se las trae [expression] – tricky, complicated, “something else”
When I visit a part of Spain I’ve not been to before, I never fail to be blown away by this country’s myriad hidden gems. It’s outrageous that the Spanish tourism industry doesn’t make more of its millenial heritage. The majority of tourists who come here don’t see the real Spain at all. They’re missing out on so much.
Rant over. I’m as guilty as the next person. We’re spending a week in the heart of Spanish wine country, and I cannot believe I have never been here before. Medieval monasteries, ancient squares, narrow streets and fabulous tapas bars are two-a-penny here. And it’s only a few hours from Madrid by car.
So onto today’s expression… We were driving through the green valleys of La Rioja, when I saw a signpost to Soria. I asked Alejandro if it was far from here.
“No mucho. Pero entre aquí y Soria hay un puerto que se las trae.” [Not very. But between here and Soria there’s a mountain pass that is really tricky/something else.]
Uh huh. Se las trae, eh? It’s an expression I’ve heard before, but I felt the need to dig a little deeper and work out the best way to translate it. The first word that sprang to mind was tricky or complicated. But the word-geeky forums suggest se las trae can also be used in a positive sense, so I came up with something else. However, the positive usage isn’t listed in the DRAE or other online dictionaries, so the examples I found may well be from a dodgy source. (Note to self: don’t believe everything you read in an online translation forum.)
This is a classic example of a pernickety translator going around the houses to find the best word, only to settle for the first one that sprang to mind. Oh well. Story of my life. Happy 2016, word geeks!