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Author Topic: "Colgate" in Spanish
Cold DecEmbra Brings The Sleet
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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I read in a paper's trivia column the other day that the word "colgate" translates as "go hang yourself" in Spanish. Eh?! I thought. Presumably Colgate brand sells in Spain as it does elsewhere in Europe?

Is this translation complete rubbish, or is there any basis in language/accent/dialect? babelfish was no help.

Embra "cut and toothpaste"

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Jaime Vargas Sanchez
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Embra:
I read in a paper's trivia column the other day that the word "colgate" translates as "go hang yourself" in Spanish. Eh?! I thought. Presumably Colgate brand sells in Spain as it does elsewhere in Europe?

Is this translation complete rubbish, or is there any basis in language/accent/dialect? babelfish was no help.

Embra "cut and toothpaste"

Well, first, yes, Colgate is sold in Spain. Not only that but it's one of the first toothpaste brands in existence here, so currently the first association one has when one hears "Colgate" is "toothpaste".

Second, "Colgate" here is pronounced with Spanish pronounciation rules, i.e. someting like "Kohl-GAH-teh", whereas "go hang yourself" is "cuélgate", which would be pronounced "KWEL-gah-teh".

The only dialect where I think "Colgate" could mean "go hang yourself" might be Argentinian, but I'm not sure, and it's not precisely the most usual Spanish dialect there is.

However, there are regional pronounciations where colgate is a mispronounciation of colgarte, which means "hang you", but it's usually an "uneducated" pronounciation - so much that the only instance I've heard of someone mistaking it is in - of course - a joke:

Entra uno en una farmacia y dice "quiero Colgate", y el farmacéutico contesta "y yo matate y asesinate"

(Translation: A man enters in a pharmacy and says "I want Colgate", and the clerk [thinking he had said 'I want to hang you'] answers "and I want to [pronounced dialectally] kill you and murder you")

Jaime

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"Everyone has problems. They only vary in design" - Mama Duck

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anue
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Jaime Vargas Sanchez:

Second, "Colgate" here is pronounced with Spanish pronounciation rules, i.e. someting like "Kohl-GAH-teh", whereas "go hang yourself" is "cuélgate", which would be pronounced "KWEL-gah-teh".

Why isn't it KOHL-gah-teh? (out of curiosity) I always pronounced it with the first syllable accented, but I could have been taught wrong.

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Steph
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I guess you could pronounce "Colgate" in Spanish as "KOHL-gah-teh", but wouldn't that indicate that there was an accent over the "o"? As Jaime said, "hang yourself" in Spanish is "cuelgate" (I don't have accents on my computer), so most people wouldn't confuse the brand name "Colgate" for "go hang yourself", although it does sound similar.
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Jaime Vargas Sanchez
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Tree-Recluse Hugger:
Why isn't it KOHL-gah-teh? (out of curiosity) I always pronounced it with the first syllable accented, but I could have been taught wrong.

Because it doesn't have an accent mark and it ends in "e". The rules for pronounciation of Spanish words are:

1) If there is an accent mark, the accent goes there.
2) If there is not an accent mark and the word ends in a vowel, n, or s, the accent goes on the penultimate syllabe.
3) If there is not an accent mark and the word ends in any other letter, the accent goes on the last syllabe.

Interesting point: I was never taught those rules, because being a native I was taught how to make sounds into writings and not the other way round; a native's question is not usually "how is it pronounced?", but "how is it written?", so the rules we were taught were the converse (Words with the accent in the last syllabe get an accent mark if they end in vowel, n, or s; words with the accent in the penultimate syllabe get an accent mark if they don't end in vowel, n, or s; and words with the accent in any syllabe before the penultimate syllabe always get an accent mark).

Jaime

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"Everyone has problems. They only vary in design" - Mama Duck

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Cold DecEmbra Brings The Sleet
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Well I'll be!

Thanks for than Jaime - it seemed so odd, but now I have the joke and everything!

Embra

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I want you to lay down your life, Perkins. We need a futile gesture at this stage. It will raise the whole tone of the war.

Posts: 4495 | From: Surrey, UK | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

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