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A quote from a review of Steinbeck's "The Wayward Bus" by Jeremy Garber: As Steinbeck wrote the first synopsis of The Wayward Bus in Spanish, he had originally chosen El Camion Vacilador as the book's title. He writes, "the word vacilador, or the verb vacilar , is not translatable unfortunately, and it's a word we really need in English because to be vacilando means that you're aiming at some place, but you don't care much whether you get there. We don't have such a word in English. Wayward has an overtone of illicitness or illegality, based of course on medieval lore where wayward men were vagabonds. But vacilador is not a vagabond at all.

Is this so?


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
Posts: 4434 | Location: In a cornfield in central IndianaReply With QuoteReport This Post
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No. Vacilar is translatable. According to my Collins Spanish Dictionary:

quote:
to be unsteady; to falter; to flicker; to hesitate, waver; (persona) to stagger, stumble; (memoria) to fail


It's cognate with vacillate.
 
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Here's another highly subjective discussion of the word, this one from a translators' forum called PROZ.com 'the translation workplace':

aventurero, vagabundo (suggested synonyms in Sp)
Explanation:
The word vacilador is from a book written by John Steinbeck entitled "Travels with Charlie". There is no direct English translation. Loosely translated, it means to go looking for something in a place you know it doesn't exist, but what you find is better than what you were looking for in the first place.

Curioser & curioser! this quote refers to a second Steinbeck work...

Goofy, I gather these folks are trying to get at some ineffable something buried in the cultural usage of the word, as literary translators are wont to do.
 
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quote:
some ineffable something


Would a virgin qualify?


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
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The term "vacilar" has different meanings in different countries in Latin America.

The original Spanish word means "to hesitate", "to be not so sure... think twice..."

In Peru, Colombia and Cuba, "vacilar" has the same meaning, but this word in its 'slangy' version means "to have a good time"!! "Vamos a vacilar" !!!!

In Mexico and Peru, it means "to tease" (¿Me estás vacilando? Are you playing a joke on me? Are you pulling my leg?)?

"Vacilar" also means "to sway"... "to move randomly".... "to stagger"... "to flicker" (a flame).

OK... enough VACILON !!!
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Proofreader:
quote:
some ineffable something


Would a virgin qualify?

Eek Big Grin
 
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quote:
Originally posted by carlopeto:

OK... enough VACILON !!!


I never get sick of this stuff, carlopeto, it's fascinating stuff, thanks for the details. Most of these I've picked up from context, but I need all the Mexican slang I can get for my fave detective novels. I probably would have guessed 'vamos a vacilar' meant 'let's go get in trouble [probably while drinking]' Cool
 
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Vamos a vacilar con vaselina? It worked for John Travolta.
http://www.allcollection.net/j...ula-grease~x16449595


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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