no pudo menos que romper en llanto

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by Gamen, Apr 13, 2015.

  1. Gamen Banned

    Near Buenos Aires
    Spanish Argentina
    Buen día.
    Estuve trabajando sobre un texto que produje en español e intenté traducir al inglés.
    Tengo dudas para traducir la frase "no pudo menos que romper en llanto" (=no pudo hacer otra cosa que ponerse a llorar)
    Doy el contexto para que se interprete mejor el sentido.

    Contexto y frase a traducir en español:
    María fue a despedir a su novio a la estación. Estuvieron mirándose un largo rato, cuando él ya había subido al tren, como si quisieran alargar los últimos instantes previos a la partida. De repente el tren arrancó y Juan (y el mismo tren que lo transportaba a destino) comenzó a alejarse paultinamente de María. Su cuerpo, su alma partida se quedaron solos y ésta no pudo menos que romper en llanto.

    Contexto e intento en inglés
    Mary went to see his girlfriend off to the station. They were gazing at each other for a long time, when he had already got on the train, as though they wanted to stretch on the last instants prior to the departure. All of a sudden the train pulled out and John (and the very train that carried him to destination) began to move away little by little from Mary. Her body, her broken heart stayed alone and she could not less than burst into tears.

    Agradezco sus comentarios / sugerencias.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015
  2. nanel Senior Member

    Madrid (Spain)
    Spain (Spanish)
    Entiendo que el problema es "no pudo menos que". En inglés, yo diría: "she couldn't but". En español se puede decir también "no pudo más que..." o "no pudo evitar" y que yo siempra la traducción es siempre la misma en inglés.

    En cuando a lo de romper en llanto, puedes decir o burst into tears, or break out into tears. Tú decides :)

    Se me olvidaba ponerlo todo junto:

    She couldn't but break into tears.
    She couldn't but burst into tears.
     
  3. alicip

    alicip Senior Member

    Formello-Roma-Italia
    Italiano ITA-Romeno ROU-Inglese AmE
    I agree with Nanel. Other options:
    She could only burst into tears.
    She couldn't help but burst into tears.
    She couldn't do anything but burst into tears.
    She couldn't keep/choke back her tears.
     
  4. Gamen Banned

    Near Buenos Aires
    Spanish Argentina
    ¡Muchas gracias por todas las opciones!
     
  5. walfrido

    walfrido Member

    Bayamo
    spanish, cuban spanish
    other than might be another possibility, I think.
    For example:
    She could do other than burst into tears
     
  6. kayokid

    kayokid Senior Member/Moderator

    Chicago
    English, USA
    Hello.

    I have never thought about this construction before, but it seems to me that something is missing here. This does not sound quite right to my ear. It seems to me that, when there is an introductory clause before "other than" there must be some sort of negative.

    Take a look at the examples here (from the WR dictionary):
    http://www.wordreference.com/es/translation.asp?tranword=other

    Therefore, my suggestion is something like:

    She could do nothing other than burst into tears.
     
  7. walfrido

    walfrido Member

    Bayamo
    spanish, cuban spanish
    That´s right kayokid , sorry for that mistake
    There has to be a negative before other than,
    then She couldn´t do other than...
    Thank you for your correction.
     
  8. walfrido

    walfrido Member

    Bayamo
    spanish, cuban spanish
    That´s right <strong>kayokid&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </strong>, sorry for that mistake<br>
    There has to be a negative before <strong>other than</strong>,<br>
    then <em>She couldn´t do other than...</em><br>
    Thank you for your correction.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
     
  9. Gamen Banned

    Near Buenos Aires
    Spanish Argentina
    Muchas gracias.
    Entonces, podríamos decir:

    She couldn't but break into tears.
    She couldn't but burst into tears.
    She could only burst into tears.
    She couldn't help but burst into tears.
    She couldn't do anything but burst into tears.
    She couldn't keep/choke back her tears.
    She could do nothing other than burst into tears.
    She couldn't do other than burst into tears.
     
  10. SydLexia Senior Member

    London, EU
    UK English
    My vote is for:

    "She couldn't help bursting into tears."

    syd
     
  11. Masood

    Masood Senior Member

    Leicester, England
    British English
    I agree with Sydlexia's version, which sounds natural to me.
     
  12. Gamen Banned

    Near Buenos Aires
    Spanish Argentina
    Muchas gracias.
    ¿Las opciones que recopilé de todos podrían ser dichas por un nativo?
     
  13. alicip

    alicip Senior Member

    Formello-Roma-Italia
    Italiano ITA-Romeno ROU-Inglese AmE
    As far as I'm concerned, all of them can be used with almost the same meaning. It's just a matter of personal preference. ;)
     

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