a lo largo de - se dice pronto - 170 años

Frankietron

New Member
English - US
Hi!~ I am translating an article on a website and there is a portion that I am having a bit of trouble with. I am also unsure about the nunca mejor dicho part.

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Pues exagero un poco, porque aquí la democracia está estabilizada, pero es de mala calidad. Y tampoco se implantó con facilidad. Si contamos desde la primera revolución liberal, durante la guerra napoleónica, hasta la Transición posfranquista, ha habido media docena de constituciones, varias dictaduras y guerras civiles, un sinnúmero de pronunciamientos, a lo largo de —se dice pronto— 170 años. Los últimos cuarenta, bajo una dictadura francamente —nunca mejor dicho— despiadada. La gente aprendió a obedecer, sí, pero solo porque quien se desmandaba sentía el látigo en su espalda, no porque interiorizaran que convivir exige normas.
---

My translation:
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Well I am exaggerating a little, because democracy is established here but the quality of it is poor. And it was not easily instituted either. If we count from the first liberal revolution, during the Napoleonic war, until the post-Franco transition, there have been half a dozen constitutions, several dictatorships and civil wars, a number of pronouncements, throughout - soon to be - 170 years. The last forty, under a dictatorship that is frankly - for lack of a better word - ruthless. People learned to obey, yes, but only because whoever disobeyed felt the whip on their back, not because they internalised that coexistence requires rules.
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  • Bevj

    Allegra Moderata
    English (U.K.)
    Hello and welcome to the forum.
    It's always worth searching our dictionary. This thread asked a similar question. In your text I think it means something like 'it's easy to say' or 'it doesn't sound like much'.
    Your other question should be the subject of another thread since our rules state one question per thread. But in any case there are several threads already open about nunca mejor dicho. Please refer to them and if you still have a problem, add to one of those existing threads.
     

    Frankietron

    New Member
    English - US
    I did look first and those threads didn't seem like they answered my question because "easier said than done" sounds weird for "throughout - easier said than done - 170 years" for an excerpt of a political text about the rise of democracy in Spain and democracy in arab countries.
     

    Bevj

    Allegra Moderata
    English (U.K.)
    That's why I suggested other alternatives for your specific context :)
    The idea is that it's quick to say but is actually a long time.
     

    Marsianitoh

    Senior Member
    Spanish-Spain
    Redirect Notice
    In this case , " que se dice pronto" is used to stress the fact that it was a very long period, something like " ...thoughout a staggering period of 170 years"
    " ...thoughout (a period of) no less than 170 years..."
    But I'm sure you can come up with better options.
     

    nelliot53

    Senior Member
    Spanish-[PR]; English-[US]
    Los últimos cuarenta, bajo una dictadura francamente —nunca mejor dicho— despiadada.

    What happens here is that francamente makes allusion to Francisco Franco, and the word that would be possible in English is frankly, which would not modify in a proper manner the phrase ruthless dictatorship. But I would keep it as you have it, as it conveys the subtle nuance to the dictator.
     

    Marsianitoh

    Senior Member
    Spanish-Spain
    Los últimos cuarenta, bajo una dictadura francamente —nunca mejor dicho— despiadada.

    What happens here is that francamente makes allusion to Francisco Franco, and the word that would be possible in English is frankly, which would not modify in a proper manner the phrase ruthless dictatorship. But I would keep it as you have it, as it conveys the subtle nuance to the dictator.
    And what does that have to do with " se dice pronto" , which is the part we are discussing in this thread?
     

    jsvillar

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Spain
    I agree with nelliot53. It is used when the words we are using fit both in their normal meaning and in their literal meaning. In this case 'frankly' fits not only for its meaning (honestly speaking, really...) but also fits literaly as 'in Franco's way'.
     

    VIXXXTOR

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Spain
    Bevj, yo no encuentro nada forzado el juego de palabras con el nombre de Franco. Como nativo, en cuanto he leído el texto me ha suscitado esa asociación, así que creo que funciona perfectamente.
     

    VIXXXTOR

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Spain
    I don't think Franco's allusion doesn't concern this thread, as the expression "nunca mejor dicho" means that the word "frankly" is aptly used here since it resembles the dictator's surname.
     

    Marsianitoh

    Senior Member
    Spanish-Spain
    I don't think Franco's allusion doesn't concern this thread, as the expression "nunca mejor dicho" means that the word "frankly" is aptly used here since it resembles the dictator's surname.
    I'm afraid this thread is about " se dice pronto" , not about " nunca mejor dicho". Check the title.
     

    jsvillar

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Spain
    El problema es que el hilo trata de 'se dice pronto', y es un tema por hilo, así que no deberíamos haber entrado al trapo con lo de 'nunca mejor dicho' por muy tentador que sea. Si mañana alguien busca 'nunca mejor dicho' no le va a aparecer como resultado este hilo.
     

    Bevj

    Allegra Moderata
    English (U.K.)
    Your other question should be the subject of another thread since our rules state one question per thread. But in any case there are several threads already open about nunca mejor dicho. Please refer to them and if you still have a problem, add to one of those existing threads.
    I am sorry, I am just trying to answer Frankietron, who started this thread asking about two doubts, one of them concerning "nunca mejor dicho".
    The thread needs to stick to the phrase in the title. Any discussion about nunca mejor dicho belongs in a separate thread. Thanks :)
     
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