una escalera de vecinos

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by suth1087, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. suth1087 New Member

    English - USA
    Hello everybody!
    I came across the phrase "una escalera de vecinos" in an El Pais article. I was curious as to what it meant. The Secretary of Migration for the UGT in Spain said "'Esto no es una escalera de vecinos. El ministro se dará pronto cuenta de que determinadas cosas no son posibles'" to describe the new migration policies that the Government is implementing in Spain (for example the segregation of immigrant kids from native kids in schools). The 'determinadas cosas' are these new policies. The article is basically describing how the Government does not openly say that there is a change in immigration policy occurring, but, looking at recently implemented policies, it seems that there is one.
    Based on the context, I think it might mean that to implement these policies won't be easy? or that the policies will probably be controversial and hard to implement? Please let me know what you think.
    Any help would be great, I'm just looking to figure out another Spanish phrase! Thank you!!
  2. Chris K Senior Member

    Tacoma WA, US
    English / US
    Welcome to the forum. It could be, if the minister means that less consideration is to be offered to immigrants, that he is saying that the educational system will not provide a ladder for people from neighboring countries to gain a place in Spanish society. Just a guess.
  3. suth1087 New Member

    English - USA
    Thanks for the welcome. I think your guess makes a lot more sense than mine, thank you!
  4. alf000 New Member

    Hi. Perhaps this may help you.
    I´ve heard “esto no es una escalera de vecinos” or the more common “esto no es un patio de vecinos”. A “patio o escalera de vecinos” makes references to a indoor space where you could hang out the clothes in old buildings, and any bored gossip used the place for chattering. It refers to a time when there was not a TV in every home: people got bored in home and popped out the head to talk.
    The expression means “this is not a place for idle gossip” or, in the context, “the policy sounds well, but even he knows it will not work at all”. So the Secretary is saying that the new measures are only gossip, impossible to be applied. Thus the “some things are not possible here”.
  5. EllieMP New Member

    USA/Living in Spain
    I agree. I think they're implying exactly that!

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