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I'm making a game and I would like a text box to say

"Este videojuego es sobre investigar y construcción de sociedad, [following in your family's footsteps...]".

I hope I translated most of that correctly (correct me if I did it wrong). So I would like to translate the English part of that into Spanish. If anyone could help it would be much appreciated.

P.S: Just in case my translation was horrible, it's meant to say "this game is about researching and constructing society, following in your family's footsteps..."

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Just to make sure, let's check first the definition of "follow in someone's footsteps":

To do the same things that another person has done before.

In Spanish we have a very literal translation of the expression, seguir los pasos de alguien, meaning:

Imitarlo en sus acciones.

So the expression you want may be something like this:

Este videojuego trata acerca de investigar y desarrollar la sociedad, siguiendo los pasos de tu familia.

The expression "investigación y desarrollo" is what we know as research and development. You can also say "construir la sociedad" for a more literal translation. And the family part could also be "siguiendo los pasos de tus padres" (your parent's footsteps) or "de los que te precedieron" (the footsteps of the ones before you). The beginning could also be "este juego va de investigar" if you want a more colloquial variant.

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    Thanks Carlos that's helpful I will probably go with changing family to parents, it looks a lot more easier and I think I can fit the storyline around it. – C. Harrison Sep 19 '16 at 6:31
  • @C.Harrison I'm glad to help! – Charlie Sep 19 '16 at 6:34
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As Carlos' answer left little room to improvements I can only make an observation about the particularity of "tratar acerca de". Here it is:

Juxtaposition of prepositions may end up in ambiguity every now and then, so to prevent this we may want to use:

En este juego se trata de investigar y desarrollar la sociedad, suiguiendo los pasos de tu familia.

The auxiliar "se" comes from "tratarse de" (reflexive verb)

In this tweaked phrase you add up readability to the sentence as you avoid the juxtaposition of prepositions - the theory is that two prepositions are more difficult to read than only one. Example in English: to get over with.

And if you were asking about what if we omit "de" in the sentence please note that in doing this we are using another different verb. Let's see the three possible verbs that may confuse us:

  • Tratar (treat) - Roberto siempre trata bien a sus huéspedes (Roberto always treats well his guests)
  • Tratar de (try to) - María trata de comportarse (María tries to behave)
  • Tratarse de (consist of) - En el juego se trata de descubrir al mentiroso (The game is about finding out the liar)

And sorry for this:

¿De qué trata el juego? El juego trata de descubrir al mentiroso. (Here, in the question, we have already "tratar de" so now it means "consist of")

Hoy tenemos un juego que trata acerca de descubrir al mentiroso. (Here we need to use "acerca" to avoid the ambiguity though it creates another, two prepositions)

You may find ¿acerca de qué trata el juego? but it is anything but common cause we use the shorter form to ask this question but if it is the case, the normal answer would be "el juego trata acerca de descubrir al mentiroso".

This is a very good question as it contemplates the nuances of Spanish, we have seen how "tratar" does not only have a reflexive form (tratarse de) but another different meaning if we add up a preposition (de) and also the usage of "acerca" as a linguistic device to prevent ambiguity. I hope it is as helpful as it has been to me.

Spanish and Spain.

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  • Thanks Christian, your answer makes sense but I have to run it through my brain a lot! It's helpful and I will try to take this into account when trying to translate more into Spanish. – C. Harrison Sep 19 '16 at 6:34
  • You're welcome Harrison, I edited it again to correct a few mistakes that I had. I, for example, don't like "tratar acerca de" cause to me it is not natural to read, I have to stop and read it twice, maybe this helps you. – Cristian Sep 19 '16 at 11:01

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