Monday, May 12, 2008

an injury to one is an injury to all

an injury to one is an injury to all: un daño contra uno es un daño contra todos

This famous IWW (wobbly) saying is widely used throughout the North American labor (or if you're Canadian - labour) movement. Unions in Latin America widely use the term 'agravio' for this broader sense of injury, so I used to render this as un agravio contra uno ... but really, are folks with limited literacy going to understand that? and does it have a good ring when you shout it to a crowd? not so much. my next try was lo que perjudica a uno perjudica a todos. more understandable. still not very shoutable. and kind of changes the meaning a wee bit, no? so when my friend Jeremy asked about this one, I went hunting for new options on proz. Thanks to David for this one. really, rather obvious. sometimes I make things more complicated than they need to be. but the simple part? yes, let us keep widening the 'all' in an injury to all, and make our solidarity more international.


ratfink said...

"agravio" sounds much better. That's what we use in Mexican labor activist circles.

I have issues when non native Spanish speakers decide what literate and non literate Spanish speakers will be able to understand. Are such concerns based on a true knowledge about the range of vocabulary of non-educated people, or do they reflect their own limited vocabulary?

As we say in Spanish "No sean más papistas que el Papa"

Sara Koopman said...

totally legit crit. just for the record, I've spoken Spanish all my life, and I've interpreted for plenty of folks who didn't understand the word agravio - but these were extremely low lit folks from the campo who come North - probably different than the union base in Mexican cities. asi que, yet again - the best rendition is all about context. by all means folks, if it works for your crowd, go with agravio. as I said in the original post, it's what's generally used in labor circles.