Real Guatemala: El Zapatero

Rudy Giron: &emdash; Zapatero a tu zapatos

Here’s a Guatemalan idiom for your ever-increasing Spanish vocabulary: “zapatero, a tus zapatos”

Ne sutor ultra crepidam — “Let the shoemaker venture no further.” Another idiomatic translation might be: cobbler, stick to thy last. Used to critize someone who opines about a subject without knowing it. (source: Wiktionary)

What other translation can you offer for zapatero, a tus zapatos?

© 2013, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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  • El Canche

    “Stick to what you know best”, is my offering….one of several that will surely come in from our learned readership!

  • Tom de NY

    I’ll second El Canche’s offering. Interestingly, we really don’t have an equivalent expression. I’ll have to consult my English teacher mother and/or my English teacher and author daughter on this one.
    I love this series, and on this one I say, “God bless him!”
    Zapateros are an endangered species in the U.S., at least in my neck of the woods. Shops like this used to be everywhere; now I have to travel over 20 miles to the only one left in what is a rather populous area. Evidently everyone here now tosses old shoes rather than repair them.
    When I was young there was a “while you wait” shoe repair stand near the subway entrance (I was born and raised at the end of the famous 7 train!), and as a patojo I was fascinated by the work those men did with their strong, skilled and grimy hands. It seemed as though they could make anything.
    Now those men are long dead, their ancient trade is slowly going the same way, and the U.S. factories that made the shoes they fixed– factories in which my forebears worked when they first came to the U.S.– are almost all shuttered.
    We say “a picture tells a thousand words,” and I guess for me this one conjures forth quite a few words as well. Thanks!