1. redirie

    redirie Senior Member

    English - UK/US
    Hello all, I apologize for the vulgarity of this post but I have tried searching on the internet and cannot seem to find any direct translation for this phrase.

    Earlier today my boyfriend, a native Spanish speaker who doesn't speak English, was upset because I was spending time with a mutual friend to help him with his homework. He wasn't responding to me for a while, but when he finally did, the first sentence of his rather irate text was "puta mierda si no vienes ahorita no quiero verte más en mi vida" (I had said I would be driving over to his house in a few minutes).

    I interpreted the "puta mierda" as more or less meaning "fucking shit" or something along those lines, just a very vulgar interjection of sorts. My friend, however, who is a native speaker from Peru, got extremely offended and told me I should stop talking to my boyfriend altogether for having called me that. This leaves me a little confused as to what it really means. Is it possible my friend misread it as "puta de mierda," or is he correct in interpreting it as a direct slur towards me? If anyone could try to help me translate it as literally/directly as possible, it would be greatly appreciated. :)
  2. Antpax

    Antpax Senior Member

    Spanish Spain
    Hi redirie,

    I interpret it as you do. I think your friend though your boyfriend was saying "puta de mierda", that is direct insult.

    As you say, "puta mierda" is "fucking shit" or "fuck", or something like that. "Puta de mierda" would be "fucking whore".

    Anyway, both are very vulgar expressions and I don´t think he should use them with you, and it is true that could misunderstand it, as your Peruvian friend did.


  3. nv1962

    nv1962 Senior Member

    Reno, Nevada (USA)
    es, nl, en-us
    You already translated it "as literally/directly as possible" - namely as fucking shit.

    But this is also an interesting example for you to learn that "translating literally/directly" and "best translation" are not always and necessarily synonymous in translation. Translation is not a matter of somewhat mechanically pairing words or terms according to some predetermined "best" ranking; if only because terms in different languages have nuances in meaning that don't replicate well.

    Getting to the point, the expletive in Spanish in the case you propose is used as a pointed expression of great anger and frustration; in English, several alternatives exist to express a similar degree of those emotions. A translation that is both very effective and efficient could therefor be "goddammit". If you want a half-way solution between literal and semantic correlation, you might go for e.g. "this is fucking bullshit" but frankly, I like poignancy and sharpness in translation more than elaborate spinning around to get the message across. Somewhat peculiar, given the verbosity of this answer, but there you are: translation is not always predictable, nor is it necessarily a dull and repetitive exercise in consistency.
  4. Hajt

    Hajt Senior Member

    Your boyfriend wasn't insulting you directly, but he sounds rude and possessive, and definitely jealous.
  5. emaestro Senior Member

    Seoul, South Korea
    English - USA Native
    I really like what nv1962 said. Vulgarities especially don't "translate" well. You must understand the emotional situation and local idiomatic usage and then translate that "emotional picture" into the new language and culture and find a close equivalent.

    I also think that Hajt hit the nail on the head. He is very upset with you and is being rude, possessive and jealous.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 5, 2011
  6. chileno

    chileno Senior Member

    Las Vegas, Nv. USA
    Castellano - Chile
    I guess that in order to understand this type of remarks this has to be written as "puta, mierda,..."

    Of course, it still can be construed as calling the person a whore and also a piece of shit.

    Now, a Spanish person is driving a nail in with a hammer, misses and hits his finger and say "¡Puta que duele! or "¡Mierda que duele!".

    We say stuff like that. Sure, nothing to be proud of telling your girlfriend such comforting words...
  7. MHCKA

    MHCKA Senior Member

    La primera impresión es que la expresión denota enojo, incluso algo de ira; pero la verdad es que también puede ser pura y dura frustración ante la respuesta de la novia, ante esta situación en general... creo que B.S. sería el equivalente que puede abarcar ambos y el fucking puede estar de más si es que la persona de por sí usa palabras soeces.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 5, 2011
  8. Dale123456 Senior Member

    England UK
    He sounds like a control freak to me, so DUMP him and find somebody nicer who isn't going to turn into a serial killer :eek:
  9. Fernando Senior Member

    Spain, Spanish
    A perfect English translation, Dale.
  10. Dale123456 Senior Member

    England UK

    I apologise, however it did seem that some advice was also needed :)
  11. Fernando Senior Member

    Spain, Spanish
    Quite on the contrary. You have got the message the Spanish speaker was trying to convey.

    On the context that the first poster has posted "Puta mierda" (let alone with "de") stands for "I am an asshole".

    To be precise (and benevolent): "I am behaving as an asshole".
  12. Dale123456 Senior Member

    England UK

    One of the few times that I have been right without actually meaning to be ;)
  13. Adolfo Afogutu

    Adolfo Afogutu Senior Member

    I agree with you. If it were a personal insult, he would have said "puta de mierda". "Puta, mierda" is just an uncontrolled outburst of anger, as when you hit your finger with a hammer... You must beware that next time he does not hit your head with the hammer.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011
  14. ACQM

    ACQM Senior Member

    Manresa (Barcelona)
    Spain - Spanish
    I agree to, in fact puta here is and adjective and the noun is mierda. Mierda is never an adjective, it would be "de mierda", "mierdosa", for instance.

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