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I'm struggling to find a proper translation for "ballooning/spiraling" as in "ballooning public debt". Basically, it's about something growing very fast. Ideally, I want one word, an adjective, nor a verb. Creciente doesn't quite capture the speed of it. Explosivo might get closer but I am not convinced, as the key is not about violence but increasing speed. Desbordado doesn't sound appropriate either. A two word solution might be crecimiento acelerado. Do you have a suggestion for one word?

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    Qué te parece ‘exponential’? – Traveller Apr 17 '20 at 7:11
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    @Traveller: It would be "exponencial" in Spanish. But it would be "crecimiento exponencial", that is, two words. – Charo Apr 17 '20 at 11:04
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    I would discourage the informal use of 'exponential' to mean 'very fast' when one talks about a variable that can be measured, since it has a specific mathematical meaning (growing as fast as fixed quantity exponentiated to a value that is proportional to time) which becomes shadowed by its imprecise counterpart. This is true both in Spanish and in English. – Guillermo BCN Apr 18 '20 at 13:48
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    I totally agree with you, @GuillermoBCN. In the same way, "crecimiento muy rápido" and "crecimiento acelerado" don't have the same meaning. – Charo Apr 18 '20 at 14:14
  • @Charo, sure, that is another good example. – Guillermo BCN Apr 18 '20 at 14:16
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¿Qué te parece el verbo disparar? En el propio DRAE aparece un ejemplo parecido al tuyo

disparar

  1. tr. Dicho de una cosa: Incrementar o hacer crecer sin moderación algo.
    La demanda disparó los precios

growing very fast = crecer sin moderación algo

ballooning public debt = disparando(se) la deuda pública

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    Would it not be deuda disparandose since ballooning is intended as an adjective? – mdewey Apr 17 '20 at 14:16
  • @mdewey I was not sure about the exact use intended by the OP. But in that case it should be "disparada" (participio), instead of "disparando" (gerundio). – RubioRic Apr 17 '20 at 15:06
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    I am fairly sure an adjective is meant here. The sentence might have been The country experienced a ballooning public debt. To be fair I would not have used spiralling in the same way, things are usually described as spiraling out of control. – mdewey Apr 17 '20 at 15:14
  • @mdewey Yes, an adjective is meant. – luchonacho Apr 17 '20 at 16:21
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    También funcionaría: "Con la deuda pública disparándose,..." – Guillermo BCN Apr 18 '20 at 13:51
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Could it be "deuda pública astronómica" or "deuda pública asfixiante" as it's choking the economy or society.

Also, "deuda pública galopante" implies that the debt is increasing fast

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While it may not carry some of the connotations that "ballooning" (growing rapidly as if you were inflating a balloon) or "spiraling" (show a continuous and dramatic increase) have, the DRAE includes "sobrecrecer"

Sobrecrecer

Exceder en crecimiento o crecer excesivamente.

As an advantage, it is one word.

[...] la sobrecrecida deuda pública

[...] la sobrecreciente deuda pública

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How about "aumento fulminante"? This might be a little closer to ballooning than aumento explosivo. It's still a little more violent than a balloon, but a little less so than explosivo.

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  • Thanks but this is two words. Also, the word is not to be used as a verb. – luchonacho Apr 17 '20 at 16:23
  • @luchonacho Fulminante is an adjective. – RubioRic Apr 17 '20 at 16:40
  • @RubioRic Yes but the frase would be "aumento fulminante de la deuda publica", instead of e.g. "deuda publica explosiva". – luchonacho Apr 17 '20 at 20:53

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