los de razón

English translation: the civilized people

17:34 Apr 27, 2020
Spanish to English translations [PRO]
History / California History
Spanish term or phrase: los de razón
This is a phrase that appears in a historical narrative. The author is telling the story of how four Native American tribes would attack the settlers of Alta California. I'd like to know what the term "los de razón" could mean within the context.

Here is the full sentence:
"Estas cuatro familias de indios muy a menudo peleaban entre si mismos, pero de cuando en cuando se unian para atacar a los de razon." (No accent marks written in original document.)

Thank you...
Alison Trujillo
United States
Local time: 14:28
English translation:the civilized people
Explanation:
The civilized; the civilized people; the Christians; the civilized people (the Christians).

As per Discussion.
I was going to simply agree with Robert (westernized) but I feel an explicit reference to the civilized or to the Christians does convey more faithfully what "(gentes) de razón" actually means -or meant.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 14 ore (2020-04-28 08:09:32 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I think it is rather relevant to note here the different concept of man, religion and civilization itself that the Spanish did share (from the XVth to the XIXth century) with Anglos or French. The very naming "gentes de razón" is rather defining; someone de razón literally means with understanding, with high knowledge, substance or good grounding. And this meant for them to be in the world, to know and acknowledge western civilization, and obviously enough to be Christian. Contrary to Anglos and French, anyone would be acknowledged as "de razón" (and so as "one of us") as far as they would turn Christian and acknowledge western (Spanish) civilization.
Well, all this to insist on the relevance to explicitly state "civilized" or "Christian" when translating "(gentes) de razón".
Selected response from:

Chema Nieto Castañón
Spain
Local time: 23:28
Grading comment
Thank you to everyone for your thoughtful responses. I feel that I could go with either men and women "of reason" (with reason referring to Christianity/Catholicism/the idea of being more "civilized") or simply choose the word "civilized," which I am going to do in this case. The narrator of these journals is a Californio...thus, he considers himself not be what he calls a "Yankee" settler but one of the earlier Hispanic inhabitants of Alta California....and thus, a more "civilized" person than the "Yankees" or the Indians. He generally regards the native Indian populations with contempt, so I think it will be most appropriate to choose the word "civilized" here, as that's now he sees himself and his compatriots. Lots of cultural levels to unpack here, obviously. Thanks again to everyone.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
2 +10"men of reason" ("Westernized" peoples, "Westerners") //non-indigenous peoples
Robert Carter
3 +2the civilized people
Chema Nieto Castañón
2 +2The whites
Toni Castano
3the real enemies
Sofia Bengoa


Discussion entries: 15





  

Answers


13 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
the real enemies


Explanation:
I guess it refers to those the Indians had legitimate reasons to attack,

Sofia Bengoa
Spain
Local time: 23:28
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
1 corroborated select project
in this pair and field What is ProZ.com Project History(SM)?
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19 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5 peer agreement (net): +10
"men of reason" ("Westernized" peoples, "Westerners") //non-indigenous peoples


Explanation:
Low confidence rating because I'm not quite sure how to translate this, but it refers to "hombres de razón", i.e., those of European descent as opposed to the indigenous peoples. You could perhaps go with "non-indigenous," "colonists" or "settlers".

"The expression "hombres de razón" was often used in the colonial period as shorthand for those of European descent, though it referred technically not to race but to degree of Westernization/Hispanization", as the quote from the prologue of Relación de Michoacán illustrates."
https://tinyurl.com/yc8qaknq



Robert Carter
Mexico
Local time: 16:28
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Toni Castano: This is also possible, Robert. I´m not sure at all. // True, Robert, but bear in mind that the normal register of the time was to use the "whites". We don´t know when the book was written and by whom. We only see "historical narrative" in the query.
3 mins
  -> Thanks, Toni, yes, although I wanted to avoid "whites" because I think it might be misleading or even anachronistic. I think it may in fact mean, euphemistically, "Christians," and by extension, native-born converts (mestizos).

agree  philgoddard
9 mins
  -> Thanks, Phil.

agree  patinba: Non-indigenous is good
37 mins
  -> Thanks, Pat.

agree  Lydia De Jorge
1 hr
  -> Thanks, Lydia.

agree  Micaela Ruiz
2 hrs
  -> Thanks, Micaela.

agree  Muriel Vasconcellos: I'm wondering if 'white settlers' would work. Since "de razón" already implies hubris, it would be no less offensive to use 'white'.
4 hrs
  -> Thanks, Muriel. I get your point, but my hesitation to use "white" is more that it may be misleading than anything else.

agree  Justin Lewis
10 hrs
  -> Thanks, Justin.

agree  neilmac: White man nowadays speak with snowflake tongue... :)
12 hrs
  -> Thanks, Neil. I'm fairly certain it doesn't specifically refer to "whites" though.

agree  Victoria Monk: I was thinking 'Settlers' as this encompasses all non-native folk who 'settled' in the Americas
17 hrs
  -> Thanks, Victoria. "Colonists" would seem more fitting than settlers to me, as I saw some references to indigenous settlers in that area. I prefer Chema's "civilized people" TBH.

agree  Stephen D. Moore: I'm afraid this strikes me, too, as the most likely meaning.
20 hrs
  -> Thanks, Stephen. I think with "civilized people," Chema has nailed it to be honest.
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22 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5 peer agreement (net): +2
The whites


Explanation:
The author might probably mean the „whites“, either settlers, soldiers, etc., at any rate white people in contrast to the Indians (indigenous peoples).

The missing accent should not surprise you as there are no accents at all in your paragraph. :-)

Correct spelling:
"Estas cuatro familias de indios muy a menudo peleaban entre sí mismos [“sí mismas” would be the correct form], pero de cuando en cuando se unían para atacar a los de razón."

http://aleph.academica.mx/jspui/bitstream/56789/25172/1/37-1...
LAS IDEAS RACIALES DE LOS CIENTÍFICOS 1890-1910*
(...) de un lado a los tarahumaras y del otro a los de “razón”, los blancos.

Not a wild guess, but not sure at all either.


Toni Castano
Spain
Local time: 23:28
Works in field
Native speaker of: Spanish
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Muriel Vasconcellos
4 hrs
  -> Thank you, Muriel. I´ll probably add a note.

agree  neilmac
12 hrs
  -> Gracias, Neil.
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14 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
the civilized people


Explanation:
The civilized; the civilized people; the Christians; the civilized people (the Christians).

As per Discussion.
I was going to simply agree with Robert (westernized) but I feel an explicit reference to the civilized or to the Christians does convey more faithfully what "(gentes) de razón" actually means -or meant.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 14 ore (2020-04-28 08:09:32 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I think it is rather relevant to note here the different concept of man, religion and civilization itself that the Spanish did share (from the XVth to the XIXth century) with Anglos or French. The very naming "gentes de razón" is rather defining; someone de razón literally means with understanding, with high knowledge, substance or good grounding. And this meant for them to be in the world, to know and acknowledge western civilization, and obviously enough to be Christian. Contrary to Anglos and French, anyone would be acknowledged as "de razón" (and so as "one of us") as far as they would turn Christian and acknowledge western (Spanish) civilization.
Well, all this to insist on the relevance to explicitly state "civilized" or "Christian" when translating "(gentes) de razón".

Chema Nieto Castañón
Spain
Local time: 23:28
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 8
Grading comment
Thank you to everyone for your thoughtful responses. I feel that I could go with either men and women "of reason" (with reason referring to Christianity/Catholicism/the idea of being more "civilized") or simply choose the word "civilized," which I am going to do in this case. The narrator of these journals is a Californio...thus, he considers himself not be what he calls a "Yankee" settler but one of the earlier Hispanic inhabitants of Alta California....and thus, a more "civilized" person than the "Yankees" or the Indians. He generally regards the native Indian populations with contempt, so I think it will be most appropriate to choose the word "civilized" here, as that's now he sees himself and his compatriots. Lots of cultural levels to unpack here, obviously. Thanks again to everyone.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Robert Carter: Yes, "Christianity" I think is the unstated premise of this term, so "civilized" to me works perfectly. "Razón" brings to mind the "word of God," at least to me, though I couldn't find specific references to it.
7 hrs
  -> Thanks a lot, Robert, for all your insightful comments -as usual, BTW ;)

agree  Toni Castano: Tras haber leído varios fragmentos del libro de Barbara Voss, creo que tu respuesta es la que más se acerca al concepto "los de razón", si bien hay matices según el área geográfica y el período histórico. En todo caso, tu planteamiento es el más preciso.
8 hrs
  -> Muchas gracias, Toni; los matices que apuntas en las referencias de B. Voss son realmente interesantes -y atinados.
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