A metaphor which doesn't translate? ramas de sauce

0
votes

Here is the Spanish from the book:

Tenía los rasgos afilados, dibujados a trazo firme bajo una cabellera negra que brillaba como piedra humedecida. Le calculé unos veinte años a lo sumo, pero algo en su porte y en el modo en que el alma parecía caerle a los pies, como las ramas de un sauce, me hizo pensar que no tenía edad.

And the same passage from the English translation of the book:

Her features were sharp, sketched with firm stokes and framed by a black head of hair that shone like damp stone. I figured she must be, at most, twenty, but there was something about her manner that made me think she could be ageless.

You can see that the English translation completely left out the part in bold. What does it mean? * no me suena nada.*

. . . James Santiago tiene la culpa por esto . . . me dio ese enlace maldito. raspberry

2407 views
updated OCT 7, 2008
posted by Natasha

5 Answers

0
votes

James Santiago said:

I've made some changes to the above translation, in case you missed them. I'm not sure here whether "el alma" refers to the speaker or the woman.

In reading the entire paragraph, it seems pretty certain to be the woman's soul. Thanks for the help!!

updated OCT 7, 2008
posted by Natasha
0
votes

I've made some changes to the above translation, in case you missed them. I'm not sure here whether "el alma" refers to the speaker or the woman.

updated OCT 7, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
0
votes

...pero algo en su porte y en el modo en que el alma parecía caerle a los pies, como las ramas de un sauce, me hizo pensar que no tenía edad.

...but there was something in her manner, and in how her heart seemed to sink, like the branches of a willow, that made me think she was ageless.

That's basically what it means, but the metaphor of the willow doesn't really work in English here, so I'd probably change it around a bit, using a saying that matches the feel of drooping willow branches.

updated OCT 7, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
0
votes

Oops . . . I'm embarrassed to admit this . . . I think I looked up sauce in the English-to-Spanish dictionary instead of vice versa.

So: her soul was falling / dragging around her feet like the trailing branches of a willow'

updated OCT 7, 2008
posted by Natasha
0
votes

Well, ramas de sauce means willow branches. The omission in the translation was probably an error. (Hey, even monkeys fall from trees!)

updated OCT 7, 2008
posted by 00bacfba