la silueta del vestido demarca la clase de hábitat

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by flobarraza, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. flobarraza New Member

    ¡Hhola! Necesito traducir esta frase " la silueta del vestido demarca la clase de hábitat del cuerpo, y por ende describe su modo de habitar".

    Mi intento fue " Clothes figure demarcate and define body’s habitat and as a result of this, its way to inhabit."

    No necesito que sea fielmente pero si que refleje la idea de lo qeu estoy diciendo.

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 9, 2010
  2. phantom2007 Senior Member

    spain, Spanish
    Pienso que "Clothes" es demasiado general y además, plural. You usaría "dress"

    Mi intento:

    The dress silhouette (demarcates/ frames/ signals/ shows/ limits) the class of the body habitat and therefore describes the mode of its own inhabiting"

    Muy fantasioso, sin duda...
  3. elianecanspeak

    elianecanspeak Senior Member

    by Lake Michigan
    English - EEUU
    As a native speaker I have difficulty making sense of either translation.

    I would use "garment" since it is broader and encompasses all types of clothing.

    "A garment's shape portrays the body's type of environment, and thus conveys its way of life"
    is a fairly literal translation,

    but to me
    "A garment's shape reflects the body's environment, and thus conveys to the observer the wearer's way of life"

    while less direct a translation, is easier to understand in English, and better conveys the author's intent.
  4. flobarraza New Member

    thanks a lot!!!! i think it sounds great! it is very poetic, i am having a hard time trying to translate this project coz has a very particular style.
    i think you translation is perfect!
  5. phantom2007 Senior Member

    spain, Spanish
    I agree that "garment" (prenda in Spanish) is broader and encompasses all types of clothes, but this is not the original sense. It seems to me that that author is referring to a particular type of garment, the woman dress.

    The original also plays with the words "Habitat" and "habitar", something that is difficult to understand in the English translation, but it is also obscure and difficult to understand in the Spanish original.

    It is a decision of whether to simplify the phrase and provide a crystal clear translation of the supposed author's intention or keep its aura of relative obscurity and fantasy.

    Your comment about the difficulty to understand the translation in English, coming from a native English speaker is very important and welcome.

    However, this problem is also present in the original and the main difficulty is to decide whether the difficulty a native English speaker encounters to understand the phrase is of the same level we, Spanish native speakers, encounter in the original phrase.

    If the translation is still more cryptic than the original, the translation needs to be modified. That, I cannot say, unfortunately and I believe it is the typical translator dilemma, unless the translator is truly and fully bilingual.

    I am afraid the proposed translation would not be easily accepted by the original author, as it loses the play of words he/she developed.
  6. elianecanspeak

    elianecanspeak Senior Member

    by Lake Michigan
    English - EEUU
    Because the text was difficult and context was essential, I went on the internet and looked at the original article. Like Phantom, I originally speculated that this might be from a piece about haute couture. (I am guessing that that was your assumption, since it was mine.) But the source article is more anthropological and cultural in focus.

    Even from the original post, though, I would not have chosen "dress", since there is no indication that the author is referring exclusively to women's clothing.

    This is the address for the source -- see what you think."&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=safari
  7. phantom2007 Senior Member

    spain, Spanish
    I chose "dress" because I did believe it was an article describing a feminine dress (which is called "vestido" in most Spanish-speaking countries). Men do not wear "vestidos" (noun) though they can be "vestidos" or they can "vestirse" (verbs) in a way or other. But it was wrong, obviously.

    It is a very interesting article. The full context of the phrase gives quite a different meaning to it.

    In first approach I would use "Clothes" as equivalent to "indumentaria", this last as a synonim of "vestido". Not "dress", obviously.

    Garment would not convey the right idea, IMO, I consider it to be the equivalent to "prenda" or "prenda de vestido".

    Also, we cannot avoid referring to "habitat" and the verb that I think derives from it, "inhabit", because the article uses this kind of metaphor all the time.

    So the initial translation by Flobarrraza was the closest to what I think should be the right translation. (the advantage of having full context of a difficult sentence...)

    Sorry then for messing it up.
  8. elianecanspeak

    elianecanspeak Senior Member

    by Lake Michigan
    English - EEUU
    You didn't mess anything up, since you were working without the full context, and this was a particularly difficult translation.

    Nevertheless, flobarraza's initial attempt was problematic, although it was an excellent first step in terms of putting English on paper to have a starting point.

    "Clothes figure, [comma required] demarcate and define the body’s habitat and as a result of this consequently, its way to inhabit manner of habitation."

    The verb "figure" does not make sense in English in this context.

    "As a result of this" works grammatically and the meaning is clear, but it sounds awkward here; "therefore", "thus", or "consequently" are more euphonious.

    "Way to inhabit" also sounds rather stilted. "Manner of habitation" is in the style of the piece and closer to a literal translation.

    So, for a more literal translation you would have :

    "Clothes demarcate and define the body’s habitat, and consequently, its manner of habitation."
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2010
  9. phantom2007 Senior Member

    spain, Spanish
    I think it is a translation with perfect style and that it conveys the original idea without adding additional concepts.

    I think we can consider this closed, at least from our part.
  10. flobarraza New Member

    wow! thanks a lot for all your help!!!
    i understand it is very difficult to translate this text! thanks thanks thanks

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