Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by padredeocho, Sep 4, 2006.
What do cornudo and callejero mean?
cornudo/a, someone whose wife/husband is been unfaithful.
callejero, someone who likes be always out the house, in a derogatory way could mean "whore".
Yes, cornudo would be "cuckold".
The problem is that there seems to be no equivalent vulgar term in everyday colloquial English. I'm struggling with "cornudo", since "cuckold" isn't a term that is used anywhere outside correct literary contexts. It's not what people say when chatting about each other being in that situation!
I guess the English-speaking world, for whatever cultural reasons, prefers to use long phrases (she's been unfaithful/sleeping around" "his wife left him for another man" etc - notably all casting aspertions onto the woman!) rather than a one-word term that in this particular case is an insult to the man who is the innocent injured party, as if it were somehow his fault!
One might be inclined to believe there's more "male soidarity" in the English-speaking world! Ha! Ha! You certainly don't hear the word "cuckold" in the same everyday conversations that "cornudo" is heard - and that's not for want of the situation, or its being referred to, or suffered!!!
a cornudo/a is someone who's been "two-timed" by their significant other.
the word "callejero" is used to mean someone who spends too much time in the street, or even a homeless person.
I hope this could help.
Yeah... it seems to be more male solidarity there, but women wise, there are plenty of words everywhere to insult them...
I think the major difficulty for a translator lies in the fact that any rendering of either of these terms in English requires a major change in the grammar, because there is no simple adjective to apply to the person being so described (and still sound reasonably plausible as something an English speaker would say). That inevitably involves complications if working to a strict word or character limit.
Added to which, by restructuring the whole sentence to accommodate a more natural typically English expression alters the sense that is being conveyed or expressed in the original, by shifting the focus onto the active party. The verb "to two-time" isn't naturally used in the passive voice. It's the pejorative allegation aimed at the one who's "playing away from home" or whatever euphemism is preferred.
That's a major linguistic complication, and it's notable that all the contributors in this and other threads on the subject of "cornudo", are not native English-speakers, and it's the native English speakers who have the problem finding a suitable equivalent, because their language doesn't express itself in that way. It's not just a matter of "grammatical gymnastics" - active form or passive form, adjective or noun, etc... such "alternatives" significantly alter the idea being expressed, which the translator has to convey.
The point I'm making is that language isn't just a series of words, it's primarily a means of communication, and as such is an important vehicle of culture. So it's inevitable that there are words and expressions which are simply not adequately translatable, because they belong to a whole cultural mindset that doesn't coincide with that of the other language. That's a dilema many translators are keenly aware of, but the client may well be totally unaware of the unreasonableness of their demands or requirements.
In the case of "cornudo", and indeed "cabrón", it would seem there is documented evidence that they are the "labels" for a concept that is particular to the Latin and Mediterranean (classic Greek and Roman) cultures. Socio-cultural and anthropological studies recognise that "social stigma" vary from one culture to another, even from one social strata to another within that culture, and of course language is the tool for communicating such attitudes. Social anthropologists need to be good linguists, but are translators sufficiently socio-anthropologically aware?!
Remember languages are living beasts. Evolving, twisting and turning both together with others and often alone, especially if geographically distant or where trade is limited/non existant.
Most languages have words and concepts alien to others, especially when it comes to cultural stereotypes. I guess as time goes on and with the furthering reaches of the internet, this will become less and less so.
The "cornudo" character is one of ridicule. You feel sorry for him but at the same time you laugh at his misfortune, which according to the stereotype, he caused himself by being blind and stupid. We can sympathize with him or share his pain, but in the end, is a comic persona.
That is perhaps why when one does get betrayed by a partner, one doesn't only get his trust betrayed, but feels oneself fall into the character of ridicule, a further slap on the face.
The "cuck" or "cuckold" doesn't fit that profile. Anglo-Saxon cultures preferring to avoid mentioning them altogether. That is why the word is hardly touched in written text or why society hasn't come up with a more modern definition for one. I personally believe strongly (and in spite of trying to avoid becoming a recalcitrant on the matter), having lived in Australia for the last 25 years and having married an American, that it is the emotional immaturity of the general population of the so called "advanced western democracies" as well as its idealization of individualism, that prevents it from taking such concepts with as much seriousness, or adopting one of "too bad, but that is their luck".
For "Callejero" too, there isn't anything similar in English. Spanish has a lot of references to the street. "Tener calle" is to be experienced in life, to embrace and idealize adulthood (which anglo-saxon cultures again do not do), "callejero" often applies to being away from the home, from the family unit, almost like a stray, in which case "roamer" or "wanderer" would apply. But as we know already, the Anglo-Saxon's family unit and the Hispanic are very different, and so are their values of home life.
The only thing really to do in the cases of such translations is to either go into explanations of the words, rephrase, leave out entire paragraphs or re-write them to fit the culture the writing is being translated to.
In any case, to answer the first poster,
Cornudo = lit. noun "horned", "horned one"
Callejero = Wanderer, roamer, stray
I hope that helps. Just my two cents.
That is very true, Franra. I guess the issue there lays on the latin machismo, the evolution of a male orientated culture, which in spite of being the 21st Century and in spite of women finding themselves in the same roles as men, including those of leadership, still holds on tight to the language and people's attitudes. Women still in one way or another, subjugating themselves to the decision of men and stepping back into a supportive role.
We can't fall into the trap of joining the "Greerians and "blaming men" for it, however, since latin women are just as guilty of perpetrating the stereotypes and sexual roles. Roles will change however, in due time, in response to man's relationship with its changing physical world and so will the language.
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