Thursday, September 21, 2006

Chavez Es Un Maricon! ( or "Chavez Is A Bounder!")

What the media said Chavez said:

"The devil himself is right in the house. And the devil came here yesterday. Right here," Chavez said as he stood at the U.N. podium where Bush spoke the day before.

"It smells of sulfur still today, this table that I am now standing in front of," Chavez said.

What he actually said:

"The word he used to describe the smell was not 'sulfur'. It was the Spanish slang
word for feces, "sucio", meaning that which is dirty. All his homies will know it as "crap" but more derogatory. Most commonly used, for example, in Mexico, for caca. As in "el sucio de los ninos", when
changing diapers, or when referring to a horrible sight, be it a terribly failed
dish form the kitchen, or the upchuck of a drunk.

"In other words, it was extremely insulting. "Sulfer" was a classic sympathetic
translator's whitewash."

h/t Hordubal

12 comments:

chicklette said...

Thanks for giving us the truth. I only took one semester of Spanish in college, so I wouldn't have known what he was saying anyway. On my blog today I linked to an Editorial from the NY Daily News that I thought was pretty good.

Anonymous said...

That interpreter ought to be fired. When I was interpreting (for the Deaf), we were charged with faithfully executing the message. No matter what. If I were interpreting and the client signed "You are a dumb f***," I was required to voice exactly that. No whitewashing.

Granted, our Code of Ethics might be different, but I can't see that it is so different that it would allow for an interpreter to change the words that drastically. If he said "crap" or even worse, then that is what should have come out of the interpreter's mouth. If Chavez isn't concerned with anyone's "delicate" sensibilities, too bad.

Ray from MN said...

I would imagine that if you check through the small print in the history books, a fair number of wars have taken place over the years when language far less offensive than that was used.

It's amazine how these little two bit dictators can get so mouthy. They have to know in their innermost self that we could blow them away in 30 minutes if we really wanted to.

Thanks for the translation, Sue.

I can't believe somebody else in New York with all the Puerto Ricans and other Hispanics hasn't picked up on this yet.

If it was up to me, I would break diplomatic, consular and trade relations immediately and if one American citizen down there was harmed, in go the Marines and up goes their capitol building, legislature and military headquarters buildings in smoke faster than you can say Mohamad-e Ahmadenejad!

Esther said...

Glad you posted this. The translation was bad and probably on purpose. BTW, I'm not sure maricon means bounder. Where I am from, (Peru) it's slang for a homosexual.

Sue said...

Esther- yes. It was what we call a "joke."

Ricardo Flores Magon said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXdXxskS-VA

He clearly does not say "sucio" (which is really just an adjective for "dirty"). He says either "sulfre" (sulfur in a venezuelan dialect) or "sufre" (suffer).

I think if the interpreter had been whitewashing, she would have changed the more offensive "diablo" to something like "wacky president dude."

Adoro Te Devote said...

I'm just wondering what a "bounder" is in your parlance.

I spent a semester in Mexico (after 6 years of studying Spanish in school), and in Mexico, I worked with female prostitutes and male homosexual transvestite prostitutes---and the latter gave me a wonderful education in gutter slang. (As one might imagine).

"Maricon" was one word used to describe a homosexual male.

Of course, the meanings of words change across cultures...for example, "Raton" in one place means "rat", and in another, means "woman".

So! Do you have a different definition or a more clarifying one of your use of the word "Maricon" in your title?

Just curious. And I have no idea what "Bounder" means. Really. I'm sure that's hilarious and I promise to be properly embarassed whenever you define it. :-)

maria said...

"Maricon" or "marica" means homosexual and it is used mostly to describe someone who is affeminate. At least in most countries in South America.

maria said...

I just went to the link offered by Ricardo Flores Magon
and listened to Mr. Chavez talk in Spanish and he clearly says: "Huele a azufre" which is literally interpreted as "smells like sulfur".

HANS said...

Chavez is pretty stupid, but not as much as to say that in the UN. Sucio (if he did indeed say it) means just "dirty" in the most plain way possible.

Anyway, I guess no one can innocently bother to really listen to Chavez's speeches, unless of course you share his agenda, whatever that is.

csminor said...

Sorry, but having been raised Spanish/English bilingual I have to go along with Ricardo and Maria. Unless they went to the trouble of voicing-over a Spanish voice double in the news reports I heard, he pretty clearly said 'sulfuro' or some sulfurous variant of the word. If he had said 'sucio' (which would have been illogical in the context, anyway) I am sure I wouldn't have missed it.

'Maricon' at its mildest means an effeminate male or mama's boy--and that's just at it's mildest. While I'll admit there was something a little 'Brokeback Mountain' about some of his photo ops with Ahmadinejad, I suggest that in the absence of clear evidence of something funny going on we stick to 'sinverguenza' (shameless) or some such.

christopher mclaughlin said...

Does it really matter which word he said? It still comes down to him publicly addressing an assembly and complaining of a foul odor where he stood. Personally I think Tarranto from Opinion Journal, in four short words, captured it best: "He who smelt it..."