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A spoiler is something that spoils another thing. So much is easy and tautologically obvious. To spoil, used as a transitive verb, is defined by my Merriam Webster as: to damage seriously, to impair the quality or effect of something, to disrupt or to pamper excessively. So a spoiler could be, for instance, and always according to my Merriam Webster, one (as a political candidate) having little or no chance of winning but capable of depriving a rival of success, or a long narrow plate on the wing of an aeroplane that may be raised to reduce lift and increase drag, or the rather similar device that deflects the air on an automobile to reduce the tendency to lift off the road at high speeds, but the meaning that interests me here is the ¨information about the plot of a motion picture or TV programme that can spoil a viewer's sense of surprise or suspense; also: a person who discloses such information.¨ The first meaning is irrelevant now, although it also may be difficult to translate into Spanish or German. Never mind, perhaps I will come back to that meaning later. The second and third meanings are rather technical and can easily be ¨translated¨ into German and Spanish by just being left as they are: An English spoiler is a German Spoiler (capitalised as all German nouns are) or a Spanish spoiler (no capital letters needed here) or an alerón (ala meaning wing, an alerón turns out to be something like a winglet, which is quite correct). But what about the meaning concerning the fun spoiled by someone who discloses something about a movie, a TV show or a book that somebody would rather have found out by him- or herself? How could one express that behaviour in Spanish or German?
Considering that somebody who spoils a party is called in Spanish an aguafiestas somebody that spoils a film could well be called an aguapelículas and somebody that spoils a book an agualibros. The only pity with these excellent suggestions of mine is that nobody says so and nobody will understand you if you do.
The only person so far that knew that whiskers are also called a vibrisas in Spanish, my friend and excellent colleague Mercedes Rafael, is so interested in finding out how this concept could be expressed in Spanish that she is willing to give a modest reward to whoever comes up with a good one-word solution. Good means that she must be satisfied; one word means less that two words but more than zero. I will transmit her whatever proposal you come up with.
And what about German? German seems to be getting used to accepting the English term as it is. Many people understand it and the Duden dictionary includes this meaning as the fourth definition of the word, after the aerodynamic meaning in cars and planes, where it is also called Störklappe and a third mysterious meaning related to ski gear (please do not ask for details). So German has adopted this word. That is good. If we cannot find a nice translation into Spanish perhaps Spanish should adopt the term as well. That is usually the easiest way to deal with that kind of problem. I myself have done so in the Spanish and German introductions of this blog. Or does anybody have a nice suggestion?
Spoilers used to be nicer when I was younger
Another definition for spoiler that does not feature in the dictionary is: The last thing that goes through the head of the driver of a convertible car right after a frontal crash against a wall.


Am 03.01.2014 um 10:27 von merisi
Hi i think that desvelar o irse de la lengua van bastante bien gracias
Am 03.01.2014 um 01:13 von Jordi
Hola merisi, muchas gracias por tu propuesta. Me parece muy bien, ese es el concepto, pero ¿porqué no lo utilizan los periodistas? Igual falta un matiz, no sé si Mercedes va a aceptar tu propuesta como merecedora de la recompensa anunciada, sea ésta cual sea.

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