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Thread: Is this ambiguous or is it just me?

 
  1. #1
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    Default Is this ambiguous or is it just me?

    Hi! I made a mistake and posted this in the wrong place!! Sorry!

    I'm brushing up on my pretty-long-ago-acquired Spanish by reading books by Spanish authors and then checking the English versions of those books. Below is a sentence where I have doubts about the translation as it appears in the English version of the book, focused on the word "apuntar", whose meaning I checked in multiple dictionaries. The sentence in question is:

    -Cuando es blanca y viene embotellada, suele tratarse de leche -respondió por fin, críptico, mas no tanto como para que el juez no apuntara una sonrisa.


    There seems to be two possible translations. One is:" When it's white and comes in a bottle, it tends to be milk", he responded at last, cryptically, but not so much so that the judge didn't note a smile.

    So, in this translation the person who makes the cryptic remark about the milk is the smiler.

    But here's another interpretation: "“If it’s white and in a bottle, it tends to be milk,”he answered, cryptically, at last, but not so cryptically that the judge didn’t smile slightly.

    So the second has the judge doing the smiling, if you interpret "apuntar" as meaning "suggests" or "hints at" which is included among the meanings in the dictionary,

    But I'm very unsure of this and would like the guidance of people far more fluent than I: who's doing the smiling, the cryptic one or the judge?

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    Default Re: Is this ambiguous or is it just me?

    Quote Originally Posted by graviton View Post
    Hi! I made a mistake and posted this in the wrong place!! Sorry!

    I'm brushing up on my pretty-long-ago-acquired Spanish by reading books by Spanish authors and then checking the English versions of those books. Below is a sentence where I have doubts about the translation as it appears in the English version of the book, focused on the word "apuntar", whose meaning I checked in multiple dictionaries. The sentence in question is:

    -Cuando es blanca y viene embotellada, suele tratarse de leche -respondió por fin, críptico, mas no tanto como para que el juez no apuntara una sonrisa.


    There seems to be two possible translations. One is:" When it's white and comes in a bottle, it tends to be milk", he responded at last, cryptically, but not so much so that the judge didn't note a smile.

    So, in this translation the person who makes the cryptic remark about the milk is the smiler.

    But here's another interpretation: "“If it’s white and in a bottle, it tends to be milk,”he answered, cryptically, at last, but not so cryptically that the judge didn’t smile slightly.

    So the second has the judge doing the smiling, if you interpret "apuntar" as meaning "suggests" or "hints at" which is included among the meanings in the dictionary,

    But I'm very unsure of this and would like the guidance of people far more fluent than I: who's doing the smiling, the cryptic one or the judge?
    My interpretation...

    The person smiling is the judge.

    The person giving the cryptic answer is the person saying that if it is white and it comes in a bottle it tends to be milk. Without having any more background, I would presume it is the accused or the witness.

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    Default Re: Is this ambiguous or is it just me?

    Thank you very much California Man for your response. Actually, the cryptic person is a police detective and he and the "judge" (who is actually an examining magistrate--this story is set in Europe where they have such things) are on the scene of a homicide disguised as a suicide or vice versa: the police detective and examining magistrate have formed diametrically opposed tentative hypotheses about how the victim came to be hanging by a cord from a light fixture.

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