La gloria de los feos por Rosa Montero traducción en inglés [The glory of the ugly ones, English translation]

Aquí tiene la versión original en español: Rumbos, Curso Intermedio de Español p.203

**Esta traducción fue solamente para la diversión y no se debe usar por tarea sino como una guía.

The glory of the ugly ones 

I noticed Lupe and Lolo; it has been many years, but they were, without a doubt, the strange ones of the neighbourhood. There are kids that were different ever since they were born, and they know this and suffer because of this difference. They are those kids who always fall during recess; who walk like lost souls [lit: souls doing penance] from group to group, begging for a friend. It was enough for the teacher to call them to the chalkboard for the rest of the class to erupt in laughter, although in fact, there is nothing comical about them, other than the fact that they are victims meekly accepting their fate.

Lupe and Lolo were like that: they were born under a bad sign [lit: they carry a black star on their brow]. Lupe was the daughter of our neighbour from the third floor, a busty, spherical woman. The little girl came out round ever since she was very small; she was clumsy and, from the knees down, her legs escaped each one like the disjointed hands of a compass. It isn’t that she was fat, but she was poorly made, with a body that resembled a torpedo and a chin jutting out directly from her sternum.

But the worse of all was something inside her; something bleak and unfinished. She was handsome of face: she had grey eyes and very black hair, a well-formed mouth, a correct nose. But she had a crude look, and her face was erased by an expression of perpetual stupor. Since she was little, I saw her approaching the cliques of the other kids: she has always been bulky and head and shoulders taller than the rest. But the rest of the kids seemed to ignore her massive presence, her glassy stare; they continued to play without paying her any attention, as if the girl did not exist. At the beginning, Lupe ran behind them, elephantine and awkward, intending to be one of them, but by the time she would arrive at their hangouts, the rest would have already gone. I saw her resign herself to her non-existence with the passing years. She would spend her days walking alone in the neighbourhood, always tracing the same path around the same street corners, with the vacant and futile determination of those fish that swim around and around in their bowls.

As for Lolo, he lived very far from my house, on another street. I noticed him because one day, the other guys left him tied to a lamp post in the gardens of the square. It was the month of August, at three in the afternoon. There was an infernal heat, and the lamp post was in the sun, its metal scorching. I untied the kid, his eyes were tear-filled and his nose dripped; I offered to accompany him to his house and asked him who had done this to him. “They didn’t mean to do it.” He answered in between hiccups brought on by his sobbing: “It’s because they have forgotten me”.  And left running. He was a  rail-thin kid, with a sunken chest and legs like toothpicks. He walked leaning forward, as if there was always a furious wind blowing right in front of him, and he was so fragile that it seemed like he would fall apart at any given moment. He had bristly red hair, huge nostrils and frightening eyes. A face like a mask on a carnival attraction, a joke of a face. At that time, he should have just celebrated his 10th birthday.

A little while later, I found out his name because the other kids were calling him all the time. Just like how Lupe was invisible, Lolo seemed to be omnipresent: the other guys never ceased to martyr him, as if his pathetic, grasshopper-like  aspect awakened in the others a sort of entomological ferocity. By the way, one time, Lupe and Lolo chanced upon each other in the square; but they didn’t even look at each other. They repelled one another, as if suffering from the plague.

The years passed, and one afternoon, it was the first hot day in the month of May, I saw coming down the empty street an unusual creature; it was a skinny boy of about 15 years wearing a shirt of fluorescent green. His jeans, much too short, allowed a glimpse of his bony ankles and shins similarly thin; but the worse was the hair, a clump of thick, dry, red hair, combed with hair grease in a style that wouldn’t have looked out of place in the 50s, like an immense ensaimada (a type of Spanish breakfast pastry that looks a bit like a cinnamon bun) over his cranium. It did not take me a lot of work to recognize him; it was Lolo, although a Lolo who has grown and been transformed into a disastrous adolescent. He continued to walk leaning forwards, although now it seemed like this was due to the weight of his hair; a kind of flying saucer circling his head which kept him unbalanced.

And then I saw her. Lupe. She was coming down the sidewalk in the opposite direction. She had also undergone a growth spurt the past winter. She had developed the same heavy bosom as her mother and together with her short neck, gave the impression that her head is being carried on a tray. She had dyed her beautiful dark hair just like a punk. They were both, in summary, frankly frightening; they had flourished, conforming to their fates as ridiculous beings. But one can see them filled with longing for life as they neared each other on the war path [creative license here to make it make sense].

The rest, in the end, happened in an inevitable manner. They were self-absorbed and collided with one another. They looked at each other then as if seeing each other for the first time, and fell in love immediately. It was the 11th of May and, although maybe you guys don’t remember, when the eyes of Lolo and Lupe met, the world trembled, the seas were stirred, and the skies were filled with ardent meteors. The ugly and the pathetic also have their glorious moments.

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3 comentarios to “La gloria de los feos por Rosa Montero traducción en inglés [The glory of the ugly ones, English translation]”

  1. Tengo tres comentarios:
    1) “Alma en pena” no significa “Soul in pain” sino “Soul doing penance”. En la tradición católica existe la superstición de que a las almas que están en el purgatorio se les permite venir a la tierra a hacer penitencia por sus pecados y acortar así el tiempo de su condena en el purgatorio. Se dice que a veces se aparecen por la noche en los caminos. Juancho, el niño protagonista de “El Hombre de Plata”, de Isabel Allende, tiene miedo porque va con su perra de noche por un camino solitario y le dice a esta: “No te pongas a aullar, perra lesa, mira que vienen las ánimas a penar”. Esto ha dado lugar a la expresión “como alma en pena”, que según el diccionario de la RAE, significa: “solo, triste y melancólico”.
    2) Seguramente hay un error en el original que Ud. utilizó, ya que Lolo no tiene “el pelo hundido”, sino “el pecho hundido”.
    3) La ensaimada es muy difícil de traducir y quizás hizo bien en no hacerlo. Lo más aproximado sería: “Spanish breakfast pastry”.
    Pero, en general, su traducción me ha parecido muy bien, sobre todo, considerando su advertencia de que la hizo solamente como diversión.
    Cordialmente,
    María Canteli Dominicis

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