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What would be the correct way to translate into Spanish the idiom: "to miss the point"?

I'm often tempted to write "perder el punto", but it doesn't sound quite right.

For example: "To bring headphones to a concert is like missing the point".

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up vote 18 down vote accepted

As a native Spanish speaker I really like the English expression to miss the point but unfortunately there's no direct translation. In the context of an argument, you can use:

  • Eso no viene a cuento / al caso / al tema

  • Estás desviando la conversación / no cambies el tema

  • Estás desvariando (warning: sounds harsh)

  • ¿Eso qué tiene que ver? (harsh, too)

In the context of the given example ("To bring headphones to a concert is like missing the point"):

  • Eso no tiene mucho sentido

  • Eso es más bien paradójico

  • ¿Es que, para qué vas a ir a un concierto si vas a llevar auriculares? (This rhetorical question is actually the most used idiom - as I said there's no translation for this one.)

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+1 for stating the harsh versions! – Nicolás Nov 15 '11 at 21:28
Still, none of these translate very well. They sound more like "you're getting off track". I agree that it's a nice expression. – Javier Nov 15 '11 at 21:43
And this can work too: "Eso no tiene nada que ver" o "No tiene nada que ver" – Lucas G. Sánchez Nov 15 '11 at 21:56
It doesn't for Juan's example, correct for the general case though – vemv Nov 15 '11 at 21:57

I'd use "no tiene sentido" in your example:

"llevar audifonos a un concierto no tiene sentido"

But the translation is more close to "doesn't make any sense"

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+1. This is the perfect fit for the headphone example. Maybe not as a general translation for "miss the point". – Markust Nov 25 '11 at 16:12

What about Te vas por las ramas?

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I'm also not quite sure if this is the meaning I'm looking for. Please see my updated example. – Juan A. Navarro Nov 15 '11 at 21:34
I've heard it similarly as "andar por las ramas" – Paul Jan 3 '15 at 3:17

I would translate it to:

Está fuera de lugar.

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To tell someone they are missing the point, you would best make an explicit accusation such as : Oyes, te andes perdido! Which means: Hey, you are lost. meaning they are clueless. In this scenario, you usually razz them by explicitly aiming the statement at them. Soarta like calling them down on the carpet in front of everyone, so to speak. In the Mexican culture, it is customary to make an example of someone's mistake so they don't make the same mistake again. The word "oyes" means "listen up" or "hear what I say". Oyes is always used to drive a point home. In our culture, we like to "catch" each other off guard and show off in front of others. It is a cultural thing and all done in good fun. It is an integral part of "La Vida Loca".

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What does "our culture" refer to? I take it does not refer to the Spanish-speaking world, does it? – CesarGon Mar 13 '12 at 21:21

protected by Flimzy Jan 3 '15 at 5:56

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