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La ley del minimo esfuerzo

 

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  #1  
Old March 08, 2017, 03:39 PM
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La ley del minimo esfuerzo

La ley del mínimo esfuerzo, is an expression used whan sb does almost nothing, I use it when I talk about students , when they do absolutely nothing or just the necessary to pass the exam. How can I say that in English.
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  #2  
Old March 08, 2017, 05:11 PM
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Certainly it's not "the path of least resistance" as other websites suggest.
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Old March 08, 2017, 05:46 PM
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do the bare minimum
make minimal effort

drift through life
barely make the grade

be a bump on a log (describing a lazy or lackadaisical person)
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Old March 08, 2017, 06:30 PM
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As my friend JPablo has posted in the Idioms section, "To give (something) a lick and a promise" might work.

In the Army we used to say "to half-step."

There must be other interpretations, so maybe they'll come to mind later.

Last edited by Glen; March 08, 2017 at 06:33 PM.
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Old March 08, 2017, 08:59 PM
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All this lick and promise stuff will confuse most English speakers. What Rusty wrote seems best to me. A person who gets by doing the bare minimum may be quite successful in certain circumstances.
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Old March 09, 2017, 03:43 AM
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As usual, we won't come up with an exact translation for it.

I like all the suggestions. "To give st a lick and a promise" sounded to me more like the soldier overseas who is telling his native lady "I will come back for you".

The meaning of "ser la ley del mínimo esfuezo" regarding a student means the student is indeed a bump on a log who every now and then shakes off their usual apathetic disposition just to get the minimum "momentum" to achieve a C minus and "survive", with "mínimo esfuerzo" meaning here just enough to avoid dire consequences from an academic standpoint and "ley" meaning it to be systematically done.
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Old March 09, 2017, 04:32 AM
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"He gets by doing the bare minimum to insure that he wont get sued for negligence" is how the term may be used in English. The law part can be inserted as well in the following manner: His M.O. is (or his rule is) to get by doing the bare minimum...

It is true that there is no common phrase like ejercer la ley de mínimo esfuerzo, but it certainly can be translated.
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Old March 09, 2017, 10:22 AM
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ser la ley del mínimo esfuerzo

not ejercer.

And the definition is translatable, but there's no equivalent notion.

Es la ley del mínimo esfuerzo ... estudia sólo cuando las papas queman, y siempre sólo lo justo ... lo/a llaman lotería instantánea: siempre pasa raspando (at least they are not Attila ... you know, "Atila, el rey de los unos").
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Old March 11, 2017, 12:24 PM
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I think that "the principle of minimum effort for maximum communication" (for example) would be something understandable.

I agree the "the bare minimum", as Rusty indicates, would be one of the best solutions.

Obviously, it depends on the context. But given what Robin presents as student scenario, "the bare minimum" fits the bill perfectly.

"Follow the minimum effort path" would probably work as well, but I don't think that is more used than "to do the bare minimum".

Another thing would be "trying to get away with murder", but sometimes, just doing "the bare minimum" could be murderous for the irresponsible student's future.

¡Buen finde para todos! ;-)
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