Jonathan and Denise >
We subscribe to the online newspaper Diario de Navarra, with the object of helping the development of our Spanish language – even when we’re here in Uist.
Of course, we have to resort to bilingual dictionaries and online translation tools, not least because headlines (everywhere) tend to have their own set of linguistic rules! That said, and for the same reasons, those same translation tools we resort to can leave us even more confused. Or in this case, polyconfused.
It’s actually the use of our gradually accumulating vocabulary and that hard-to-explain awareness of how the language is used, that is the key to turning this nonsense from Google into an accurate understanding of a local news story.
Vuelta is to turn, and campana is a bell, and as this concerns a 28-yr old young man we leap to the tentative assumption that vueltas de campana might actually mean ‘hand-brake turns’.
We acknowledge that doing multiple – da varias – of these in quick succession might bring on a dizzy spell, perhaps even a degree of ‘confusion’, but we are confident in believing that, in fact, contusiones corresponds exactly with the English word ‘contusions’ – ie bruises. Poly – a latin element common to many European languages – means ‘many’.
So our translation is : ‘Handbrake turns leave 28yr old man with multiple bruises’.
Well, we did say it was local news. At least it makes a change from political posturing, drug dealers, violent arguments between neighbours, or deadly accidents on the N-121.