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Recently I was asked by a Spanish speaker about the meaning of:

enter image description here

Trust me, I'm a dogtor

Is it possible to find a translation/equivalent expression in Spanish here? Besides an explanation about the pun, is any replacemente (keeping the image) viable? Or is all hope lost and we have to jump to the conclusion that some things can't be translated?

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    "Confía en mi - soy un perito" donde perito = experto – enxaneta Aug 6 at 14:26
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    @enxaneta Muy atinado el perito, el mejor para mi gusto. podría ser respuesta en vez de comentario. – Rodrigo Aug 6 at 19:20
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    @enxaneta Totalmente de acuerdo con Rodrigo. La "r" en lugar de la "rr" causa un efecto similar a la "g" en lugar de la "c", con la ventaja adicional de que la palabra existe. – Gustavson Aug 6 at 19:41
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    Soy un paraperro [paramedico] – Lambie Aug 6 at 20:08
  • No me puedo creer que justo hoy llevara esa camiseta puesta. – Charlie Aug 6 at 20:27

12 Answers 12

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According to the RAE dictionary in some countries Spanish has paramédico

  1. adj. Chile y El Salv. Que trabaja como auxiliar en tareas médicas. Apl. a pers., u. t. c. s.

corresponding to the English noun paramedic

So, in those countries how about parramédico or perramédico or perromédico?

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    Not a native speaker but I think in Chile this pun can be expressed as "soy mediquiltro" where "quiltro" is a Mapudungun-derived word for a mutt. – Ivan Mir Aug 7 at 1:37
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    @IvanMir I would suggest to make that an answer instead of a comment – wimi Aug 8 at 7:41
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Por aportar mi granito de arena, existe una raza de perro llamada dogo, que además viene recogida en el DLE. Así que propongo:

Confía en mí. Soy un dogoctor.

Luego ya rizando el rizo podemos buscar otras opciones más imaginativas...

Soy un doctóberman.
No soy ningún medichucho de tres al cuarto.
Soy un medicollie.
No soy un matacán.
Confía en mi cerbero (por "cerebro").
No soy ningún dalmatasanos.

Va, venga, me voy ya, ya cierro yo.

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    I really like medicollie. Quite inspired. (+1) – mdewey Aug 7 at 10:27
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Creeme

Soy un perrofesional

Disclaimer: this is totally made up, but seeks to replicate the spirit of the message, as i understand it in English to be: one that mixes the humorous appeal of the saying with the cuteness of the man's best friend drawing (a funny dog pretending not only to be one of them, but someone qualified to give trustable live-saving assistance)

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  • I like this! It goes with the spirit of a pun in that the sound is not really much changed. "Pro" vs "perro". There's a difference, of course, but it's small compared to other options. – Ricardo Cárdenes Sep 28 at 21:01
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Mi granito de arena:

Confía, soy cirucano.

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    O, de manera similar, "Medican" – Chronocidal Aug 7 at 10:26
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Mi aportación sin haberme aún despertado: Canfía en mí

(aunque hoy ya mucha gente ni sabe lo que significa can).

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I offer no hope in a translation. But the image can still be salvaged.

"Ten confianza. No soy un mataperros."

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    I don't know where this will work but a t-shirt saying mataperros won't sale a single unit in Colombia. It sounds awful. – DGaleano Aug 6 at 13:26
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In my opinion it can't be translated.

Most Spanish speakers even knowing very little English will get the joke as is.

That particular joke is so simple to get that was recently on TV on a commercial for OpenEnglish.com

You can see that ad here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQGmOTANT58

I also have to say that I completely disagree with the "mataperros" sugestion. At least in Colombia you won't sale a single T-Shirt with "mataperros" on it.

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  • Can you expand on why you feel "mataperros" will fail in Colombia? (And will it fail only in Colombia?) I'm curious to know. – Peter M Aug 6 at 13:37
  • I'm not saying it will fail only in Colombia.I'm saying at least in Colombia. It just sounds awful. I would think it sounds bad for many Spanish speakers but regional differences are a funny thing and I can not speak for other countries. – DGaleano Aug 6 at 13:48
  • @PeterM Not a Colombian, but a Spaniard. It would sound bad to me as well. "Mataperros" is a play on "matasanos" (a derogatory term for a doctor, a "quack"). That's enough to put you off, and it's quite different from the "doctor/dogtor" original. Not only that, in real life you could call "mataperros" someone that kills dogs for whatever reason, and given that mistreating dogs is increasingly taboo in modern Western societies, I can't see anyone really buying this. – Ricardo Cárdenes Sep 28 at 21:07
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How about keeping the image with the text "Esperra un momento - en seguida te curo"?

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    That does not really answer the OP's request for a translation of dogtor though. – mdewey Aug 6 at 15:09
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Trust me I'm a doctor (dogtor)

The problem is that it is not just a pun but a humorous idiom (at least it is in the UK).

You can use it any time that someone shows doubt about an action you have suggested.

Example

John: Try this raw seafood.

Mary: Ooh, I'm not sure I want to.

John: Trust me I'm a doctor!

John isn't necessarily a doctor of course. He is just using the humorous phrase.

I haven't been able to find the origin of this. Who knows it might have been used as a serious comment by Dr Watson of Sherlock Holmes fame!

The question is, does Spanish have the equivalent idiom of "Trust me, I'm a ...."? - or at least, something similar.

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In Argentina, we use the verb "currar" to mean "swindle" so, somehow in line with the meaning in English according to @chasly, with the person pretending to know something they are not experts at, and imitating the "rr" sound of "perro" in Spanish as well as taking advantage of the phonetic similarity between "curar" and "currar", we could have:

Confía en mí, yo te curro.

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In Spanish, "medicucho" can be a despective term for a bad doctor.

On the other hand, "chucho" can be a despective/colloquial term for dog.

Combine them, and you have "medichucho".

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  • Perfect. Love it! Still, not sure if it captures the whole dimension of the English idiom, but it works very well in Spanish :-) – Ricardo Cárdenes Sep 28 at 21:09
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While @mdewey's answer seems to suggest a good re-wording, I would not offer a translation at all in such cases (only if a 1:1 translation is possible, as might be between related languages or in this case from English to Mbabaram).

It is simply not true that "Trust me, I'm a dogtor" means "Confía en mí. Soy un perromédico". There is too much creativity involved to call it a translation. When translating a book or movie you would use it, but translating single sentences is something different. You need to strictly translate without adding anything on your own.

I think there is no shame in answering thus. It is understood that puns normally cannot be translated between languages.

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    Agreed in that puns normally cannot be translated between languages, otherwise the results are quite weird. There is a very funny book in Spanish called: 'From lost to the river and speaking in silver' that compiles literal translations from Spanish into English – fedorqui 'SO stop harming' Aug 7 at 13:19
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    This should be a comment. While I agree that it may be difficult or impossible to translate some puns, sometimes you might need to find a way (think that this was a spoken line of dialogue in a show and you were in charge of the translation). This contribution seems to be a comment on all the answers and/or the question (mostly the merit of the answers and the futility of the question), but it doesn't really try to answer the question, beyond saying "puns in general, or this pun in particular, can't/should be translated unless there is a direct translation" which is a personal opinion – Diego Aug 7 at 15:17
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    @Diego well, the last part of the question is "Or is all hope lost and we have to jump to the conclusion that some things can't be translated?". So I would say this answer does try to answer the question. – wimi Aug 8 at 20:36
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    @wimi I disagree on that statement since the only contribution in that respect is "puns normally cannot be translated", and I think that the other 10+ answers the question has already has prove this particular case could be translated in a few elegant and smart ways (and if that was the only thing being asked I would VTC the question as opinion based). That is why I think that this contribution just discusses the merit of other answers and just claims that puns in general are difficult to translate. It does not answer the question because it doesn't explain why this case is untranslatable – Diego Aug 8 at 21:44

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