¡Ojo al Cristo, que es de vidrio!

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by DRhillbilly, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. DRhillbilly Member

    English;Caribbean Spanish
    A political editorial, referring to recent comments by Hugo Chávez, ends with the "warning": "¡Ojo al Cristo, que es de vidrio!"

    I am going to use: "Watch out for the statue, it's made of glass!"

    My question is: Would you use "Christ" rather than 'statue'?

  2. Sprachliebhaber Moderator

    USA English
    In general I would say "statue", or maybe "statue/figure of Christ" if there is more than one statue. As this is from a political editorial about Chávez, I suspect that there is no real statue, of Christ or anyone else, and that the metaphor is the "savior/saviour", Chávez, whose situation may be precarious. If that is the case, I might say, less literally, "be careful, the effigy of the savior is glass".
  3. DRhillbilly Member

    English;Caribbean Spanish
    Thank you Sprach: Comments much appreciated.

  4. Literatus New Member

    I think if we're translating literally, we could render the expression simply, "Be careful, it's made of glass."

    The expression "Ojo al Cristo" is generally used to mean that one should be careful, be on their guard, or pay attention to something.

    The version of this expression with which I am most familiar, is that which is sometimes used in Spain, "Ojo al Cristo, que es de plata" (... it's made of silver). The possible origin is that in a typical religious parade when the statue of Christ (or the Virgin) is taken through the streets, the faithful should keep on eye on it against anyone who would want to strip it of its material (and spiritual/sentimental or immaterial) value. Thus, the general meaning is that when something of value (material/immaterial) is vulnerable, those who value it should take great care to ensure its safety.

    Therefore, it is possible to convey a less literal translation of Chávez's version by stating, "Be careful: what is most valuable, breaks easiest (or breaks most easily)," or "Be careful with something so fragile."

    I think this rendering would reach the same end as that suggested by Sprachliebhaber, without reading in too much politically nor straying too far from the literal.
  5. grubble

    grubble Senior Member

    South of England, UK
    British English
    I still don't understand what the editor is referring to. To whom is he speaking and who or what does the metaphor refer to?

    Is he saying "Don't kill the goose that lays the golden eggs."? Can someone give an everyday Spanish sentence or scenario where the phrase would be used?
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2011
  6. albertovidal

    albertovidal Senior Member

    Spanish, Argentina
    "Ojo al Cristo" significa tener mucho cuidado con algo o con alguna cosa que se va a hacer porque ese "algo" o "lo que se va a hacer" son muy delicados.
    Desconozco si hay una expresión en inglés que coincida con la española
  7. grubble

    grubble Senior Member

    South of England, UK
    British English
  8. gotitadeleche Senior Member

    Texas, U.S.A.
    U.S.A. English
    How about "handle with kid gloves"?

    Verb 1. handle with kid gloves - handle with great care and sensitivity; "You have to handle the students with kid gloves"

    do by, treat, handle - interact in a certain way; "Do right by her"; "Treat him with caution, please"; "Handle the press reporters gently"
  9. grubble

    grubble Senior Member

    South of England, UK
    British English
    Ah! That gives the answer!

    My translation (with your help)

    "¡Ojo al Cristo!" = "Handle with care!"
  10. electrifiedblues

    electrifiedblues Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Spanish - Argentina
    Es una expresión coloquial. No intentes traducirla literalmente, porque sería infructuoso. Como muchas de estas frases y expresiones de origen popular, es fundamental la música o el ritmo que tienen; habrás notado que "cristo" y "vidrio" riman. Lo ideal en estos casos es traducir por una expresión semánticamente equivalente del idioma al que estás trasladando el texto. El consejo de Grubble me parece adecuado.
  11. babybackribs Senior Member

    En francés y en inglés también tenemos noblesse oblige ("nobleza obliga") que quiere decir que se debe comportarse con acuerdo de su posición/reputación, que una buena reputación/posición lleva muchas responsabilidades.
  12. albertovidal

    albertovidal Senior Member

    Spanish, Argentina
    "Nobleza obliga" no tiene nada que ver con "¡Ojo al Cristo!":(

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