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Brainstorming

I believe the idea of brainstorming is a beautiful concept. I think I can remember the first time I came across this idea, although the word itself was almost certainly not used, as I read about it in Spanish. It was an article in my grandmother’s collection of Reader’s Digest, at the beginning of the 70’s during a hot summer deep in the Catalan hinterland. I used to like those optimistic articles as a child, you know the kind where the author writes about humankind with humanity and about the future with hope, where America is great and nice, science an unstoppable force of good and a joke or two awaits you at the end of every article. And in such an article, I remember it clearly, the author wrote about the possibility of making a group of people get up with more interesting and useful ideas by simply saying whatever came to their minds and reacting in a good spirited manner to what the other participants said. I even remember the example the author gave in that article: A team of soldiers was presented with a hypothetical problem concerning a mine floating too close to a ship for comfort and were asked what they would do in such a situation to defuse the danger. Eventually, after some suggestions of little help, somebody suggested to call every man on deck so all together could huff and puff the mine away. Being a small kid I could picture the scene as if it was from a comic-book and found it hilarious. The point of the article was that some time later a real ship found itself in the above described situation: she was resting at some bay when the crew realised that a mine was drifting towards them. The mine was already too close to blow it up without danger to the ship and crew, moving the ship would suck the mine closer to the hull leading to an eventual explosion (the same problems that had led the team above to come up with a funny situation to ease the tension of being confronted with a difficult to solve, life threatening situation). According to the article, the crew in the real vessel cleared the situation by pushing the mine away with the help of the fire brigade’s water hoses. “Well, that is no longer funny, but simply a good idea”, I remember thinking. Years later, when I came across the English word brainstorming, I eventually realised that this word described the good idea I had learned so many years before, but that Spanish did not have a word for it. Considering that many Spaniards are not really familiar with that English concept and postulating that they need a word for such a good idea I can only suggest that Spanish welcomes brainstorming as an accepted Spanish word or that the Real Academia de la Lengua Española invents a word for it. The latter would be quite a departure from the Academia’s usual procedures. The catedráticos do not usually propose words, they gracefully, after a long drawn out debate about the purity of language, accept the ones that are already in widespread use, not without the whiff of reluctance. Words already in use are thus deemed worthy of being accepted into the official dictionary, but it is to the best of my knowledge unheard of that a new word is minted by the Academia and then imposed on the speakers of Spanish. So brainstorming it will have to be for them, perhaps some day hispanicised as breinestormín. Or perhaps torbellino mental or galerna de ideas might prevail after all? Whatever is chosen: May it be useful! Germans, on the other hand, seem to have no problem at all with the adoption of the word brainstorming as it is and use it with gusto. So much the better. .

Kommentare

 
Am 25.10.2013 um 07:06 von Emilio García
En México decimos "lluvia de ideas".
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Am 25.10.2013 um 07:25 von Jordi
Tampoco está mal. ¿Sabes por casualidad si es un concepto original mexicano o es un calco adaptado del inglés?
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Am 08.04.2014 um 05:39 von María
Estudié psicología en Tenerife, España, como alternativa a brainstorming también usábamos "lluvias de ideas". Es frecuente usar esta expresión en textos sobre psicología escritos en castellano, .
Un saludo
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Am 08.04.2014 um 06:10 von Jordi
Muchas gracias María, no hay como preguntar a los profesionales del ramo. Pues lluvia de ideas será la solución. ¡Perfecto! Y como ya dije arriba, no suena nada mal.
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Am 01.04.2015 um 10:08 von Simone
Die FAZ schreibt heute, dass das Brainstorming 1930 von Alex F Osborn erfunden wurde. Erfindungen kann man nennnen, wie man will. http://www.faz.net/aktuell/beruf-chance/arbeitswelt/mythen-berufsleben-home-office-brainstorming-flache-hierarchien-grossraumbuero-13508284.html?printPagedArticle=true#pageIndex_2
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Am 01.04.2015 um 10:15 von Jordi
Danke, Simone. Wikipedia sagt das auch, ich habe gerade nachgeschaut: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alex_F._Osborn Aber ob man eine nicht patentierbare Erfindung tatsächlich so weit besitzt, dass man die Bezeichnung bestimmen kann, wage ich zu bezweifeln. Besonders postum dürfte es schwer werden ;-)
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Am 18.05.2016 um 09:47 von Sergio
He escuchado en varias ocasiones la traducción literal "tormenta de ideas", que funciona bastante bien en mi opinión.
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Am 18.05.2016 um 09:51 von Jordi
Buenos días, Sergio: me alegro, muchas gracias, no sé si es la traducción canónica (lluvia de ideas, como se sugería arriba tampoco está mal) pero se entiende. Al menos yo la entiendo, que ya es algo. A medida que se acepte y se conozca mejor irá enriqueciéndose la lengua y quizás nos entendamos mejor. Hoy me he levantado optimista :-)
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