Benito Lynch's story "El Potrillo Roano" is, in English, "The Sorrel Colt"

Why? Shouldn't it be "The Roan Colt"?

Roan and Sorrel are not the same, so...???

Is "Roan" a "false friend" between Spanish and English, or what's going on here?

  • Yes..those color are different...we have to ask who did the translation to English Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 5:18
  • I can't see for sure who translated it; it is from the book "Spanish Stories/Cuentos Espanoles": A Dual-Language Book, edited by Angel Flores. Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 5:59
  • es.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benito_Lynch this is the autor..argentino Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 6:13

1 Answer 1


The same question was asked here. Surfing to other websites looks like horses have slight differences arround the world when it comes to describe an ethnic group, due to the dilutions and combinations of colours.

All dictionaries translates Alazan as Sorrel and Roana/Ruano as Roan.

En Argentina, Curso de Producción Equina I (3087) - Universidad Nacional de Río Cuarto

ROSILLO (Roan). El rosillo es una mezcla de pelos blancos con pelos de un color sólido (generalmente mas de uno) y puede incluir el negro[...]Variedades: ROSILLO ALAZAN: Alazán + Blanco. ROSILLO ZAINO: Zaino + Blanco + Negro. En este pelaje suelen predominar en ciertas partes del cuerpo pelos blancos y negros, se les denomina rosillo moro.

According to RAE alazán.

Dicho de un color: Más o menos rojo, o muy parecido al de la canela. Hay variedades de este color, como alazán pálido o lavado, claro, dorado o anaranjado, vinoso, tostado, etc.

As you see the RAE definition contains many colors, inlcuding alazan palido which is included in the Rosillo Alazan or Rosillo Zaino/rosillo moro, the moro colour can look as brown.

If you look on many wikipedia entries you will see the the colour of tail+colour of body have different names around the world, I guess is difficult to establish an standard. Every country haves different breeds.


If you click on the English version (menu on the left side) it will redirect you to


A chestnut horse This copper-red shade is sometimes also called "Sorrel". [...]Chestnut family colors[...]Red or "strawberry" roans have a chestnut base coat with the classic roan gene (one or two copies).


Red roan, sometimes called "Strawberry roan"

  • Probably the best way to really know the why of this translation could be found in the book if the writter describes the horse, and the country of birth of the translator (or maybe the editorial decided to change it because they like it more how sounds...) This answer only gives an idea of these differences and how one of the varietties-families can be named different.
    – AlexBcn
    Commented Feb 12, 2014 at 13:30

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