Thursday, September 27, 2007


concertacion: concertation; consensus building

Yesterday Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia, was on Democracy Now (see it here - and sign up for the fab podcasts or email headlines - in Spanish even). Anyways, Thom Khun was interpreting (though sadly he was not acknowledged, and he struggled to do it consec - it really should have been simultaneous). At one point Thom rendered concertación as concertation. I was convinced this was a false cognate that came out in the heat of the moment, but when I looked it up it does indeed have an English-only googlage of 342,000 - the thing is they're almost all European sites. And, in fact, the Random House definition (via says:
(esp. in European politics) cooperation, as among opposing factions, aimed at effecting a unified proposal or concerted action.
I really doubt that most English speakers in the US will know this meaning. I would vote for consensus building. Other suggestions?
(Jon's right - it can also mean coalition, though I think that's not quite how Evo was using it)