Trying to finish a story before the deadline (in a month, but I am the panicky type) and listening to Wisin y Yandel, which makes me ruminate on translation. Every time I do any translation work, I struggle, as do all translators, I think, in finding the exact word in another language when sometimes the word just does not exist – not with the same sense or evoking the same sentiment. And I am not even talking about idioms! It is both frustrating and fulfilling (when one solves the puzzle). Onto Spanish a la Wisin y Yandel:
La jefa literally means ‘female boss’, but in the context of a relationship refers to one’s wife/girlfriend. Still can’t think of a good translation for this, though. On endearments, mami chula. Anyone care to have a whack at this?
Un besito* con baba = a little kiss with saliva (lit.) Anyone for a wet kiss, or French kiss? Yeah, me too. *On this, I keep hearing un besita con baba, which means I might either be mad, or hearing things, or it’s ungrammatical, or WyY just wants to rhyme it.
My favourite: pegao(n.)/pegar(v.)
(n.) A sort of close type of dancing, more dirty than not. Also, v. to mean to dance pegao. Comes from pegar (to stick) and I find this a wonderful extension of the word. Very innovative, reiterates why I like listening to urban music. Viz. Que violenta/ Cuando te pegas a mi cuerpo lento : How violent [the feeling] when you dance, slow, close, to my body. (Me Estas Tentando, Wisin y Yandel) And evocative, too, on par with ‘waistline makes my soldier salute’ (Beautiful, Akon), although the latter amuses, while the former is a little more…sensual.
Also, interesting, WyY (same song) uses Que sediento/ Me siento: Such thirst I feel [for you]. The English usage would be ‘to hunger for someone’.