Nada menos se me occuri贸

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This is something I found in one of my Spanish textbooks.

"Nada menos se me occurió que ir a visitar a mi antiguo profesor."

I am of the opinion that the first part would translate into English as something like, "Whatever possessed me to ..." or "why on earth would I ..."

I would really appreciate an explanation and/or clarification/correction. Thank you all!

8254 views
updated ENE 19, 2009
posted by Pete-HKK

18 Answers

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LadyDi said:

Could 'nada menos' in this context be a synonym for 'nada más'?

As in, 'No se me ocurrió nada más que ir a visitar mi antiguo profesor. In English, it would be something like, 'The only thing I could think of to do was to go pay my former professor a visit.' I think this is probably similar to what Janice said.

Yeah, i think it all came from "nada mas y nada menos que":

Se me ocurrió nada menos que ir a visitar a mi antiguo profesor.
No se me ocurrió nada más que ir a visitar a mi atiguo profesor.
Se me ocurrió nada más y nada menos que ir a visitar a mi antiguo profesor.

updated ENE 19, 2009
posted by Miguel
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Why don't you see if you can find out how/where to write the author? Perhaps via the publisher? What is the title? Is it a text book used in a school or university?

Peter Spanton said:

This is all interesting stuff!

LadyDi makes a very good point, as the English does make sense.

I think the book author (J.R.Scarr not Carr!), was basing the book on Spain. Perhaps it was a typo!

I'm going to send the sentence to some penpals I have in South America.

I'd like to keep this research going.

Gracia a todo.

>

updated ENE 19, 2009
posted by Janice
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This is all interesting stuff!

LadyDi makes a very good point, as the English does make sense.

I think the book author (J.R.Scarr not Carr!), was basing the book on Spain. Perhaps it was a typo!

I'm going to send the sentence to some penpals I have in South America.

I'd like to keep this research going.

Gracia a todo.

updated ENE 19, 2009
posted by Pete-HKK
0
votes

Could 'nada menos' in this context be a synonym for 'nada más'?

As in, 'No se me ocurrió nada más que ir a visitar mi antiguo profesor. In English, it would be something like, 'The only thing I could think of to do was to go pay my former professor a visit.' I think this is probably similar to what Janice said.

updated ENE 18, 2009
posted by LadyDi
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Peter Spanton said:

Hi Miguel, The full sentence in my book (Present Day Spanish - Volume 2 by J.R.Carr), is "Nada menos se me occurió que ir a visitar a mi antiguo profesor de latin y declararle mi ignorancia y mis temores". Would this perhaps make a difference to the order you specified?

There seems to be many differences of opinion on this matter!

Gracias por su ayuda.

Hi!,

it still doesnt make any sense to me. It sounds weird at least here in Spain, maybe it is from other country where spanish is spoken, I dont know. Here you should change the word order as i said. Im gonna try to translate the main idea and see if you understand it:

Se me ocurrió [nada menos que] ir a visitar a mi antiguo profesor.

It occurred to me [no less that] visiting my old professor.

As you can see, if you read what it is between brackets it emphasize that visiting your old professor was something exceptional or unexpected or unusual. But this cannot be written at the begining:

No less that It occurred to me visiting my old professor. -> It sounds weird, at least in spanish, i think that in english too confused

updated ENE 18, 2009
posted by Miguel
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Hi Miguel,

The full sentence in my book (Present Day Spanish - Volume 2 by J.R.Carr), is "Nada menos se me occurió que ir a visitar a mi antiguo profesor de latin y declararle mi ignorancia y mis temores".

Would this perhaps make a difference to the order you specified?

There seems to be many differences of opinion on this matter!

Gracias por su ayuda.

updated ENE 18, 2009
posted by Pete-HKK
0
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Para mi no tiene ningún sentido la frase a no ser que se cambie el orden:

Se me ocurrió, nada menos que ir a visitar a mi antiguo profesor.

Se usa "nada menos" para indicar que es raro ó inesperado ir a visitar al antiguo profesor.

It doesn't make any sense to me unless you change the word order as follows

Se me ocurrió, nada menos que ir a visitar a mi antiguo profesor.

In this case, "nada menos" is used to emphasized that visiting your old professor is something weird or unexpected.

updated ENE 18, 2009
posted by Miguel
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Thanks James!

James Santiago said:

Peter,The "Whatever possessed me to ..." in your original question might be expressed as follows.What (in the world) could have possessed me to say such a thing'¿Qué (demonios) me habrá llevado a decir tal cosa?

>

updated ENE 18, 2009
posted by Pete-HKK
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Peter,
The "Whatever possessed me to ..." in your original question might be expressed as follows.

What (in the world) could have possessed me to say such a thing?
¿Qué (demonios) me habrá llevado a decir tal cosa'

updated ENE 18, 2009
posted by 00bacfba
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It seems to me now that perhaps that "Nada menos se me occurió ..." denotes a sort of obligation that a visit was necessary rather than just a phone-call or letter.

If this is the case, then I have my answer clarified nicely. Thank you all!

I would like to continue with this topic if possible. It's so interesting!

updated ENE 18, 2009
posted by Pete-HKK
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Depending on the context of the previous sentences, could the

updated ENE 18, 2009
posted by 0074b507
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This is the meaning I took from it also. Nothing less occured to me than to go to all the trouble of going back and seeing my old professor in person. , as if less effort would have been made if it was possible to get the same result. like a phone call just wouldn't do.

Janice said:

I am just a beginner in Spanish --with nothing but book learning behind me (oh, and more importantly, audio listening,) But I get the sense that the protagonist is expressing something different from what is suggested by the translation you are supposing.

It seems to me that this author has come to some important conclusion for some reason (which we do not know, of course) and has decided that, although unpleasant, he (or she) will have to go back and face an old, (perhaps unliked, perhaps too strict) Latin teacher and admit to ignorance and whatever "temores" means.

May I (humbly) try this translation: "I didn't see how I could do anything less than to go back and see my old Latin professor and tell him about my ignorance and fears" (I looked up "temor"grin

My sentence isn't terrific English. And good translators, especially of literature and poetry, could probably be writers and poets in their own right. But I think my translation might make a case for what "nada menos" could mean in your Spanish sentence.

However, we must wait for someone who speaks Spanish to add his or her thoughts based on now having the full sentence. I noted that when Lazarus1907 replied, he did not have the benefit of the sentence, but only of a snippet.

If the words still do not make sense to the Spanish speakers -- even within the context of the whole sentence -- then I hope an administrator will delete my silly postgrin

Peter Spanton said:

Thanks. Yes it is a strange one. I couldn't get a clear clarification from my Spanish teacher here either.The full sentence in my book is: "Nada menos se me occurió que ir a visitar a mi antiguo profesor de latin y declararle mi ignorancia y mis temores"Basically I think " what possessed me to ..", "why on earth did I ...", "it was nothing short of (stupid) that I .." or something like these might be right. I'd be very interested in getting to the bottom of this! Thanks!

>

updated ENE 18, 2009
posted by The-Steve
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Thanks James. More interesting comments!

James Santiago said:

I have seen "nada menos (que)" to mean "no less" or "none other," as in:"I got a phone call from Barack Obama, no less""I got a phone call from none other than Barack Obama"In this usage, the nada menos emphasizes that the occurrence or person was unexpected or rare. That is similar to the translations you have proposed, but your translations have a strongly negative connotation, while I don't see that in the Spanish. I get the feel that it literally is "It occurred to me no less that I should go visit my old teacher...," which might be reprased as "I got it into my head that I should go visit my old teacher."Hope this helps.

>

updated ENE 18, 2009
posted by Pete-HKK
0
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I have seen "nada menos (que)" to mean "no less" or "none other," as in:

"I got a phone call from Barack Obama, no less"
"I got a phone call from none other than Barack Obama"

In this usage, the nada menos emphasizes that the occurrence or person was unexpected or rare. That is similar to the translations you have proposed, but your translations have a strongly negative connotation, while I don't see that in the Spanish. I get the feel that it literally is "It occurred to me no less that I should go visit my old teacher...," which might be reprased as "I got it into my head that I should go visit my old teacher."

Hope this helps.

updated ENE 18, 2009
posted by 00bacfba
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Thanks Janice. You made some interesting points. I look forward to hearing from our native Spanish friends!

updated ENE 18, 2009
posted by Pete-HKK