inmiscuirse [verb] – to meddle; to or stick your nose in [to someone else’s business]
Last night, Alejandro and I caught the beginning of the film Avatar, which was being shown on TV.
Dr. Grace Augustine, played by Sigourney Weaver, was angry with Selfridge (the head honcho) for meddling in her work. Augustine’s words were as follows:
“I’m gonna kick his corporate butt! He has no business sticking his nose in my department!”
The subtitler had translated it as: “¡Patearé su corporativo trasero!** ¡No debe inmiscuirse en mi departamento!”
Personally, I think the the translation of the first sentence is horrible. But it’s easy to criticize without providing a better alternative, and I can’t come up with a suitable expression myself. Truth be told, I’m having trouble getting my head around the concept of “kicking someone’s corporate butt” at all. (Off the top of my head, I’d probably break it up and translate “kick his butt” and add some corporate insult on the end.) Anyway, it was the second sentence that sent me scrambling for my little notebook; “inmiscuirse” (to meddle, or stick your nose in [to someone else’s business]) is a new one on me, and I do so like learning new words!
I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely going to need a few more examples if this one’s going to stick though. And so we turn to the online dictionaries…
Word Reference offers us a nice, straightforward example of “inmiscuirse“, noting how the verb is conjugated in the same way as “huir“.
“No te inmiscuyas en nuestra relación.“ Don’t interfere in our relationship.
And the Collins Spanish-English Dictionary gives a more formal example which uses the usted form:
“Deje de inmiscuirse en lo que no le concierne.” Stop interfering in things that are no concern of yours.
** Actually these may not have been the exact words in the TV subtitles. I didn’t catch the whole of the quotation in Spanish, so I had to make do with this translation I found online. Apologies and kudos to the subtitler if s/he did actually manage to find a better alternative than “¡Patearé su corporativo trasero!”
Vocab explanation for my non-native English-speaker friends:
head honcho – the big boss, the person in charge, the highest authority
to kick someone’s butt – to punish or to beat someone using a lot of force
to stick your nose in – to interfere [in matters that do not concern you]
off the top of my head – without thinking [about something] too much
to stick – to remain [in my memory, in this case]
kudos – compliments, congratulations