A question for the Spanish speakers out there

Happy Hour is 9 to 5My book has just been translated into Spanish by Maria deVera of ContentSpanish who did a magnificent job. It will be available in Spanish on paper and in pdf very soon.

I just have one question for ya: The title.

This is the title we’re going with: Nuestra hora feliz es de 9 a 5 – Cmo estar encantado con tu trabajo y con tu vida y ser un profesional excepcional.

It’s a pretty literal translation of the original English title Happy Hour is 9 to 5 – Learn how to Love your Job, Love Your Life and Kick Butt at Work.

How do you like the title in Spanish? Do you have a better idea? Do you think there’s a market for the book in Spanish?

Please write a comment, I’d really like to know your take!

17 thoughts on “A question for the Spanish speakers out there”

  1. As Benjamin said, Happy Hour is perfectly understandable by profesionals, at least in Latin America. I’m from Argentina and live in M

  2. It’s good, but leaves out the “kick butt” part.

    Learn how to Love your Job, Love Your Life and Kick Butt at Work
    How to be delighted with your work and life and be an exceptional professional.

    I’m not a native speaker, but seems to need a little more zip.

  3. Sorry, a little typo. The titles I’m suggesting are:

    Happy Hour de 9 a 5. Aprende a amar tu trabajo, amar tu vida y comerte al mundo.


    Happy Hour de 9 a 5. Ama tu trabajo, ama tu vida y c

  4. I think the above suggestions for an alternative translation of the title are all very good. And they touch on a very key point: who is the target audience of your text in Spanish? To say “all Spanish speakers” is really too broad – and yet this is an all too common error. (I realize that you did *not* say this.)

    I tend to agree with Jorge – when you have clearly defined your target market(s), you may wish to consider where and how it might be appropriate to adapt the text. The relevance of your book to your reader, with respect to cultural differences, will be immediately apparent in the title. For example, with respect to the typical work day in various countries.

    Also, the phrase “kick butt” becomes a challenge in translation. You’ll notice that everyone chose conservative translations: ser un profesional excepcional, destacar, ser el mejor, etcetera. And perhaps a conservative translation is best: some synonym for “excel”. If you try to keep the tone and the slang of “kick butt”, in translation you run two risks: offending someone or choosing an idiom that makes sense in one country but not another. But with the conservative choices, as Drew pointed out, you also lose some of the tone you were trying to get across.

  5. Hello from Spain,

    Here at the other side of the Atlantic, the happy hour concept is not translated, so i think it’s better to use the original version. I vote for Benjamin suggestion of title:

    “happy hour de 9 a 5: como amar tu trabajo, amar tu vida y destacar en el trabajo”.

  6. I’ll have to agree with those that said using “happy hour” in english would suggest getting drunk on the job or something like that. not a very good idea.

    For your original title idea “Nuestra hora feliz es de 9 a 5” I’d suggest changing it to “Nuestro horario feliz es de 9 a 5” (or 6, 7, whatever). This could/would translate back to english as something like “Our happy business hours are 9 to 5” which is kinda the idea of the original title in english, right?

  7. Well, all the comments above are quite interesting, and i’d say… you’re in trouble.

    The point to me is that:

    1. Happy Hour in its English form is used everywhere, and understood as what it is, meaning, a bar thing. The subtlety of the “happy” in it wouldn’t be conveyed to the Spanish speakers in the same way that it is to the English ones. The first association would be done with drinking. Therefore, from that point of view, I would refrain from using it. Then on the other hand, even in English, that title meant to be provocative, and also for the English speakers the bar association is there…

    2. The literal translation is way too corny. Sounds like a children fairytale bad title in some way.

    3. To be able to use a title and subtitle that use your twist of words with the enthusiasm, the lack of conventionalism and at the same time without going into either corny, daring or lame is quite impossible without getting more local than the whole Spanish speaking market, The way we Latinamericans speak is way different from one place to another when it comes to the idioms.

    Then, it only happens to me that in order to still have a provocative title that catches the attention without falling into too regionalistic expressions, you indeed might want to keep the “happy hour” after all.

    Of course people will first associate the term with drinking and bars, but that’s what the English speakers do as well. In my opinion the effect of the title is interesting because it makes you think a bit. If you stay with the first meaning it would be a book on how to be drinking all day. Then you realize there is a word play in it and that makes it funny. And then interesting.

    (The subtitle and cover clarify anything that might still need to be, anyway)

    I think that effect is quite impossible to translate to anything else, and that if you would maintain “happy hour” in it, you would keep that same effect. “Nuestra Hora Feliz…” certainly doesn’t convey anything at all. Please do NOT use that one.

    My vote goes to “Happy Hour de 9:00 a 6:00”

    Regarding the subtitle, I don’t know if that is idiomatic, but it works for me:
    “Como amar tu trabajo, amar tu vida, y arrasar en tu empresa”

    I leave the “Learn…” just to make the sentence in better shape, and wouldn’t use the “eat the world” thing just because I don’t like it, but then, probably the “arrasar” part wouldn’t fit other regions as well. It’s quite difficult to be idiomatic for such a large region…

    Anyway, just my 0.2… and, as I said at the beginning… You’re in trouble buddy! ;-)

  8. Greetings from Guatemala. I think that the title can not be taken so literally, the title and the punch line should change in order to impact the Spanish audience.

    The literal translation from happy hour is “Hora Feliz” which sounds more like a Sunday morning kids show.

    I know that you’re trying to keep the original title impact, but in Spanish is quite different. Also “Kick Butt” is something that has to be translated in a very special way

    How about this:

    “La Felicidad tiene Horario, de 9:00am a 5:00pm — Aprende como Amar tu Trabajo, tu Vida y trascender en el trabajo”

    some light changes

    “La Felicidad tiene Horario, y es de 9:00am a 5:00pm — Aprende como Amar tu Trabajo, tu Vida y encontrar el exito en el trabajo”

    This suggestions may sound long, but Spanish can not be compressed as English

    Hope this really helps :)

  9. Well

    I really agree with mr. Gougeon… your are in big trouble. But since i really want to see this book in the mexican shelves i would make an slight change on the title he suggests.

    Maybe to reinforce the encapsulation of the idea that the happy hour is in the working hours. How about:
    “La hora feliz es de 9 a 5
    Como amar tu trabajo, amar tu vida, y arrasar en tu empresa”

    The “kick butt” idiom its a hard one to translate but i think the “arrasar” word its the more accurate because it translates also the harsh and forcely manner of the idiom.

    And about the time frame i think its not necessary to move it because for a lot of spanish people its commonly know the term “from 9 to 5” refers to the working hours, there was even a movie with that title !!!

    Hope i am of help to you


  10. Thanks for the fantastic input everyone. I’m going to think this over together with Maria de Vera and announce a title soon!

    Muchas gracias!

  11. Hi everybody from Spain.

    I think leaving “Happy hour” is perfect for your target audience.

    My vote goes to the mixed-translation proposed by Josep.

    Hope seeing your book soon in our bookstores !!

  12. Greetings from Chile. Here is very common using “Happy Hour” and our working time is from 9 to 6, like in Mexico. To avoid this kind of complications is great Jorge Said’s “

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