Guachinanga And Chinita

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by Thomas Keyes, May 11, 2005.

  1. Thomas Keyes Senior Member

    Southeast Asia
    USA, English
    The dictionary defines "guachinanga" as: 1.) slimy; 2.) sharp, astute. But in the song "La Paloma", there's a line, "Y una linda guachinanga, como una flor, se vino detrás de mí". This is about a bird. Those definitions don't seem to fit. In the same song, there's, "¡Ay! chinita que sí, ¡Ay! dame tu amor". I don't hink it's about a Chinese girl, so what does "chinita" mean here?
     
  2. Whisky con ron Senior Member

    Scotland
    Venezuela / Español
    "chinita" is commonly used to refer to a girl.
     
  3. beatrizg Senior Member

    Colombia, Spanish
    Hola Thomas!

    In Colombia we call "chino/a" a boy or girl. But you can also use the word to show affection and this is the case of the song.
    Chinita: "my little girl"
     
  4. LadyBlakeney

    LadyBlakeney Senior Member

    Madrid
    Spain
    According to this site about "habaneras", "guachinanga" means "mexican girl or woman".

    Source: http://www.radiorabel.com/libro/habanera.htm

    La inclusión en el texto de La Paloma de la palabra "guachinanga" hizo pensar en la paternidad de un compositor mejicano hasta que se conoció la partitura escrita por Iradier. Esta palabra probablemente la conoció el compositor vasco en su paso por Méjico, previo a su llegada a La Habana. De todas formas en Cuba, en aquellos tiempos, se denominaban "guachinangos" a los nacidos en Méjico.
     
  5. burt81356 Senior Member

    Indiana
    México - USA
  6. maceduverney New Member

    English
    A mestizo girl in Spanish colonial America, being half European and half Amer-Indian, often was born with sallow skin and Asiatic features, and would thus be referred to as a "China". For example, in the Pampas, the Gaucho--a mestizo cowboy--comes home to his "china" after a hard day's work. Another derivation, particularly in Mexican Spanish, is use of the word "chino" for curly hair (which obviously has nothing to do with Chinese, whose hair is straight, or "liso". It may derive from a comparison to the curlicue tail of a pig, or "cochino") Thus, a young woman or girl with curly hair might very well be referred to endearingly as "chinita". "Guachinaga" stumps me, since a "Guachinango" is a red snapper. maceduverney
     
  7. maceduverney New Member

    English
    "Guachinanga"*
     
  8. mafaia New Member

    USA English
    Hi:
    I'm currently trying to learn "La Paloma," and I find that it is very tricky coordinating the lyrics and melody. I have looked up chinita and huachinanga, and this is what I find here and there:
    Chinita seems to have several meanings, including ladybug, little girl, and sweetheart. All of these seem to work in the context of La Paloma. Maybe somebody can explain whether there is a masculine form, chinito, that also could be part of this beautiful love song, que me da lágrimas.
    All I know about huachinango is that street vendors used to use huachinango filets in Xalapa, for the most delicious tacos I've ever had. So, I assume that huachinanga is the feminine form of this term, and that the man is telling the woman that he loves her like a pretty little fish. This is not metaphorical English traditionally, but as far as I know it could work in parts of the hispanic world.
     
  9. Solo para información, un uso reciente de la palabra "china" en el Perú, es llamar así a la moneda de 50 céntimos. En los microbuses de servicio público cuando dicen "una china hasta la avenida...." significa que se pagará cincuenta céntimos por el recorrido.
     
  10. nangueyra Senior Member

    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Castellano-Argentina
    Hola. En Argentina "china" es la compañera del gaucho. El término deriva del quechua "muchacha, hembra"

    Saludos
     
  11. mafaia New Member

    USA English
    Gracias colegas.
    Me parece mucho mejor amar a una mexicana.
    Todavía me parecen difíciles ciertas partes de la canción: las líneas 2, 4, y quizá 7, aunque he oído que "bien de mi vida" quiere decir "light of my life," más o menos.
    También, ¿cambia la voz en 9, de la mujer a su nóvio? Me parece que sí.

    1 Cuando salí de la Habana, ¡valgarme Dios!
    Nadie me ha visto salir, si no fuí yo.

    3 Una linda Huachinánga, allá voy yo,
    Que se vino tras de mí, ay, que sí, señor.

    5 Si a tu ventana llega una paloma,
    Trátala con cariño, que es mi pérsona.

    7 Cuéntale tus amores “bien de mi vida”
    Corónala de flores, que és cosa mía

    9 ¡Chiníta que sí!
    ¡Ay que dame tu amor!
    ¡Ay, que vente conmigo, chinita!
    A donde vivo yo.
     

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