Velatorio

SylviaF

Senior Member
English/French
Hi,
I'm looking for the English translation of this word which appears in a Mexican document - the only translation I can find is "wake, vigil" but that doesn't fit the context - it appears in the following list of services :
"Servicios sociales, como Guarderías, tiendas, velatorios, centros de entretenimiento"
Thanks in advance

 
  • mariente

    Banned
    Español, Argentina (somewhere in the planet Urban)
    "wakes" se dice
    Está perfecto quiere decir que el velorio es uno de los servicios cubiertos por la empresa
     

    lachenni81

    Senior Member
    England, Spanish / English
    Ya hace tiempo de esta pregunta, pero yo también buscaba VELATORIO como lugar físico dentro de un tanatorio, y no creo que la respuesta "wake" de aquí sea acertada. Wake es la "celebración" creo yo, pero no el lugar. Yo diría que velatorio es algo así como "family room" en este contexto.
     

    cirrus

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Do you mean a chapel of rest? It's the place where a body is kept before the funeral (long gone are the days when you put your grandad in a coffin in a corner of the front room).
     

    Elibennet

    Senior Member
    Buenos Aires Argentina - castellano
    Una Casa Velatoria is the place where the body is kept before it is buried, and everybody goes there to express their grief. This used to be done in the deseased´s house, but this is not common nowadays.
    Velatorio is all this .
    Donde estuviste anoche? Were were you last night?
    En el velatorio de mi vecina. At my neighbour´s velatorio.
    And yes, it is one more social service: we are born, go to school, get sick, get married, and eventually we also die!
     

    SylviaF

    Senior Member
    English/French
    Yes, it was the word "wake" that surpised me, because it's rather out-dated in English. I used the more general "funeral services" in my translation in the end, which fitted the context and was clear in English, even though not perhaps an exact translation.
    Many thanks to all of you for your invaluable help and explanations.
    SylviaF
     

    cirrus

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Yes, it was the word "wake" that surpised me, because it's rather out-dated in English.
    SylviaF
    I wouldn't say that it's old fashioned. Wakes still happen. The difference is these days it's more often the word for the drinking that happens after the funeral.
     

    Grey Fox

    Senior Member
    UK - English
    As with so many translation problems, there are often quite big cultural differences which mean that words carry very different connotations and one has to be very careful how they are used.

    The kind of "velatorio" I've become very accustomed to attending here in Argentina bears no similarity to the kind of "wake" one might attend in UK. For a start, the "velatorio" is before the funeral whereas a "wake", as pointed out by cirrus, is afterwards. All and sundry turn up to "pay their respects", both to the mourners and to the deceased - the coffin may be still open or already closed. It was the first time I had ever seen a dead body, and quite a shock! It's quite a social thing, a lot of "being seen" and "being seen to be doing the right thing" by attending, if only briefly to mumble something clumsily to the bereaved and sidle up to the coffin and bow one's head reverently.

    The family generally install themselves in a "family room" at the funeral parlour to be able to be on hand to receive all-comers and wait for the time appointed for the funeral - usually the day after the death, so the "velatorio" shares something of the old-fashioned "all-night vigil", but many here choose to close the doors overnight for security, as it's the done thing for all and sundry to call in "as a mark of respect", unless it's specifically publicised as "family and friends only" etc.

    The funeral parlour usually offers a very discreet and minimal refreshment service, tea/coffee/refilling thermoses with hot water for mate, etc. That is NOT what is meant in English by "funeral services", which would be interpreted as the religious ceremony before committing the body to burial/cremation.

    A "wake", as cirrus says, is after the funeral, and usually for family and closest friends/colleagues, discreetly invited to "come along afterwards". This is generally only called a wake if it's the kind of gathering that turns into a prolonged drinking session, as cirrus says, and depending on the people involved! The awkward polite cup of tea and a sandwich would hardly be worthy of the term "wake", IMHO!

    Sorry to go into so much detail, but some of the comments by Spanish-speakers above seem to be quite unaware that the English-speaking world is strongly influenced by protestant cultural traditions as opposed to the predominant Catholicism of the Spanish-speaking world. This means that not only the traditions and activities associated with these essentially religious ceremonies, but the words used to describe and refer to them, may differ greatly or take on different meanings, or simply not exist. That's of prime importance to us when translating, and so hard for one who has perhpas never experienced the word in its natural setting and everyday use, in the other country/culture.

    I hope these comments and insights help anyone trying to make sense of this particular word. It's certainly not meant as a criticism of the comments that were a little wide of the mark, just sharing personal experience that might help shed light and enable others to at least get a feel of what it's about.
     

    SylviaF

    Senior Member
    English/French
    Dear Grey Fox,
    Many thanks indeed for your explanation. This is just the kind of information and insights I need and look for in this forum, information that is not found in word dictionaries. This, to me, is what translating is all about and it's what makes it interesting. I am grateful for the time and effort you have put into your response.
    It is one o'clock in the morning here so I will say good night.
    All the best,
    SylviaF
     

    Grey Fox

    Senior Member
    UK - English
    So pleased to be of use, SylviaF! It's a pleasure, and gave me a welcome break from a job I was working on - it helped me to stand back from my own problem of how to render "velatorio" in English! I'm only sorry I wasn't in on this thread back at the beginning when you were struggling with yours! I, too, greatly value this forum and the very helpful comments and insights people share here.
     
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