Train Wreck


Castellano, Argentina
HI everyone, I have problems in translating this expression. This is the context where it appears:

George Bush said that Congress ought to consider giving the US military the lead role in responding to natural disasters, as he heard one general describe the Hurricane Katrina rescue effort as a "train wreck."

What is the meaning of that?? Thanks for your help
  • crispy

    United States, English
    In English, it would be equivalent to say: "[...] the Hurricane Katrina rescue effort as a mess." or "[...] the Hurricane Katrina rescue effort as a debacle."

    It uses metaphor to make it more colorful, but basically when something is described as a "train wreck" is means it is a disaster. Not the "act of God" type of disaster, but just a horrible mess.


    United States, English
    LuLy said:
    Could you give me the translation, please??

    Ah! Well, it would be "un desastre" or "una sitación desesperada," but that really isn't a proper translation as it loses the metaphorical tone. I suspect that Spanish has an equivalent phrase that native speakers might know which would be more visual. Unfortunately, I am a relatively new student of Spanish, so I'm not really qualified to translate beyond basic meanings.


    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Something like this:

    George Bush dijo que el Congreso debe considerar dar a la militaría el papel principal en responder a los desastres naturales, ya que escuchó a un general describir la esfuerza de rescatar víctimas del huracán Katrina como un lío (un desastre, un embrollo).

    Sorry, I'm sure you'll have to refine it.


    Senior Member
    en ese y otros contextos se puede traducir "train wreck" por "despropósito"
    claro que pierde el sentido metafórico, pero a menudo la traduccion perfecta no existe...