I was reading an Instagram caption that said “intimate dialogues in the sun” in Spanish “diálogos íntimos al sol.” This made no sense to me and I am a Spanish speaker. Doesn’t this translate to “intimate dialogues to the sun”? Wouldn’t this sound better: “diálogos íntimos en el sol”? Al does not make sense to me here so any clarification would really help! Thank you in advance.
At least in Spain, "al sol" is the standard collocation to mean "directly illuminated by the Sun", which in English is also said "in the sun". The Diccionario de la Lengua Española (DLE) defines "sol", among others, as (bold emphasis is mine):
- m. Estrella luminosa, centro del sistema planetario en que está situada la Tierra. [...]
- m. Luz, calor o influjo del sol. Sentarse al sol. Tomar el sol. Entrar el sol en una habitación. Sufrir soles y nieves.
So, in sentences like "sentarse al sol" or "diálogos íntimos al sol", the word "sol" is interpreted as meaning "the light provided by the Sun", and the required preposition is "a" (note that "luz" also goes with "a", as in "a la luz de la luna"). The opposite of "al sol" is "a la sombra", meaning "in the shade" (covered from the sun).
The phrase "en el Sol" sounds to me more like "inside the Sun" or "on the Sun", meaning "inside or on top of the star that we call the Sun".