Thanks to Philip, who sent this in and suggested a better wording for the punch line. … Which we’ll print below the cartoon image, so you have a moment to comment with your own suggestion first, if you like.
As Philip asks, Wouldn’t this be better as “Making a cool car is hot work.”?
I think we have established pretty confidently that Baldo is done in English first then translated for the Spanish edition; so missing the pun-portunity in the English is not likely explained as translation problem from the Spanish original . Nonetheless, for whatever light it may shed, here is the Spanish version:
(Or as Google Translate would put it: Nosotros estamos enviando mensajes de texto todo el tiempo.)
Our recent foray into the Baldo translation mysteries included an interesting subthread on whether the Spanish seemed to reflect any particular national-origin variety of the language (or since the setting is in the U.S. , there might be contemporary U.S.-regional varieties at play ) , or rather a textbook or generic Western Hemisphere compromise variety of the language. Also in question was “official, standard” language versus slang and colloquial.
Last week’s and this week’s strips provide a wealth of material bearing on those issues. The teen characters are doing a lot of texting, so we get to see the handling of such matters as: standard texting abbreviations; spontaneous abbreviations or “shorthand”; accidental typos, and bad autocorrect and autocomplete insertions; and intrusion of English terms instead of “official” Spanish. Thus for OMG they stick with OMG in the Spanish context, though I think elsewhere I’ve seen DM (for Dios mío not in this case Direct Message); and “texting” in both English and Spanish versions.
(Two wordless strips depict a deepening of the romantic jealousy crisis.)
(For anyone paying close attention to the dates, there were strips over the weekend that were not part of this series.)
I.e. , What does this word “means” mean? Or maybe What does this Spanish word “significa” mean?
In the Spanish version, Baldo’s question in panel 3 ¿Qué significa eso? he speculatively answers for himself with sort of paraphrases of Sergio’s [Papi’s] saying from panel 2, but tending more toward argumentative applications to his current situation. When Sergio answers in panel 4 by just repeating the saying verbatim and asserting that is the meaning, he is bringing down Baldo’s flights of fancy and special pleading by just repeating the idea, for an “it is what it is” effect. All of this makes easy sense.
In the English version, Sergio’s saying in panel 2 is originally presented in Spanish, then repeated in panel 4 in English translation. So It means … in panel 4 amounts to It would be translated as … . Then when we look at Baldo’s What does that mean … in panel 3, is he still only asking for significance and situational applications (which he then supplies, sometimes ironically)? Or is he in any part asking for help in translation? (Since a translation is what he gets.)
Okay, “And now you know why” — why *what*? Why you haven’t stopped by in a while? No, it doesn’t explain Baldo’s own actions to himself. It could make sense as why he’s been banned from the shop; or more gently, why Sergio has discouraged him from visiting. But neither degree of that has been conveyed in the earlier part of the encounter.
This is from a book, Otto: A Palindrama by Jon Agee. It was brought to our attention by (and we picked up the image from) an online book review by Gene Ambaum, attached to his Library Comic newsletter.
Pastis is trying so hard in this one, how can we pass up enjoying another look?
Unless it’s disqualified because one of the characters is consciously making the pun joke?
Falco titled this “The Red Hoodie” in his enewsletter. But do we accept that these characters would use the plain form “hood” for either of the meanings required here? Mebbe.
Sent by larK, who points out numerous holes in Baldo’s account. “So, he’s not mowing the lawn, but he said he would, yet he claims he doesn’t lie, at least outside of social media: did he state his intention to mow the lawn on social media? Otherwise: huh? And either way, this is funny why? Ha, ha, we all lie on social media?”
We think we’ve pretty much established that Baldo is written in English and translated to produce the Spanish edition. Nonetheless, here is the same day in Spanish, in case it proves helpful to anyone:
Back in last November, in this “OY collection” post, we discussed a Baldo strip and the matching Baldo en Español where an element of the joke doesn’t come thru in the Spanish version, and combined this observation with other instances, as well as “About” tab type info and external sources, to agree that the strip seems usually to have been first written in English, then translated for the Spanish version.
(In that November post, if you feel like scrolling back, there was also a fun digression stemming from a different comic, on a style of word-play puzzle called by some “Dingbats”, a sort of text-layout rebus.)
In March, Arnold Zwicky’s Blog discussed a related example, with the same conclusion, where the English Baldo was about English language spelling and pronunciation (just pointing out that tough, cough, and dough give different sounds to the -ough sequence of letters) and the Baldo en Españoljust used the Spanish translations of those words, which really don’t resemble each other in any special way, certainly not rhyming. Zwicky also brought up some possibilities on how the Spanish version could have been handled. (And yes, that’s me popping into the comments.) .
Now lookit what just showed up on GoComics!
All the Spanish that you really need to know here is that pecado indeed means sin, and pescado means fish (as food).
In the English version, Tía Carmen’s jest is to turn the saying “Hate the sin but love the sinner” into “… love the dinner”. In Spanish she says “… love the fish [we are eating]” which is basically the same idea, but manages to preserve the word-play element because of the resemblance of pecado and pescado.