This edition of the translation-golf has ended! The winner is @walen with a translation of just 86 characters!

Welcome to a new edition of the game! If this is your first time, there's some info for beginners at the end of this post.

Here's an excerpt from a Bruce Lee's speech that went famous in Spain due to a commercial some years ago:

Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; you put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; you put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

(259 characters)

The goal is to translate the given text to Spanish, using as few letters as possible, while keeping all the original text's meaning and concepts more or less intact.

My own, non-golfed translation:

No te establezcas en una forma, adáptala y construye la tuya propia, y déjala crecer, sé como el agua. Vacía tu mente, sé amorfo, moldeable, como el agua. Si pones agua en una taza se convierte en la taza. Si pones agua en una botella se convierte en la botella. Si la pones en una tetera se convierte en la tetera. El agua puede fluir o puede chocar. Sé agua, amigo mío.

(286 characters)

Note: in previous games there has been an excessive amount of sentence synthesis with many things left implied in the translations and not explicitly expressed. So for this game I will not accept answers that do not explicitly express in the translation each one of the concepts presented:

  1. The concept of one own's adapatability and growing of the first sentence.
  2. The concept of emptying one's mind of the second sentence.
  3. The concept of water adaptability of the third sentence.
  4. The two uses of water of the four sentence.
  5. The closing conclusion.

So please, do not just answer with "sé agua". I will reward your creative uses of vocabulary and grammar over just making sentences disappear.

You may want to check past questions to get a feel of the game dynamics and the kind of answers expected.

Want to share translation ideas, ask for clarifications or just tease other contesters? Join us in La Tertulia, Spanish.SE's official chat room!

Have fun!

  • En las transcipciones del video que hay por internet parece que siempre ponen crash
    – user14069
    May 7, 2018 at 7:38

3 Answers 3



1Adapta la forma a ti, que crezca, 2vacía tu mente, sé amorfo -- 3cual agua que en un bol se hace bol. 4Que va o da. 5Sé agua.


93 caracteres

Crea tu forma, que crezca. Vacía tu mente, sin forma, como el agua que usa la forma que la contiene, fluye y choca. Sé agua.



No seas rígido, adáptate, moldeate, dejáte fluir, sé como agua. Vacía tu mente, sin definición o estructura - como agua. El agua es la copa, botella o tetera. El agua fluye o golpea. Sé agua amigo.

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