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  1. #1

    Smile How To Translate "patera" Into English


    I'm tranlating into English a text related to illegal immigration. I found a word referring to a "decrepit fishing vessel" which in Spain is called "patera", my question is if there is an English term I can choose better than "decrepit fishing vessel"

    thanks in advance


  2. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970

    Re: How To Translate "patera" Into English

    This definition may help:

    In the Spanish language, a patera is a type of boat. In current usage it refers to any of the floating devices used by African people smugglers to transport illegal immigrants from Africa to Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands or across the Strait of Gibraltar to Andalusia. The poor state of the boats, overcrowding, and lack of sea experience often result in massive drownings. Patera operators have been known to intentionally throw their passengers overboard if they need to flee the coast guard.


    Note, patera is an English borrowing. It refers to a flat, shallow (food) vessel. I wonder, could the shape of a patera (dish) have something to do with the reason the word patera was semantically extended to certain types of boats?

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