I am listening to "Simply Audio" CDs of books (read in Spanish). One of them is "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" which I would expect to be translated as "Adios, Señor Chips" but instead it is "Adios, Mr. Chips"

Why is the English "Mr." retained/not translated?

2 Answers 2


In Spanish, it is not unusual to retain the original titles, if only to remark the nationality of the person to whom they apply. You can also find references to Frau Merkel or Monsieur Hollande, even in original (not translated) texts. I am not saying that this is extremely usual, but it is not unusual. At least, for English, French or German titles.

Besides, in this case we would not use the article. So, we could write Las propuestas de la señora Merkel, but Las propuestas de Frau Merkel. The latter construction remarks the fact that she is German.

  • 1
    Yo todavía me acuerdo de aquel anuncio que decía "Mr. Proper ahora se llama Don Limpio", aunque parece ser que el cambio poco tenía que ver con la corrección en el lenguaje. Otro ejemplo que ilustra bien la intención de remarcar la nacionalidad del aludido, "Bienvenido Mr. Marshal" (La película de Berlanga).
    – Diego
    Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 14:01
  • 1
    En Coca-Cola tuvieron un problema similar al de Mr. Proper, pero lo solucionaron sin cambiar la marca: hicieron imprimir nombres de personas.
    – Gorpik
    Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 16:00

There isn't a specific rule, but it is possible that the translators felt that the entire 'Mr. Chips' is an indivisible proper noun and therefore chose not to break it up and translate its parts.

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