Here's an original paragraph from Mendieta:
Here's what Babel Fish came up with:Por lo cual le convenia dar luego á huir con ello, sin aguardar mas razones. Hízolo Xolotl de la misma manera que se le encomendó; que fué al infierno y alcanzó del capitan Mictlan Tecutli el hueso y ceniza que sus hermanos pretendian haber, y recibido en sus manos, luego dió con ello á huir. Y el Mictlan Tecutli, afrentado de que así se le fuese huyendo, dió á correr tras él, de suerte que por escaparse Xolotl, tropezó y cayó, y el hueso, que era de una braza, se le quebró y hizo pedazos, unos mayores y otros menores; por lo cual dicen, los hombres ser menores unos que otros.
And here's what I salvaged from the wreckage:Thus convenia to give soon á him to flee with it, without waiting but reasons. Hízolo Xolotl in the same way that was entrusted to him; that fué to hell and reached of captain Mictlan Tecutli the bone and ash that their brothers pretendian to have, and received in their hands, soon he gave with it á to flee. And the Mictlan Tecutli, insulted from which therefore it was fleeing to him, gave á to run after him, in such a way that to escape Xolotl, it encountered and it fell, and the bone, that was of one fathom, became broken and made pieces, greater and other minors to him; thus they say, the men to be smaller than others.
I've had to take some liberties there, so I'm curious to know (1) have I sacrificed any subtle nuances of the original; (2) is it that my Spanish is seriously crap or (3) that 16th century Spanish really is all over the place, or (4) is it that Spanish is just a lot less like English than I previously thought? The problem is I can read it in Spanish and get most of what's said but as soon as I try to translate it I find myself in the Monty Python 'my hovercraft is full of eels' sketch once again. Some of it really does seem completely nuts and I'm not even sure that Babel Fish isn't more of an obstacle than a help. Any thoughts on this any of you genuine Spanish speakers?Thus he agreed to flee with it [the bone and ash] once it had been given to him, without waiting for further debate. Xolotl then did all of this in the same manner that had been entrusted to him; which was to go the underworld and take from Mictlan Tecutli the bone and ash which his brothers were supposed to have, and he received it in his hands, and immediately made his escape with it. And Mictlan Tecutli, insulted that this person was fleeing from him, made to chase after, in such a way that in his haste to escape Xolotl stumbled fell, and the bone, that was of one fathom in length, became broken and fell into pieces, some large and some small; thus they say, this is why some men are smaller than others.
By the way, if you ever get bored, Babel Fish is a good way to waste an evening, just watching it turn everything into a Japanese hotel brochure.