If A and I function as "signifiers" of a certain abstract concept, how shall I translate "signifier"? I was thinking:

A y yo damos significado a tal concepto

Is there a more specific translation used in the social sciences?

Is it maybe a little clearer with "simbólico":

A y yo damos significado simbólico a tal concepto

Signifier means

a symbol, sound, or image (as a word) that represents an underlying concept or meaning (Merriam Webster)

  • Señal sounds more appropriate to me.
    – Paul
    Mar 4, 2017 at 20:10
  • @Paul - How would I use that in the sentence? Mar 4, 2017 at 20:35
  • A y I funcionan como señales de cierto concepto abstracto.
    – Paul
    Mar 4, 2017 at 22:07
  • @aparente001 I think I understand that a bit better. Could you give a full sentence or the sentence before/after so I can make sure I'm giving you the best choice? Mar 4, 2017 at 22:34
  • Could you clarify what you mean by "signifier"? It isn't a very common word in English. Are you using it as it is used in linguistic jargon? Perhaps an actual example of the word in English would help. In any case, as a native speaker of English I honestly have no idea what you're using the word signifier to mean here.
    – terdon
    Mar 4, 2017 at 23:47

1 Answer 1


Generally in terms of a noun, you'd be looking at a significante (which often is paired with significado, or the signified)

It sounds a bit odd in the structure of the sentence you have, though. I would rewrite it as such:

A y B son los significantes de tal concepto.

If you want to retain the structure (and you're not doing a signifier/signified-type relationship), you could say something like

A y B significan/representan tal concepto.
A y B simbolizan/designan tal concepto.
A y B encarnan/personifican tal concepto. (more commonly when A/B are animate)
A y B son un símbolo para tal concepto.

  • The way it is in the original is kind of like "A and I give meaning to ___ concept." Mar 4, 2017 at 19:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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