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Spanish to English Translations for Borderlands/ La Frontera by Gloria Anzaldua, Fourth Edition, Chapter 4: La herencia de Coatlicue/ The Coatlicue State

I put this together to help some of my AP Lang students read Borderlands/ La Frontera: The New Mestiza by Gloria Anzaldua.  I am not a native Spanish speaker and would LOVE some comments or assistance with the translations!

These are only translations for words or phrases for which Anzaldua has not included English translations.  Many times, she will write the English directly following the Spanish.  It also does not include translations of Nahuatl (Aztec) words.

Chapter 4 – La herencia de Coatlicue/ The Coatlicue State 

In this chapter, Anzaldua explores the duality of life and identity.  She uses the ancient Aztec earth mother goddess Coatlicue to represent the conflicting coexistence of many things at once.  Here is a statue of Coatlicue:

64- Enfrentamientos con el alma– Clashes with the soul

64- El secreto terrible ya la rajadura – The terrible secret and the crack

64-mi secreto terrible– my terrible secret

64-la sena– the sign

65– La consentida, la rancherita que se avergonzaba de su cuerpo– the spoiled one, the girl who lived on a ranch who is ashamed of her body

65- “Oh, silencio, silencio… en torno de mi cama

Tu boca bien amada dulcemente me llama” 

Oh, silence, silence… in and around my bed

Your good mouth says my name sweetly.

65-66- Internada en mi cuarto con mi intocada piel, en el oscuro velo con la noche.  Embrazada en pesadillas, escarbando el hueso de la ternura me envejezco.  Ya veras, tan bajo que me he caido.  

He enters my room with my untouched skin, in the dark veil with the night.  Embraced in nightmares, digging for the bone of the tenderness as I age.  You see how low I have fallen.

66- Dias enteros me la paso atrancada con candado.  Esa Gloria, que estara haciendo en su cuarto con la santa ya la perversa?  Mosquita muerta, por que ‘tas tan quietecita’?  Por que la vida me arremolina pa’ca y pa’ya como hoja seca, me arana y me golpea, me deshuesa- mi culpa por que me desdeno.  Ay mama, tan bajo que me he caido.  

I spent the whole day locked in with a padlock.  That Gloria, what are you making in your room with the saint and the one who is perverse?  Dead mosquito, why so quiet?  Because life swirls around and below me like a dry leaf, my spider and my bat, my bone- my fault for my my descent.  Oh mother, how low I have fallen.

66- Esa Gloria, la que niega, la que teme correr desenfrenada, la que tiene miedo renegar al papel de victima.  Esa, la que voltea su cara a la pared descascarada. Mira, tan bajo que se ha caido.  

It’s Gloria, the one who denies, the one who runs rampant, the one who is afraid to deny the role of the vitim.  It is she, the one who returns her face to the peeling wall.  Look, so low she has fallen.

66- Despierta me encuentra la madrugada, una desconocida aullando profecias entre cenizas, sangrando mi cara con las unas, escarbando la desgracia debajo de mi mascara.  Ya vez, tan bajo que mi hi caido.  

Awakeness encounters me in the early morning, a strangers howling prophecies among the ashes, bleeding my face with the nails, digging the disgrace beneath my mask.  One time, so low my daughter fell.

66- Se enmudecen mis ojos al saber que la vida no se entrega.  Mi pecado no es la rebeldia ni el anajamiento.  Es que no ame mucho, que anduve indecisa y a la prisa, que tuve poca fe y no fui dispuesta de querer ser lo que soy.  Traicione a mi camino.

My eyes are muted knowing that life is not delivered.  My sin is not rebelling nor the unknown. I didn’t love much, I walked undecided and in a hurry, I had little faith and was not willing to be what I am.  Show me the way.

66- Ya veras, tan bajo que me he caido.  Aqui nomas encerrada en mi cuarto, sangrsndome la cara con las unas.  Esa Gloria que rechaza entregarse a su destino.  Quiero contenerme, no puedo desbordo.  Vas a var lo alto que voy a subir, aqui vengo.

You’ll see, so low have I fallen.   Just locked here in my room, bleeding my face with the ones.   That Gloria refuses to surrender to her destiny.  I want to contain myself, I can’t overflow.  Now matter how high I climb, I end up here.

66- Simultaneamente me miraba la cara desde distintos angulos.  Y mi cara, como la realidad, tenia un carater multiplice.  

Simultaneously I looked at your face through different angles.  And my face, like reality, had multiple characters.

67-  la rajadura – the abyss no bridge could span (the strong stick)

67- Soy nopal de castilla– I am this cactus:

68- Coatlicue da luz a todo y a todo devora.  Ella es el monstruo que trago todos los seres vivientes y los astros, es el monstruo que se traga al sol cada tarde y le da luz cada manana.  

Coatilicue gives light to everything and devours everything.  She is the monster that swallows all living beings and all the stars, the monster who swallows the sun every evening and brings back the light every morning.

69- embrujadas– haunted

70- Voy cagandome de miedo, buscando lugares acuevados. I go scared, searching for new places.

70- Miro que estoy encabronada, miro la resistencia– I that I am pissed off, I see the resistance.

71- No hay mas que cambiar.  There is nothing more to change.

72- En esta tarde gris me siento entre dos aguas, el calor do mi casa y el frio de afuerna.  Los dos arbitran por el cuandro de vidrio de la ventana. 

In the gray afternoon I sit between tqo waters, the heat of my house and the cold of the outside.  The two settle on the glass corner of the window.

73- opposicion e insurreccion– opposition and insurrection

73- Completa– complete.

1 comment on “Spanish to English Translations for Borderlands/ La Frontera by Gloria Anzaldua, Fourth Edition, Chapter 4: La herencia de Coatlicue/ The Coatlicue State

  1. Pingback: Spanish to English Translations for Borderlands/ La Frontera, by Gloria Anzauldua – CRITIC OF EVERYTHING

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