Spanish Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Spanish language. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I need some opinions on this sentence from a document I am translating to English and I am flagging any awkward sentences and phrases.

Esto nos da evidencia convincente de un efecto tratamiento―mientras más horas de oscuridad, mayor el crecimiento de los vástagos, al menos para estos tres periodos de luz versus oscuridad.

To me, it just clumsy and too long. It's more like "Spanglish."

How would you rewrite this?

share|improve this question
versus is an anglicism, even though the word has latin origin. But, out of context, I don't know what is the meaning of the last sentence. The rest is OK, I think. – Gorpik Sep 1 '13 at 11:49
In analyzing the phrase, people are overlooking "efecto tratamiento", which makes no sense to me. – Rodrigo A. Pérez Sep 1 '13 at 14:16
Si pones el texto en inglés creo que sería más facil saber lo que quieres traducir. – Rafa Sep 2 '13 at 7:37
The responses are all about whether the Spanish is good or not. These responses would be more to the point is you were tranlating to Spanish. But you say you're translating to English. – Walter Mitty Sep 2 '13 at 15:22

Let's examine your sentence:

Esto nos da evidencia convincente de un efecto tratamiento―mientras más horas de oscuridad, mayor el crecimiento de los vástagos, al menos para estos tres periodos de luz versus oscuridad.

  1. Evidencia convincente sounds rather redundant, since something evidente is indeed convincente and even more.
  2. The use of the dash - as you're using it is very common in English, but it sounds strange in Spanish. You might use a colon : or just a comma ,.
  3. Mientras is not wrong, but I'd use it along with the verb haya. Or better yet, I'd replace it with cuantas.
  4. Luz versus oscuridad sounds horrible to me. In fact I'm not sure what do you mean with that... If your're trying to say that the light and the darkness are alternating, you might use alternancia luz/oscuridad.

So, eventually, I'd probably translate your sentence like:

Esto nos da evidencia de un efecto tratamiento: cuantas más horas de oscuridad, mayor es el crecimiento de los vástagos, al menos para estos tres periodos de alternancia luz/oscuridad.

share|improve this answer
"evidencia convinciente de un efecto tratamiento" sounds like a bad translation of "convincing evidence of treatment effect", which should be something like "pruebas convincentes del efecto del tratamiento". – Danita Sep 16 '13 at 18:17

Versus es un termino aceptado en español : 1. prep. Frente a, contra. Occidente versus Oriente.

para reescribirlo necesitaria la version original en ingles pero te diria que partes como hispano hablante no entiendo:

"un efecto tratamiento" creo que aqui hablas de "un tratamiento efectivo"

"mayor el crecimiento de los vástagos" queda mejor: "mayor es el crecimiento de los vástagos"

"estos tres periodos de luz versus oscuridad." aqui es confuso no se a que te refieres con el versus si usas luz y oscuridad como alias o sobrenombres de otras entidades : seres de la luz y seres de la oscuridad podria ser pues el versus demuestra un antagonismo o enfrentamiento, si por otro lado te refieres a que son etapas de un ciclo que se compone de un periodo de luz y otro de oscuridad podria quedar mejor: periodos de luz y oscuridad

share|improve this answer

Be careful, "evidencia convincente" is absolutely correct. Why? just because "evidencia" is the object or the action that is being observed. "Convincente" is acting qualifying that object. It is typically use in Laws. Let say that someone committed a crime, then a lawyer show to the court a video that expose the crime. In this case the "evidencia" is the video, but think carefully: do all the lawyers show "true" evidence to the court?, possibly but it is not sure. Not all "evidencia" is enough to probe something, but there is some "evidencia" that are enough by itself, well that evidence you can call it "evidencia convincente". Just bacuse it has the property of being itself enough clear and self-explanatory to expose what is being it. In this way you can say "La evidencia no es convincente, por tanto será desechado por esta corte." also you can say "La evidencia es convincente para esta corte".

EDIT (add info):

"versus" is often use in scientific context (i think this is the case). Also it is very use in scientific charts comparing two variables (in this case "light" and "darkness").

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.