Tuesday, July 27, 2021

primera linea: front line vs. first line

I have been seeing a lot of use of the false cognate of "first line" in coverage of the general strike in Colombia. I actually do like that mistranslation because in English it sounds new and different and does not have the military baggage of the term frontline - but really the term in English is frontline. The other advantage of using this neologism of first line is that now Colombians have created fabulous 'second lines' of musicians and other groups - though some are calling themselves different types of 'first lines,' such as the legal first line, academic first line, etc). But I wonder how much is lost by not using the term English speakers are used to hearing vs what is gained by creating this false cognate neologism.