La dirección de la organización había perdido el norte

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by Pifote, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. Pifote Member

    How to translate "perder el norte" into English ?

    The context: La dirección de la organización había perdido el norte

    Surely there are very expressive phrases from marine and naval traditions

    Thanks for the help

  2. coquita Senior Member

    Far, far away from home...
    Español (Argentina)
    Según el diccionario de WR:

    ♦ Locuciones: perder el norte, to lose one's bearings o to be at a loss (about what to do): ha perdido el norte, ya no sabe qué hacer, he's lost his bearings, he doesn't know how to go on

    Saludos :)
  3. mijoch Banned

    British English
    Also------"go adrift".

  4. aztlaniano

    aztlaniano Senior Member

    Lavapiestán, Madrid
    English (Aztlán, US sector)
  5. Pifote Member

    Many thanks indeed, Coquita, Mijoch and Aztlaniano, you have given me a hard job to choose from your execellent suggestions
  6. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Otra sugerencia: they had lost their compass.
  7. tomasr Member

    English - United States
    "Lost at sea" or "adrift" would work if you are looking for a maritime allusion. "Lost his bearings" or "lost his way" also work, and relate to navigation. I've never heard anyone say "lost their compass," though I suppose it could work if you add some context around it (for example, "Without his trusted advisor, it was as though he had lost his compass for navigating life.")
  8. Pifote Member

    Thank you, Outsider, I like that.
  9. MacAnna Member

    Paris, France
    Hello, y'all!

    I'd say "The company's management had lost sight of (their objectives?)", or "was disorientated".

    My 2c! :(
  10. Pifote Member

    That is very helpful, set things in their place. Many thanks, TomasR
  11. Adolfo Afogutu

    Adolfo Afogutu Senior Member

    Perdió la brújula también existe en español, con significado similar a perder el norte.
  12. aztlaniano

    aztlaniano Senior Member

    Lavapiestán, Madrid
    English (Aztlán, US sector)
    I've come across it many times, although usually with "moral" in front of "compass", e.g. "he's lost his moral compass".
  13. tomasr Member

    English - United States
    Moral compass, yes, but not just a compass. And, as you mention, that would be used in a different context. You could say that a company committing fraud has lost its moral compass (Enron, investment banks), but you wouldn't say that about a company that just didn't have a clear strategy or was making costly mistakes (airline companies, for example).

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