Translation: Ventarrón

Here is another translation. This one is pretty rough—that is what happens when I want a break from my homework but have enough homework that I can’t afford too long of a break. (It is also what happens when I am grappling with a lot of words that have layered meanings in Spanish, plus the extra challenge of Lunfardo.) Without further ado, here is my version of Ventarrón (Spanish lyrics at TodoTango):

Because of your reputation and your appearance,
You are the one the underworld calls malevo.
You are the bravest of the brave.
You are the Ventarrón himself.

Who equals you in status
for your twisted tango canyengues,
for conquering hearts
if the situation arises?

Among the ruffians
they call you Ventarrón.
Ventarrón, for your courage,
for your exploits, they all applaud you.

In spite of everything,
Ventarrón left Pompeya
and followed the star
that marked his destiny.

Many years have passed,
and his good looks and passions
he left in the cafes
like a punishment from God.

Alone and sad, almost ill,
With his defeats eating at his soul,
the malevo returned seeking his fame
that another had already won.

You are not the same anymore,
Ventarrón, as in those times.
You are a fool to your friends
and to the good-for-nothings, a poor Christ.

And upon hearing a tango,
quarrelsome and tough,
you remember that past,
the splendid renown of Ventarrón.
Just a few notes:
• I decided to leave malevo untranslated, because the equivalents that I know of—”ruffian” being the one I find most apt—still leave me wanting.
• I also chose to leave the name Ventarrón untranslated. Literally it means a strong gust of wind or a gale, but that just doesn’t have much meaning in English, in this context. In addition, I have most often seen nicknames left alone with maybe an explanation after them.
• As always, I like feedback! Any corrections or suggestions are appreciated.


3 thoughts on “Translation: Ventarrón

  1. Thank you, Nancy. For some reason ruffian sounds more apt than thug to me, but yes, thug definitely works, too. Thank you for giving your definition of Ventarron, too–all of my dictionaries (incl. the DRAE) gave me the literal definition, so I really appreciate finding out how it is used as slang! Mil gracias!

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