Online workshop: English idiomatic expressions translated into Spanish – Part 10

Esta décima sesión es la última de nuestro taller bilingüe de frases hechas. Por supuesto, no están todas las que existen ni de lejos ya que la lista es interminable. Pero si quieres conocer más, pincha en los enlaces incluidos en el banco léxico. Espero que este taller te haya resultado útil y entretenido.

Chase your tail / Run around like a headless chicken=Dar palos de ciego, dar vueltas, andar a vueltas (para nada).

I’ve been chasing my tail all day, but I haven’t got anything done! What a waste of a day!: Llevo todo el día dando vueltas y sin lograr hacer nada. ¡Vaya día perdido!
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Organising a meeting for next week has been impossible. I’ve been chasing my tail trying to sort out a date, venue and agenda… I’ll try again tomorrow!Ha sido imposible organizar una reunión para la semana que viene. He andado dando vueltas para fijar día, lugar y agenda pero al final nada. ¡Mañana volveré a intentarlo! BBCLearningEnglish

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Let/get somebody off the hook (informal)=Escaquearse,  librarse de hacer algo. 

Homework has been a big problem this week. I’m definitely not going to get anywhere frantically trying to conjugate verbs half an hour before class. I also have a shameful confession to make: I cheated a bit and looked up the verbs online. I know, I know, I’m a terrible person. But I promise to start blocking out some time each week between class to dedicate to doing my homework properly.

Although I’m yet to actually sit down and do this week’s homework (I’ll get to it on the weekend, I promise), I’m letting myself off the hook because I’ve downloaded and been using an amazing language app in between class:

Esta semana los deberes (NT: de alemán) han sido para mí un gran problema. Desde luego que no voy a llegar a ninguna parte intentando conjugar los verbos como una loca media hora antes de clase. También tengo que confesar algo que me da vergüenza: Copié un poco los verbos de Internet. Ya sé, ya sé, soy lo peor. Pero prometo empezar a hacer tiempo entre clases todas las semanas para dedicarme a hacer los deberes como dios manda.

Aunque aún no me he sentado a hacer los deberes de esta semana (prometo que me pondré a ello el fin de semana), me estoy escaqueando porque me he descargado y estoy usando una increíble app de idiomas entre clase y clase. The Guardian

John’s agreed to go to the meeting in my place, so that lets me off the hook: John ha quedado en ir a la reunión en mi lugar, así que me he librado.

Thanks for getting me off the hook. I didn’t want to attend that meeting: Gracias por librarme de asistir a la reunión. No quería ir.

I couldn’t get myself off the hook no matter what I tried: No había manera de escaquearse por mucho que lo intentara.

Make a point of doing something=Procurar, tratar de hacer algo.

She makes a point of keeping all her shopping receipts: Procura guardar todos los tiques de compra.

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Drag your feet=Hacerse el remolón
But in the energy debate, there are better answers than any proffered by politicians, from Ed Davey’s “greed speech” on Tuesday, in which he said that energy companies were starting to lose public trust and were seen to be reflecting the “greed that consumed the banks”, to David Cameron’s rather bashful suggestion that what the energy industry really needs is a policy review (nobody panic – this isn’t foot-dragging; the prime minister said he wanted it “immediately”): Pero en el debate energético hay mejores respuestas que cualquiera de las proferidas por los políticos, desde el “discurso de la avaricia” de Ed Davey el pasado martes, en el que afirmó que las energéticas empezaban a perder la confianza de la ciudadanía la cual las ven como un reflejo de “la avaricia que gastan los bancos”, hasta la más bien apocada sugerencia de David Cameron de que lo que de verdad necesita la industria energética es una revisión de su política reguladora (que no cunda el pánico, no se está haciendo el remolón, el primer ministro dijo que lo haría “inmediatamente”).The Guardian

Be out of the woods (informal)=Estar fuera de peligro

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Nelson Mandela home but not out of the woods, say friends and family
Although the former South African president has been sent home from hospital, he is still in a critical and unstable condition
Nelson Mandela en casa pero no fuera de peligro, declaran su familia y amigos
Aunque el ex-presidente sudafricano ha sido dado de alta del hospital, su estado de salud sigue siendo crítico e inestable. The Guardian

Greek finance minister: ‘we are out of the woods’
Yannis Stournaras insists Greece is over the worst but says Europe needs to show beleaguered country more solidarity:
El ministro de economía de Grecia: “Estamos fuera de peligro”
Yannis Stournaras insiste en que Grecia ha pasado lo peor pero sostiene que es necesario que Europa muestre más solidaridad con el atribulado país.  The Guardian

Ruffle sb’s feathers= Levantar ampollas

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European leaders have debated how to punish Russia for its actions in Crimea. But for many Germans, the key is not to ruffle Russian feathers: Los líderes europeos han debatido acerca de cómo sancionar a Rusia por su intervención en Crimea. Sin embargo, para muchos alemanes la clave es no levantar ampollas. BBC News

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Sep 13, Grand Remembrances

Today is Grandparents Day in the United States. Being a Grand is a special honor. I feel very blessed that my wife and I have two grandchildren. We were able to visit them today. Yes, we are still being cautious with the coronavirus, but we also find it very difficult to not see them when they live so close. So today we did drop by to visit Jacob (age 10) and Sophia (age 7) along with their parents. We brought donuts and caught up with them. Our grandchildren are still pretty young and this is a precious time in their lives – and ours!

I wish I had known my grandparents better. We never lived in the same place. Dad was a career Air Force pilot, so we moved around a lot. But we did get to see them once in a while when they would visit us, or we them.

A Plague of Giants

There are five known magical ‘kennings’ or types: air, water, fire, earth, and plants. Each nation specializes in of these kennings, and the magic influences the society. There’s a big pitfall with this diversity of ability and locale–not everyone gets along.

Enter the Hathrim giants, or ‘lavaborn’ whose kenning is fire. Where they live the trees that fuel their fire are long gone, but the giants are definitely not welcome anywhere else. They’re big, they’re violent, and they’re ruthless. When a volcano erupts and they are forced to evacuate, they take the opportunity to relocate. They don’t care that it’s in a place where they aren’t wanted.

I first read Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid books and loved them (also the quirky The Tales of Pell), so was curious about this new venture, starting with A PLAGUE OF GIANTS. Think Avatar: The Last Airbender meets Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series. Elemental magic, a variety of races, different lands. And it’s all thrown at you from page one.

But this story is told a little differently. It starts at the end of the war, after a difficult victory, and a bard with earth kenning uses his magic to re-tell the story of the war to a city of refugees. And it’s this movement back and forth in time and between key players in this war that we get a singularly grand view of the war as a whole. Hearne uses this method to great effect.

There are so many interesting characters in this book that I can’t cover them all here. Often in books like this such a large cast of ‘main’ character can make the storytelling suffer, especially since they don’t have a lot of interaction with each other for the first 3/4 of the book–but it doesn’t suffer, thankfully. And the characterization is good enough, despite these short bursts, that by the end we understand these people and care about what happens to them.

If there were a main character it would be Dervan, a historian who is assigned to record (also spy on?) the bard’s stories. He finds himself caught up in machinations he feels unfit to survive. Fintan is the bard from another country, who at first is rather mysterious and his true personality is hidden by the stories he tells; it takes a while to understand him. Gorin Mogen is the leader of the Hathrim giants who decide to find a new land to settle. He’s hard to like, but as far as villains go, you understand his motivations and he can be even a little convincing. There’s Abhi, the son of hunters, who decides hunting isn’t the life for him–and unexpectedly finds himself on a quest for the sixth kenning. And Gondel Vedd, a scholar of linguistics who finds himself tasked with finding a way to communicate with a race of giants never seen before (definitely not Hathrim) and stumbles onto a mystery no one could have guessed: there may be a seventh kenning.

There are other characters, but what makes them all interesting is that they’re regular people (well, maybe not Gorin Mogen or the viceroy–he’s a piece of work) who become heroes in their own little ways, whether it’s the teenage girl who isn’t afraid to share vital information, to the scholars who suddenly find how crucial their minds are to the survival of a nation, to the humble public servants who find bravery when they need it most. This is a story of loss, love, redemption, courage, unity, and overcoming despair to not give up. All very human experiences by simple people who do extraordinary things.

Hearne’s worldbuilding is engaging. He doesn’t bottle feed you, at first it feels like drinking from a hydrant, but then you settle in and pick up things along the way. Then he shows you stuff with a punch to the gut. This is no fluffy world with simple magic without price. All the magic has a price, and more often than not it leads you straight to death’s door. For most people just the seeking of the magic will kill you. I particularly enjoyed the scenes with Ahbi and his discovery of the sixth kenning and everything associated with it. But giants? I mean, really? It isn’t bad enough fighting people who can control fire that you have to add that they’re twice the size of normal people? For Hearne if it’s war, the stakes are pretty high, and it gets ugly.

The benefit of the storytelling style is that the book, despite its length, moves along steadily (Hearne is no novice, here). The bits of story lead you along without annoying cliffhangers (mostly), and I never got bored with the switch between characters. It was easy to move between them, and they were recognizable enough that I got lost or confused. The end of the novel felt a little abrupt, but I guess that has more to do with I was ready for the story to continue, despite the exiting climax.

If you’re looking for epic fantasy with fun storytelling and clever worldbuilding, check out A PLAGUE OF GIANTS.

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The Artwork Of Gary Choo

Gary Choo is a concept artist/illustrator based in Singapore. I’ve know Gary for a good many years ( 17, actually ), working together in animation studios in Singapore like Silicon Illusions and Lucasfilm. Gary currently runs an art team at Mighty Bear Games, but when time allows he also draws covers for Marvel comics, and they’re amazing –

The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo

To see more of Gary’s work or to engage him for freelance work, head down to his ArtStation.

The post The Art Of Gary Choo appeared first on Halcyon Realms – Art Book Reviews – Anime, Manga, Film, Photography.