QUICK FACTS: Politics, News, Economy, Religion, History…for busy people!

CAIN WAS RIGHT IN ASKING: “How Do You Say Delicious in Cuban?” Cuban-Spanish Exists (Video)

Posted by FactReal on November 16, 2011


Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain visited Miami today. He visited Cafe Versailles, the de facto presidential campaign stop for anyone seeking votes among conservative Republican Cuban-Americans. Before addressing the crowd, Cain sipped Cuban coffee and tasted the Cuban croqueta (a deep fried stick of minced ham and bread crumbs). He started practicing with the crowd around him (mostly Cubans) the word “croqueta.” It seemed Cubans wanted to teach him the proper Cuban pronunciation of the word. The atmosphere was jovial. Then Cain asked a man behind him, “How do you say ‘delicious’ in Cuba (or in Cuban)?” The man responded “delicioso.” This is normal in Miami since Hispanics come from different parts of Latin America where vocabulary and pronunciation vary.

Later, Cain addressed the larger crowd and said some words in Spanish. “I am thrilled to be here at this wonderful restaurant Versailles and I did taste that wonderful Cuban coffee and a croqueta. It was delicious,” Cain said. He reminded them of his “nueve-nueve-nueve,” Spanish for his 9-9-9 tax plan calling it. People cheered.

Hours later, the media started attacking Cain for asking: “How do you say ‘delicious’ in Cuban?”

A word may have different meanings in various Spanish-speaking countries:
Cain was right in asking for the proper Cuban or Cuban-Spanish translation. Contrary to popular belief, the Spanish-speaking world is not homogeneous. There are variants of the Spanish language, etiquette, and customs from country to country. The same word may have different meanings in various Spanish-speaking regions. This variance could range from the very inoffensive to the profane.

For example:

The word “pendejo” means “pubic hair” for Cubans, but in Central America it refers to a “stupid person.” Some words could have the opposite meaning, e.g. Cubans say “ahora” (right now) but for other Latin Americans that word means “later in the day.”

Rennert Translation Group explains:

[There is a] sheer variety and flexibility of everyday Spanish words and phrases in use throughout Latin America and in Spain…[A] particular word in Spain can convey a very different meaning in Chile, and vice versa.

This represents a significant challenge for corporate managers who want to transmit a precise message to a specific country or region. How can one ensure that the letter and spirit of the English text will be correctly communicated, thereby preventing an unintentional faux pas…?

The solution the translators use is a process called localization…The local editor has a thorough knowledge of regional terminology and makes sure that the copy is 100 percent accurate for his or her native land.

Cain did just that – he asked the locals.

Yes, there is such a thing as Cuban-Spanish:
Cuban-Spanish has its own intonation, phonetics (e.g. tendency of dropping the final “s” or the deletion of final intervocalic “d” (e.g. the word “condado” (county) is pronounced by Cubans as “kon’da.o”), subjunctive verb forms, and even its own neologisms (new terms introduced by the Marxist dictatorship), etymology, etc.

Cubans speak Cuban-Spanish which is somewhat different from Argentinian-Spanish or Mexican-Spanish, especially when it comes to vocabulary and pronunciation. There is some variation in grammar. Some countries still use the old Spanish word for “you” (“vos” while Cubans use “tú”) with its pertinent verb conjugation.

In Miami, it is important to learn all those nuances to avoid offending people. Thus, it was smart for Cain to ask how to say it in “Cuban.”

(click image for video)

Other video: here.
EXAMPLE: The word “pendejo” has different meanings in the Spanish-speaking world:

Pendejo (lit.: “a pubic hair’) may be translated as “dumbass” in many situations, though it carries an extra implication of willful incompetence. The less extreme meaning, which is used in most Spanish speaking countries, translates more or less as “jackass.” The term however, has very high offensive connotations in Puerto Rico. An older usage was in reference to a man who is in denial about being cheated (for example, by his wife).

In Mexico, Central and Northern South America, pendejo refers to a stupid person (estúpido), synonymous with idiota (“idiot”) or imbécil (“imbecile”), although much more offensive. It is considered very offensive in Mexico and Central America, and less so in Panama (although it is still considered impolite among older adults).

In Peru it means a person who is opportunistic in an immoral or deceptively persuasive manner (usually involving sexual gain and promiscuity, but not limited to it), and if used referring to a female (ella es pendeja) it means she is promiscuous (or perhaps a swindler). There the word pendejada and a whole family of related words have meanings that stem from these.

In South America pendejo is also a vulgar, yet inoffensive word, for children. It also signifies a person with a disorderly or irregular life.

In Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic, it has different meanings depending on the situation. It can range from ¡Te cogieron de pendejo! (“You were swindled!”) to ¡Qué tipa pendeja! (“What a dumbass!” as when a strange woman behaves offensively, then suddenly leaves). In Mexico and some countries of Central America—especially El Salvador—una pendejada/pendeja is used to describe something incredibly stupid that someone has done.

In many regions, pendejo also means coward (with a stronger connotation), as in ¡No huyas, pendejo! “Don’t run away, chicken-shit!”

In South America it refers to a person regarded with an obnoxiously determined advancement of one’s own personality, wishes, or views (a “smartass”).

In Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, pendejo or pendeja refers to a child, usually with a negative connotation, like that of immaturity or a “brat”[citation needed]. Also, in Argentina, as “pendejo” literally means “pubic hair” it usually refers to someone of little to no social value.

In Peru, however, it does not necessarily have a negative connotation, and can just refer to someone who is clever and street-smart.

In the Philippines, this word is extremely offensive, meaning a “cuckold”, and often used with the intention of scathingly humiliating someone and robbing him of his pride.

In North Sulawesi, Indonesia, pendo (a derivative of pendejo) is used as profanity but with the majority of the population not knowing its meaning. The word was adopted during the colonial era when Spanish and Portuguese merchants sailed to this northern tip of Indonesia for spices.

In Spain, this word is hardly ever used.

In the film Idiocracy, Joe’s lunk-headed lawyer is named Frito Pendejo

Barack Obama thinks Austrian is a language:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s