A couple of weeks ago, I published an article in this blog relating to the jargon of the clothing industry. In it, I talked about different types of garments, cuts, fabrics and prints, which for one reason or another in many Spanish-speaking countries are known by their foreign names. Today, though, I’d like to go over some fashion-related terms which present a challenge for the translator when it comes to localization. My own personal experience allows me some room to compare this particular use of terms between the Spanish spoken in the Río de la Plata region and that of the Iberian Peninsula, hence I appeal to our readers, once again, to add to this post through their comments.
The first example that comes to mind is that of the imperdible (safety pin), a term which in some parts of Latin America could be misconstrued as that item of clothing that one must simply have. In Spain, however, it’s nothing more than a modest—but indispensable—alfiler de gancho. At any rate, it’s good to have one handy in case of a broken cremallera (zipper), that toothed fastener used in pants, for instance, and which in some parts is known as cierre relámpago (lightning zipper). And speaking of pants, does anyone know the difference between pitillo (drinking straw) style pants and chupines? Which ones are Oxfords and which are elephant foot pants? What’s the difference between pirate pants and capris? Right, the main difference in all these cases is one of localization (or regional flavor).
And if we venture into the more risqué topic of underwear, we’ll encounter a dizzying series of synonyms, many of them often used within the same region; such profusion is sure to cause confusion. In this category we’ll find calzoncillos, calzones, boxers, gayumbos, slips, bombachas, culottes, bragas, tangas, and others. For us English speakers, think of briefs, boxers, underpants, panties, drawers, skivvies, undies . . . No question about it, it really is fertile vocabulary ground (no pun intended, ha!).
As we’ve seen, the fashion-related vocabulary is quite vast, and it varies a lot from region to region. In an upcoming entry, we’ll take a look at upper-body garments, of which there are plenty and with lots of variants as well.
To read the original Spanish article go to http://blog-de-traduccion.trustedtranslations.com/coleccion-otono-invierno-de-lexico-textil-2012-05-16.html