Friday, April 11, 2008

mano dura

mano dura: firm hand

usually as in "firm hand policies" - a polite way of saying ruthless crackdown. there was a disturbing article about women in Central American gangs in the nyt today that mentioned this term and reminded me how bad it sounds when interps use the literal "hard hand". shame the amazing photos aren't online, but still worth reading.

5 comments:

ana australiana said...

I'm terribly excited to have found your blog today. Can I make a request? Could you write something on 'solidarizar'? One of my absolute favourite Latin American Spanish verbs, which I've only come across via LA activism.

:-)

Fawdawi said...

Great site, my friend!

do said...

I usually use heavy-handed (as in heavy-handed regime), but I like your option better. I love your blog!

Anonymous said...

Great blog.
I have never liked the "firm hand" translation. It feels way to respectable for what it is in practice. But, I am sure that was the intent!!! So, I agree that it is the best translation.

The idea behind the phrase, I think, was to make the plan sound like: "those naughty boys need to be treated with a firm hand, they have lost all sense of authority". And not, "Do whatever you want to these scumbags, and yeah, torture's too good for them."

After all, we also have the "mano amiga", which appears to be just another mutation of State intelligence. I suppose they didn't want to call that, "plan oreja".

Sara Koopman said...

another great option for this one that I found today is 'iron fist' - the article I saw actually used it in spanish followed by (firm hand or iron first)