the original ones. I will indeed use them for explanations on the topic.

    Regards!
     
  15. hermenator

    hermenator Senior Member

    No problem, my friend. They are exhaustive enough (I did my research on the web).

    You don't need to explain anything, just substitute.

    That's why I gave you 2 choices: 1 explanation, 1 substitution.

    Explaining should be the last resource (never desirable) for a translator.

    If anything, you could do it the other way around. Provide the original terms in English, between brackets, just once.

    Good luck!
     
  16. itsoundslikeone New Member

    Barcelona
    Spanish
    Thanks again for your help, hermenator. If you are interested in the topic you may find interesting this paper from the term's authors: http://www.feweb.vu.nl/olkc2009/papers/4apatrickcohendet.pdf

    "Middleground" is just too broad and complex to be substituted by "academic", even though the academic world certainly belongs to the middleground space and communities.

    Regards!
     
  17. hermenator

    hermenator Senior Member

    NO term is too broad and complex to be substituted.

    Translation techniques are plenty and resourceful. All of them are valid, as long as you render the most important idea and meaning.

    Even synonyms convey only 80% to 90% of meaning from the original word.

    If Academic = 80% of Middleground bracket, then it's fair enough.

    Trying to find a closer meaning, might be playing Alchemy (mission impossible).

    Regards,
     

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