1. mzg Senior Member

    Spain, Spanish

    Sabotear is Sabotage. Pero si quiero decir que "un asistenté saboteó la conferencia". Se entiende que lo que hizo fue, por ejemplo, hacer ruiditos o preguntas tontas, o gestos obscenos para evitar que la conferencia llegara a buen fin. Puedo decir:

    A participant sabotaged the lecture

    ¿Es correcto?

  2. nikita962

    nikita962 Senior Member

    Peru, Spanish
    a participant disturbed/interrupted the conference
  3. KateNicole Senior Member

    Miami, Florida
    English (USA)
    Yes you can, although your tone of voice/delivery could POSSIBLY lead someone to believe that there was a literal sabotage. I, however, use the word figuratively quite frequently and I think people usually know how to distinguish.
  4. Otario New Member

    English USA
    To my ear, "sabotage" has the connotation of someone working from within. The person need not be a member of the organization or a citizen--enemy agents, in the typical sense, can perform sabotage while invading armies cannot--but the connotation in English unquestionably has this nuance.

    From the description of the activity described in this thread, "disrupt" would probably be a better translation than "sabotage" because the behavior was from someone distinctly apart from the presenter. To use "sabotage," the person sabotaging the speech would have to be affiliated in some way with the presenter: boss, secretary, superior, subordinate, co-worker, etc.

    Sabotage also carries the connotation of being done in secret. In this case, sabotage might be not arranging for a slide projector necessary for the presentation that the presenter needed, or writing the speech in Arabic when the presenter speaks only English, or other acts that undermine the quality or ability to give the lecture.
  5. Juliomelecio

    Juliomelecio Senior Member

    Valencia, Ve
    Español Venezuela
    A una persona que se comporta así se le dice "hacker" desde antes de que se inventaran las computadoras.
  6. SmallJosie Senior Member

    I agree with Otario ... disrupted. Sabotaged is over the top!
  7. alacrancita75

    alacrancita75 Senior Member

    Pal otro la'o
    Hmm, well, I don't necessarily agree with Otario that disrupt is a better word; yes, it fits, but "sabotage" also carries the connotation that someone is doing something with the specific intent of obtaining a negative result, in this case, creating a "bad end" to the conference. The verb "disrupt" does not necessarily carry the message of ill intent; sometimes there are innocent types of disruptions. Babies crying might have caused noise and disrupted things, and would not be "sabotaging" the lecture.

    I think that the sense is figurative enough that people would understand, although I think it would be clearer if the original phrase included something like, "el asistente saboteó el exito de la conferencia con sus comentarios: the participant sabotaged the success of the conference with her remarks." Which would leave no doubt that the sabotage was verbal rather than physical.
    What is lacking is not the right word, but the additional details that help the reader to understand what is really going on.
  8. Soy Yo Senior Member

    EEUU - inglés
    "sabotage" da la impresión de que una persona no sólo interrumpió o hizo fracasar la reunión sino que también lo hizo adrede...fue su intención hacerlo (malévolamente).

    He sabotaged our meeting!
  9. gotitadeleche Senior Member

    Texas, U.S.A.
    U.S.A. English
    Julio, do you mean "heckler"?

    A heckler is someone in the audience who keeps yelling out insults, making noises, anything to disturb and disrupt the speaker/performer.
  10. fenixpollo

    fenixpollo moderator

    American English
    De acuerdo con gotita. :)
    An assistant heckled the speaker.
    An assistant was acting like a heckler.
    An assistant was throwing spitballs in the meeting. (aunque puede ser demasiado literal y tomado como si el asistente hubiera estado aventando bolitas de papel)
    An assistant was causing problems in the meeting.
    An assistant disrupted the meeting with his bad behavior.

    Unas ideas... espero que te ayuden.


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