Did you see the Cuervos win Super Tazón XLVII?

Enlace para español/Link here for Spanish

Dear reader,

For the Spanish-speaking world, the game in which the champion of a league or tournament is decided is known as la final.

Super TazónIn the United States, where P.R. is an art and a science, baseball since 1901 has had its “World Series”, a somewhat immodest name.

And for nearly a half-century now, the NFL’s final game has been known as the Super Bowl. Further marketing brilliance: numbering them with roman numerals: last Sunday’s edition was Super Bowl XLVII… letters that announce an event of historical, or imperial, dimensions.

“Bowl” originally meant just a stadium (first, appar­ently, was Yale’s), due to the hemispheric, amphitheater shape.

Beginning in 1923, the term names a championship game, the Rose Bowl. The Sugar Bowl and Cotton Bowl followed, and dozens more; and in the ‘60s, the NFL’s Super Bowl. (Curiously, the first two Super Bowls, in which the Green Bay Packers defeated first the Kansas City Chiefs and then the Oakland Raiders, were not called by that name; the term “Super Bowl,” and the corresponding roman numerals, were applied retroactively in 1969, the year the New York Jets shocked the sports world by defeating the mighty and heavily-favored Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.)

Spanish-language contact with American foot­ball is recent; only in the ‘80s did Super Tazón come into use: tazón, augmentative of taza (cup), refers to a deep plate or bowl. But Super Tazón is not nearly as widely used in Spanish as the direct calque from English, “Super Bowl”, with its prestige and powerful connotations.

Both Super Bowl teams’ names have a Hispanic connection: the Ravens (Cuervos), allusion to Edgar Allan Poe, who deeply influenced Spanish American literature, and the Forty-Niners (almost never translated into Spanish), refer­ence to the Gold Rush that descended on California after Guadalupe Hidalgo, the treaty that ended the US-Mexican War.

¡Buenas palabras!


Copyright 2013 by Pablo Julián Davis. All Rights Reserved. This essay was originally written for the Feb. 10-16 edition of La Prensa Latina (Memphis, Tennessee), as part of the weekly bilingual column “Misterios y Enigmas de la Traducción/Mysteries and Enigmas of Translation”. Pablo Julián Davis (www.interfluency.com) is an ATA Certified Translator (English>Spanish) and a Supreme Court of Tennessee Certified Court Interpreter for Spanish and English.  


About Pablo Julián Davis
Pablo Julián Davis, PhD, ATA Certified Translator (Engl>Span) and Supreme Court of Tennessee Certified Interpreter (EnglSpan), offers world-class Spanish/English language services including translation, interpreting, copywriting, and editing in both languages. His specialties are legal, business, medical, and humanities/education; he has wide experience in other fields as well. Also offered: interactive and transformative cultural-awareness training for companies, non-profits, communities, government agencies, institutions of faith, and other audiences. (See just a small sampling of testimonials from happy and satisfied clients: interfluency.com/testimonials.html) The ability to move effectively from language to language - which necessarily also means moving between cultures - has likely never been at a greater premium than it is in today's world. That ability is what we mean by Interfluency TM.

3 Responses to Did you see the Cuervos win Super Tazón XLVII?

  1. Pingback: Del “Super Bowl”, tazones, oro y cuervos « Interfluency: Translation+Culture

  2. samira says:

    Muy interesante Pablo

  3. Pingback: Feliz Cumpleaños, Jorge Washington « Interfluency: Translation+Culture

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