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Little bugger for kids.

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by pexlc, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. pexlc Member

    Mexican Spanish
    Hola, estoy traduciendo un texto educativo para niños de primaria y no encuentro una traducción correcta para little buggers:

    "Until the advent of catheters, this little buggers were considered harmless."

    Little bugger se refiere a una bacteria que vive en la piel.

    Las traducciones que he visto son demasiado fuertes para un texto educativo.

    Estaba pensando en traducirlo de la siguiente manera:

    "Estos chiquitines se consideraban inofensivos hasta la llegada del catéter."

    Pero parece que chiquitines no es una palabra correcta (y suena un poco tonto).

    ¿Alguna idea? De antemano, gracias.
     
  2. Marxelo

    Marxelo Senior Member

    Buenos Aires - Argentina
    Castellano Rioplatense
    Estos bichitos...
     
  3. SydLexia Senior Member

    London, EU
    UK English
    "bichitos" ??

    syd
     
  4. la_machy

    la_machy Senior Member

    Hermosillo, Sonora, México.
    Español de Sonora
    Sí, 'bichitos' fue lo primero que pensé, para ese contexto.

    Saludos
     
  5. gengo

    gengo Senior Member

    San Francisco
    American English
    We use the term bugger to refer to small things that are annoying. They could be insects, bacteria, etc., or they could be inanimate objects such as machine parts. You know the OTHER meaning of bugger, but the use of the word in this context is not at all vulgar.

    The "little" part is not necessarily the key part here, and I suggest you focus on the "annoying" aspect. Just imagine that you have dropped a screw into a machine and are trying to retrieve it. You are having a difficult time, and say "¡Caray!, no puedo sacar este/a xxx." What word would you use? That is probably going to work in the context here, too.
     
  6. MHCKA

    MHCKA Senior Member

    CIUDAD DE MÉXICO
    MÉXICO. ESPAÑOL
    Pues sí... bichitos, es un eufemismo pero el original no es precisamente un tratado de Ecología Microbiana Syd, yo diría microorganismos o en el peor de los casos, microbios, creo que los niños podrían con esta verdad científica.

    Saludos.
     
  7. spodulike

    spodulike Senior Member

    Brighton, England
    English - England
    In BE bugger is always somewhat vulgar. It is OK with people you know but it would not be used with strangers who might easily be offended. It definitely would not be used in a text intended for children to read.
     
  8. gengo

    gengo Senior Member

    San Francisco
    American English
    But those translations lose all of the original's colloquial flavor.
     
  9. MHCKA

    MHCKA Senior Member

    CIUDAD DE MÉXICO
    MÉXICO. ESPAÑOL
    En efecto gengo, por más ciertas que son, harían que se pierda el sentido coloquial de la frase original... por ello dije bichitos (que se usa mucho, debo decir); no obstante, desde mi muuuuy particular punto de vista, eso suena a programa de Cositas, excesivamente meloso y rosa.

    Saludos desde la gélida-calurosa Chilangotitlán.
     
  10. la_machy

    la_machy Senior Member

    Hermosillo, Sonora, México.
    Español de Sonora
    MHCKA, ya que va a público infantil, no considero que sea meloso o rosa, sólo divertido.
    Con toda seguridad, a un público adulto no sería lo más adecuado hablarle de 'bichitos'.

    Saludos
     
  11. MHCKA

    MHCKA Senior Member

    CIUDAD DE MÉXICO
    MÉXICO. ESPAÑOL
    Concuerdo la_machy; me salió lo grinch-nerd, quizás entre paréntesis podrían decir microbios (ya como último recurso, jajaja)...

    Por otro lado, quizás ya no estaba tan niño cuando, viendo las caricaturas, me recetaban las intervenciones de Cositas y por eso no me gustaron, traumas de la juventud.
     
  12. pexlc Member

    Mexican Spanish
    ¡Ah, bichitos! Muchas gracias, me daba bastante pena presentarle un texto a mi jefe que dijera chiquitines (o culeros, porque ya me estaba desesperando).
     
  13. gengo

    gengo Senior Member

    San Francisco
    American English
    It seems that the question has been answered, but I just wanted to point out that any similarity between "bug" (bicho/bichito) and "bugger" is coincidental here. A bugger has nothing whatsoever to do with bugs. In the UK it is one thing (vulgar), and in the US it is another thing (not vulgar). See the bottom of this post for the etymology of bugger.

    Because we are talking about microbes here, it may be that bichitos is a serviceable translation, but it does not really reflect the original meaning. Specifically, the following two English sentences are different.

    Until the advent of catheters, these little buggers were considered harmless.
    Until the advent of catheters, these little bugs were considered harmless.

    Both sentences could be used in this context, and would be understood perfectly well. But the first one (in which buggers is synonymous with suckers, guys, etc.) has a different meaning from the second, and could also be used in other contexts that have nothing to do with microbes. Examples:

    Leprechauns (los duendes) are quick little buggers.
    A script to create those 256 little buggers (databases).
    It costs...$221,000 to raise a child through age 17. Expensive little buggers!
    Cute little buggers with guns. (referring to a video game)

    Etymologically, a "Bugger" was a "Bulgre" (French Bougre). Originally, it was derived from the French word "Bougge­rie" ("of Bulgaria"), meaning the medieval Bulgarian clerical sect of the Bogomils, which facing severe persecution in Bulgaria spread into Western Europe and was branded by the established church as particularly devoted to the practice of sodomy.
     
  14. liliput

    liliput Senior Member

    Spain
    U.K. English
    ¿Realmente has encontrado el frase "little buggers" en un texto educativo para niños? Las traducciones que has visto son demasiado fuertes porque el termino en inglés también es demasiado fuerte para un texto educativo, me sorprende mucho que lo has encontrado en uno.
    Supongo que te has encontrado con las traducciones "sodomitas", "gillipollas" y "hijos de puta" los cuales son tan poco apropiado para niños en español cómo es "little buggers" en inglés. Habría propuesto "cabroncitos" pero supongo que tampoco es muy adecuado. Creo que bichitos está bien.
     
  15. gengo

    gengo Senior Member

    San Francisco
    American English
    Liliput, if you will read the whole thread, you will see that bugger is not vulgar in American English (which seems to be the context here). See my examples above (post #13), in which one example even refers to children themselves as buggers. In the US, the word has no connection to sodomy, except to the extent that we are aware of how it is used in the UK.
     
  16. Soy Yo Senior Member

    USA
    EEUU - inglés
    Estoy de acuerdo. En EE.UU. "bugger" generalmente no tiene esa acepción de "sodomita." Un "little bugger" puede referirse a cualquier cosa y hasta a niños u otras personas pequeñas. Siempre lleva un tono coloquial.

    "I looked everywhere for Johnny and finally found the little bugger hiding in the attic."

    Gengo lo ha explicado perfectamente.
     
  17. liliput

    liliput Senior Member

    Spain
    U.K. English
    In which case the etymology you describe doesn't apply to the American "bugger", which is more likely to be related to "bug" in the sense of something annoying and therefore does have a connection with bugs (bichos).
     
  18. pexlc Member

    Mexican Spanish
    Sí, estoy de acuerdo. Las traducciones literales son muy fuertes, pero, en el contexto, "buggers" es totalmente inofensivo.
     
  19. gengo

    gengo Senior Member

    San Francisco
    American English
    Of course it applies! But the word has evolved further in the US, and has by now lost all connection to sodomy. There is nothing at all unusual about such evolution, and it even happens between regions in the US, and surely within regions of England as well. An example is "to bust someone's balls," which clearly has a vulgar origin, and retains that vulgarity here on the West Coast, but has much less impact on the East Coast (particularly in New Jersey and New York), where it is even used in reference to women.

    I repeat: bugger has nothing to do with bugs. That said, because of the similarity in sound and the overlap in meaning, it is often used to refer to actual bugs.
     
  20. Metzaka

    Metzaka Senior Member

    Oz
    "Mexican Spanish"
    Para usar la palabra bug en el sentido de bicho y en el de molesto, podría ser
    molestos bichitos.
     
  21. spodulike

    spodulike Senior Member

    Brighton, England
    English - England
    Just as a little postscript. A little bugger for kids would mean "a budding paedophile" in BE.

    Just thought you would like to know!
     
  22. gengo

    gengo Senior Member

    San Francisco
    American English
    Most (or at least many) Americans are well aware of that. We do watch British movies and TV, you know. :)

    But we would spell it as pedophile.
     
  23. spodulike

    spodulike Senior Member

    Brighton, England
    English - England
    Well yes, your spelling rules are generally much more sensible than ours!
     
  24. liliput

    liliput Senior Member

    Spain
    U.K. English

    When I saw the thread title I actually thought it was going to be about calling children little buggers.
     
  25. liliput

    liliput Senior Member

    Spain
    U.K. English
    In the UK, if we call someone a little bugger, we don't usually mean that they are a sodomite. Nonetheless, it is still an offensive term.
     
  26. spodulike

    spodulike Senior Member

    Brighton, England
    English - England

    I agree but "a bugger for something"

    Examples

    "He´s a bugger for stealing stuff from the corner shop"
    "She´s a little bugger for smoking when her parents are out"

    "He´s a bugger for kids" ....... work it out ......
     

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