How To Talk About "Star Wars"

How To Talk About "Star Wars"

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If you want to talk with your Spanish-speaking friends about Star Wars, the Fundacón del Español Urgente has some advice for you.

Known in English as the Foundation for Urgent Spanish, the Royal Spanish Academy-affiliated organization also called Fundéu BBVA has issued guidelines to aid Spanish speakers and publications in discussing the space saga. Among them are that the film series should not be referred to by its English name - as is common - but by the Spanish name for the first film in the series: La guerra de las galaxias (literally The War of the Galaxies). As is the case with other compositition titles, only the first word should be capitalized.

As with that piece of advice, Fundéu's other recommendations show some similarities and differences with English:

  • Precuela is an acceptable word to refer to a prequel, just as secuela is acceptable for a sequel.
  • Although in English we can talk about Episode 5, in Spanish it's episodio V.
  • There's no need to capitalize the names of groups of creatures, just as names of ethnic groups aren't capitalized. Thus the Ewoks are known as los ewoks. (In words of recent foreign origin, it is common to pluralize by appending -s rather than -es as is usually done with words ending in a consonant.)
  • Jedis are known as jedis, but the Jedi Order can be written with capitalization as la Orden Jedi.
  • Names of spaceships are capitalized much as they are in English. Thus the Millennial Falcon is el Halcón Milenario.
  • A laser is un láser.
  • A hard-core fan can be called un or una friki, whose spelling is preferred to friqui.
  • A series of nine films can be called either una nonalogía or una enealogía. I'm not sure what the English equivalent is, but this is similar to the way a series of three films is called a trilogía in Spanish (trilogy in English).
  • The entire saga can be referred to as, well, una saga even though the traditional meaning of saga refers to legends less grand.
  • The use of franquicia (franchise) should be avoided in referring to the movies series itself - it's better to use serie. Franquicia should be used to refer to merchandise and spinoffs (such as comic books) based on the movie series.
  • Luke Skywalker? He's Lucas Caminante de los Cielos, a calque.
  • And Han Solo is simply Han Solo. Native speakers have often written the name as Han Sólo, but Fundéu says the accent isn't needed.