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changa, mona, negra

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by Natalia1, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. Natalia1 Junior Member

    California, USA
    Spanish-Mexico
    Help! Today at a deposition the applicant said her boss mistreated her verbally, using words like "changa", "mona" and "negra" when refering to her. I had a very difficult time coming up with a translation, so I had to explain what these words meant in the applicant's culture - (she is mexican).
    Phrases like:
    La changa esta no trabaja bien. ---- This "broad doesn't work well.
    La negra ya no trabaja con ganas. --- This slave is not working with enthusiasm any more.
    La mona esa no hace nada. ---That woman doesn't do anything.

    I would like to know how to translate these terms in context, considering how humilliating they are in Mexico. (I know, I am mexican too.)
     
  2. feher_tbs New Member

    Mexico City
    Mexican Spanish
    Hola, qué tal, yo también soy mexicano, creo y que tus propuestas capturan el sentido ofensivo de las palabras, pero falta para acentuar la coloquialidad (o incluso vulgaridad) de las frases.

    Primero, creo que más que palabras, estás lidiando con frases cuando citas "la changa esta / la mona esa".
    Segundo, los tres casos tienen una connotación racista más que clara. Incluso, en el segundo caso, creo que debes usar la palabra más cercana en términos de vocabulario racista.

    Yo propondría (a ver qué te parece):

    La changa esta no trabaja bien. ---- This monkey/brownie broad can't work well.
    La negra ya no trabaja con ganas. --- This nigger/slave girl/ blackie isn't making an effort.
    La mona esa no hace nada. ---That broad doesn't do anything.

    Además, dejo la traducción literal de cada término, para referencia:

    La changa esta ----This monkey
    Negra---Black girl/woman
    La mona esa---That monkey/that broad

    A pesar de que changa y mona son sinónimos, creo que la connotación de mona es más genérica y, culturalmente, menos ofensiva. Cabe mencionar que estos términos tienen sus relativos masculinos, sin embargo, por alguna razón me quedo pensando que en femenino tienen usos mucho más denigrantes, ¿qué opinas?

    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    Hi, therem I'm also Mexican. I believe your translation captures the offensiveness of such words. However, I think you should also consider the colloquial (even vulgar) aspects of the phrasing.

    Firstly, I think we're dealing with phrases more than words in the case of "la changa esta / la mona esa".

    Secondly, all three cases have a clearly racist connotation. Specifically the second case, which I think should be translated with equally strong racial slur.

    My proposal would be (let's see what you think of it):

    La changa esta no trabaja bien. ---- This monkey/brownie broad can't work well.
    La negra ya no trabaja con ganas. --- This nigger/slave girl/ blackie isn't making an effort.
    La mona esa no hace nada. ---That broad doesn't do anything.

    Also, here is the literal translation of each term, just for future reference:

    La changa esta ----
    This monkey
    Negra---Black girl/woman
    La mona esa---That monkey/that broad

    Note that even though changa are mona are synonyms, mona has a more generic connotation, perhaps culturally less offensive. It should also be noted that all these terms have a masculine counterpart, however, it seems that their feminine usages are weigh more denigrating, what do you think?
     
  3. Moritzchen Senior Member

    Los Angeles, CA
    Spanish, USA
    Changa is not broad.
    Negra is not slave.
    Mona is not woman.
    And if you were the interpreter in a deposition you were under oath to translate to the best of your ability so help you God.
     
  4. Natalia1 Junior Member

    California, USA
    Spanish-Mexico
    You are absolutely right Moritzchen, that's why I said that I didn't translate the words, but rather explained the meaning. After said explanation, I used "monkey" for mona or changa, and "black woman" for negra. Those are literal translations, but they do not convey -at all- the meaning in the original context.
    Other than your "opinion", do you have any suggestions?
     
  5. Natalia1 Junior Member

    California, USA
    Spanish-Mexico
    Feher;
    Muchas gracias. Considero que tus traducciones se acercan mucho al significado original. :)
     
  6. feher_tbs New Member

    Mexico City
    Mexican Spanish
    Natalia, qué bueno que te haya resultado útil, pero esperemos a ver qué otras soluciones salen en el foro. Yo todavía tengo mis dudas.

    Saludos.
     
  7. Moritzchen Senior Member

    Los Angeles, CA
    Spanish, USA
    You are saying the deponent was Mexican, but she was conveying what her boss allegedly told her. You are not telling us where the boss is from. Someone from Mexico would use Chango for monkey and mono for cartoon or doll, so probably they wouldn't be using both words to mean the same. Someone from the Western coast of South America on the other hand, may use chango for Indian or child. I do agree that all terms are demeaning. Now, I don't understand how was it that you were able to explain the meaning, I hope it was off the record.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2011

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