Saturday, December 1, 2018

Eng. -age ~ Sp. -aje, Part 23: Spanish words in -aje (h)

[This entry is an excerpt from Chapter 18, "Eng. language and Sp. lenguaje: words ending in Eng. -age and Sp. -aje", of Part II of the open-source textbook Spanish-English Cognates: An Unconventional Introduction to Spanish Linguistics.]


correaje (1832) ‘straps, belts’: it refers to a set of belts and straps used for a particular purpose, such as the ones used for saddling a horse or those in military uniforms or equipment in earlier times. Presumably, this is a native Spanish word, derived from Sp. correa ‘leather strip, strap’, used for fastening and securing things. This word is used, for instance, for a dog’s leash (correa de perro), a watch’s band (correa de reloj), or a car’s transmission belt (correa de transmisión). In earlier times, it was also used instead of cinturón for ‘leather belt used as an article of clothing’. In some dialects of Spanish, correa is used figuratively with the sense of ‘endurance, patience’ (cf. Sp. aguante), as in the colloquial expression tener correa ‘to be resistant (to hard work or to practical jokes, for instance)’.

This is a patrimonial word that comes from Latin corrigĭa, with a very similar literal meaning, used in Roman times primarily for ‘ties for securing shoes to feet’, but also for ‘rein for a horse’, or even ‘whip’. The Latin noun corrigĭa is derived from the verb corrigĕre ‘to make straight, set right, bring into order, etc.’ (< com + rĕgĕre ‘to keep/guide straight; to rule, govern; to guide, steer, direct; etc.’). This verb gave us Sp. corregir ‘to correct’, and from the verb’s passive participle correctus we get the English verb correct and the cognate adjectives Eng. correct and Sp. correcto/a.

Overall, Sp. correa is not as common a word as it used to be, since leather strapping has changed over the years and also since other words have replaced it in some contexts, such as cinturón for ‘belt’. The derived word correaje is even less common now than it used to be.

French has a cognate of Sp. correa, namely courroie [ku.ˈʀwa] (Old French curreie). The meaning of this word is very similar to that of Sp. correa. French has not derived a noun in ‑age from the noun courroie, however, and this noun also has not been borrowed into English. The derivates of Lat. in other Romance languages include Catalan corretja, Italian correggia, and Portuguese correia.

cronometraje (1970) ‘timing’: this is a 20th century loanword from Fr. chronométrage (1894), a noun from the verb chronométrer ‘to time (with a stopwatch)’, itself derived from the noun chronomètre (1701) ‘stopwatch’, a cognate of Eng. chronometer and Sp. cronómetro. It can be defined as ‘An exceptionally precise timepiece’ (AHD). The meaning of these words is basically the same, although Spanish also uses this word for sports timing, where English prefers to use the noun stopwatch.

French chronomètre is a New Latin creation, one which presumably took place in French first, though Eng. chronometer is attested around the same time in the early 18th century. It was formed from the root chron‑ of Gk. χρόνος (chronos) ‘time’ and mètre a combining form of post-classical Latin metrum, from Ancient Greek μέτρον (métron) ‘measure; something used to measure, etc.’ (chron-o-mètre). This word part is found in many New Latin creations, such as Fr. kilomètre ~ Eng. kilometer (spelled kilometre in British English) ~ Sp. kilómetro (kilo comes from the Greek word for ‘one thousand’).[1]

Spanish also borrowed the word cronómetro from French chronomètre, much earlier, in the 18th century. This word first appeared in the DRAE in 1832, and in an earlier scientific dictionary, in 1786. The verb cronometrar is also a French loanword, one that came after cronómetro but before cronometraje. It first appeared in the DRAE in 1947.

doblaje (1970) ‘dubbing’ (of movies). There are at least three verbs to dub in English (the OED has five), one of which means ‘To provide an alternative sound track to (a film or television broadcast), especially a translation from a foreign language; to mix (various sound tracks) into a single track’ (OED). Presumably this is a shortened form of the verb to double and it came to be used with this sense in English by 1930. Before this verb came to have this meaning, it may have already been used a bit earlier to refer to the conversion of video or audio from one medium to another.

The verb to double in English is a late 13th century loanword from Fr. doubler that meant ‘to double, to make double’. The English verb double is obviously related to the adjective double, which is an early 13th century loanword from Old French doble (attested in the 10th century), meaning ‘double, two-fold, etc.’. This adjective descends from Latin dūplus ‘double, twofold, twice as much’ (dūplus-dūpla-dūplum), formed from dŭŏ ‘two’ (accusative ōs or dŭŏ) and plus ‘more’. The French verb doubler and its Spanish cognate doblar come from Late Latin duplāre, derived from the adjective (cf. Italian doppiare). The meaning of Spanish doblar has changed somewhat over the years and its main senses today is ‘to fold’, as in doblar las sábanas ‘to fold the sheets’, and ‘to bend’, as in doblar el dedo ‘bend the finger’, though it can also be used with the senses ‘to double’ and ‘to make double’, as in doblar las ganancias ‘to double the earnings’. This verb can also translate as to turn, as in doblar la esquina ‘to turn a corner’, and in acting, doblar can also mean ‘to stand in for (an actor)’.

The French word doublage [du.ˈblaʒ] is first attested in the early 15th century to refer to the act of making something double, that is, ‘doubling’. It seems that this word was pressed into service as the equivalent of Eng. dubbing to refer to the changing of the soundtrack of the first foreign (American) ‘talking movies’ or ‘talkies’ in the late 1920s or early 1930s, so that the actors seemed to be speaking in French. The corresponding verb for this noun was, of course, doubler ‘to double’, a verb that had already been used before in the context of the theater and acting with the meaning ‘to stand in for, to double’, such as for stunts.

Spanish borrowed Fr. doublage as doblaje, which made sense since Spanish already had the patrimonial verb doblar ‘to double’, which now borrowed the sense ‘to dub’ from its French counterpart, something known as semantic calquing (cf. Part I, Chapter 1). Dubbed movies are known in Spanish as películas dobladas or filmes doblados.

Countries differ as to whether they prefer to watch foreign language films in the original version or dubbed. In the English-speaking world, there isn’t much of a tradition of dubbing, perhaps in part because the production of English-language films has traditional dwarfed that of movies made in other languages and the English-speaking public has not been exposed to foreign films that much. The replacing of audio in English-language films has taken place primarily in the context of songs, for instance, but for replacing one the actor’s voice for that of a better singer, for instance.

France and Spain share the tradition of almost exclusively dubbing the dialogue of foreign films, replacing original actors’ voices with voices in the local language.[2] In Spain, to this day, where most films come from the United States, it is extremely difficult to have access to foreign films in their original soundtrack version (películas en V.O. or versión original). Other European countries where dubbing is the norm are Germany and Italy. In other European countries, subtitles are the norm (other than in children’s movies), such as in Portugal, Holland, and the Scandinavian countries. Some countries use a mixture of the two systems and yet others tend to use voice-over while keeping the original soundtrack.[i] In Spanish America, subtitles are a much more common option than in Spain.

Interestingly, films released in the Spanish-speaking world are sometimes released in different versions, using different dialects of Spanish. That is done not so much because a film dubbed in a different dialect would not be understood, but because the dubbing would not sound credible to the listeners, who are used to dubbing in their own dialect, or because the differences in speech would be too distracting to the viewer. Sometimes, Hollywood films come in a dubbed version for Spain and one for Spanish America, though some are also dubbed into a single, ‘neutral Spanish’ version, often done in Mexico. Dubbing in the Americas tends to be done in a form of ‘neutral’ Spanish that avoids the use of idiomatic expressions that would not be easily understood or accents that are very divergent. Remember that the varieties of Spanish found in Spanish-speaking Latin America are as great or greater than those found inside Spain (cf. Part I, Chapter 11). The main dubbing centers in the Americas are Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, and Argentina.

The quality of the dialog and of the voices in dubbing vary a great deal, from quite satisfying to deeply unsatisfactory. Issues with dubbing include the use of very literal translations that misrepresent the original meaning, unnatural dialogues, and voices that are not the least bit credible in the context they’re supposed to have been spoken. Curiously, people who are used to low quality mass dubbing in places like Spain, particularly in the context of TV series and low-budget movies, tend to be oblivious to these shortcomings that are obvious to an outsider.

[1] In North America, kilometer is pronounced [kəˈlɑməɾəɹ] or [ˈkɪləˌmiɾəɹ]. This New Latin word was also created in French, around 1790. Fr. kilomètre [ki.lɔ.ˈmɛtʀ] is formed from the morpheme kilo‑, an arbitrary adaptation (shortening) of Ancient Greek χίλιοι (khī́lioi) ‘a thousand’. (A kilometer is one thousand meters.)

[2] Dubbing has been used to control the permissible dialogue and the language used in films under authoritarian regimes (censorship), even if dubbing did not start with them. In Mussolini’s Italy, foreign movies had to be dubbed into Italian as per a law for the defense of the Italian language and during the Franco dictatorship in Spain (1939-1976), the Italian law was copied and only movies with Spanish soundtrack (and politically correct scripts) could be shown. (The 1941 law says: ‘Queda prohibida la proyección cinematográfica en otro idioma que no sea el español, salvo autorización que concederá el Sindicato Nacional del Espectáculo, de acuerdo con el Ministerio de Industria y Comercio y siempre que las películas en cuestión hayan sido previamente dobladas. El doblaje deberá realizarse en estudios españoles que radiquen en territorio nacional y por personal español’.)
Spanish dubbed movies were allowed to change the script in any way they deemed fit in order to avoid taboo topics. Thus, for instance, in the 1953 film Mogambo, actors Grace Kelly and Donald Sinden are turned into brother and sister instead of a married couple in order to avoid the topic of adultery.

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