there there

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Back reading a few pages of 'Trampa 22' and Yossarian says 'vaya vaya' to the injured Snowden -would this be the usual way to say 'there there'? (the totally useless thing we say when someone is hurt and there is not much we can do about it)

1975 views
updated ENE 1, 2012
posted by tad

11 Answers

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'vaya vaya' as we would say in Britain: my my...(is that the correct spelling I wonder') or well, well.

In any case without more context...Can you post a sentence? or some of them?

I would not think of it the way James interpretes it.

updated ENE 1, 2012
posted by 00494d19
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James Santiago said:

I'll stick to my boring patents...


I'm sure they are full of creative angst. wink

updated OCT 30, 2008
posted by tad
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I found it in the googleverse. It's all out there.

Literary translations are two parts translation and one part creative writing. The translator can't capture some things, and creates other things on her own. So a truly good translation of a book, one that conveys the authentic spirit of the original, is a work of art in its own right.

I'll stick to my boring patents...

updated OCT 30, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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James Santiago said:

They did not blow up in mid-air like Kraft or the dead man in Yossarian's tent, or freeze to death in the blazing summertime the way Snowden had frozen to death after spilling his secret to Yossarian in the back of the plane.

Did you type all that or cut and paste from somewhere? I've thought about buying the English version, but I know I'll succumb to relying on it too much.
'...after spilling his secret to Yossarian in the back of the plane': very clever use of words regarding the nature of Snowden's injury -in my version we just have 'tras haberle confesado su secreto a Yossarian en el avión. I guess translators can't pick up every nuance -or it is just impossible to do so.

updated OCT 30, 2008
posted by tad
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samdie said:

"There, there" is more the sort of thing one would say to a child who has suffered a (minor) injury (just before saying "let me kiss it and make it all better!").

Yes, I guess I'm asking if the translator has come up with the best job here.

updated OCT 30, 2008
posted by tad
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James Santiago said:

Well there you go...


Yes sorry , I missed a couple of replies whilst checking it.

updated OCT 30, 2008
posted by tad
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Well there you go...

updated OCT 30, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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Gosh, I've just looked and realized that my memory was playing tricks.

"Tengo frío" gimoteaba Snowden. "Tengo frío"
"Vamos, vamos" le decía Yossarian para animarlo. "Vamos, vamos"

Which was the reason for my question. 'Vamos, vamos' seems to me more like 'come on, come on' or 'let's go!' which is much more 'proactive' especially with the 'para animarlo' tagged on.

I was a teenager when I read the book first time round but I'm fairly sure in the original he says 'there there'

updated OCT 30, 2008
posted by tad
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Samdie's right that we would need to know the exact context to know what was meant, but the following is an excerpt from the original.

There were usually not nearly as many sick people inside the hospital as Yossarian saw outside the hospital, and there were generally fewer people inside the hospital who were seriously sick. There was a much lower death rate inside the hospital than outside the hospital, and a much healthier death rate. Few people died unnecessarily. People knew a lot more about dying inside the hospital and made a much neater, more orderly job of it. They couldn't dominate Death inside the hospital, but they certainly made her behave. They had taught her manners. They couldn't keep Death out, but while she was in she had to act like a lady. People gave up the ghost with delicacy and taste inside the hospital. There was none of that crude, ugly ostentation about dying that was so common outside the hospital. They did not blow up in mid-air like Kraft or the dead man in Yossarian's tent, or freeze to death in the blazing summertime the way Snowden had frozen to death after spilling his secret to Yossarian in the back of the plane.

"I'm cold," Snowden had whimpered. "I'm cold."

"There, there," Yossarian had tried to comfort him. "There, there."

updated OCT 30, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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Scenes like this can result in some really weird dialog (when translated). I've been especially struck by Japanese movies which (in the subtitles) say things like "Be brave" or "Don't give up!" when the Japanese say "Gambatte!" of "Shikari shirou!" (this to someone who is on the point of dying) (James will surely supply corrections to my Japanese transcriptions). The problem is that these are quintessentially emotive expressions and "close" translations almost never work in these situations. In American cinema dialog they seem to favor things like "Stay with me!", "Hang on!", etc.

"There, there" is more the sort of thing one would say to a child who has suffered a (minor) injury (just before saying "let me kiss it and make it all better!").

updated OCT 30, 2008
posted by samdie
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I think that's right. Other ways to say it would be cálmate and vamos. Yaya as an exclamation is used in quite a few different ways, but I think one way is to mean "Come on, come on now" in an encouraging sort of way.

Let's see what others think.

updated OCT 30, 2008
posted by 00bacfba