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Old April 22, 2008, 10:47 AM
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La negra tiene tumbao

I'm just beginning to learn spanish and I try to translate songs for practice learning new words. Right now I'm trying to translate Celia Cruz - La Negra Tiene tumbao and I can't figure out what it means when "-ao" is added to the end of a verb as it is done several times throughout the song. I'd appreciate any help.
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Old April 22, 2008, 11:04 AM
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Here is the same answer I gave in your other post:

The 'ao' at the end of some of the words is simply a shortened form of 'ado,' the ending of a past participle:
encontrao = encontrado
apretao = apretado

For others, it is used as a rhyming mechanism, but happens to also be how many people pronounce the words and the spelling follows suit:
lao = lado (side - de lao = 'sideways')
melao = melado (honey color - could also mean honey and a form of speaking or language)

Tumbao is the name of the rhythm used in the song and isn't a shortened form of any Spanish word.


Learning Spanish by translating songs will prove to be a daunting task. Songs are a mix of prose, thoughts, and obscure meanings. But, I won't try to discourage your enthusiasm for learning by whatever means works best for you.

Last edited by Rusty; April 22, 2008 at 11:36 AM.
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Old April 22, 2008, 04:49 PM
Alfonso Alfonso is offline
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Rusty's explanation is great. Anyway, I can't be sure, but I think tumbao is a shortened form of the past participle tumbado (lying). In Cuba is very common not to pronounce the "d" on the ending -ado, -ido. In Spain, if you are not Cuban or Andalusian, it's sounds a little vulgar, although some politicians used it, some years ago, to seem cool and popular.
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Old April 22, 2008, 08:58 PM
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I did find where some thought it was a shortened form of the past participle tumbado (knocked down, in Cuba). Most of them agree that the word originated in Cuba.

Others say it is the rhythm played on the congo drums and that they (the drums and the rhythm) have their origin in Africa.

I found lots of contradicting and supporting arguments for both origins.

The eliding of the 'd' in 'ado' is very popular in some countries of Central America. Los Panameños dicen pelaos cuando hablan de los niños, por ejemplo.
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Old April 22, 2008, 09:26 PM
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I remember in college I wrote a 10+ page paper called La caída de la "d" intervocálica. If I remember right, it's so prevalent in some parts of the Americas because a large percentage of the Spaniards who came to the New World came from the poorer region of Andalucía, where the letter d between vowels either disappeared entirely or was almost non-existent in pronunciation.
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Last edited by Tomisimo; April 22, 2008 at 10:33 PM. Reason: Spelling. (Thanks Rusty)
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Old April 22, 2008, 09:58 PM
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Mi manera de hablar Espanol is de Puerto Rico, de manera que yo si digo,
tumbao cuando algo esta tirao, y me voy pa'l otro lao. Quizas si suena vulgar y sin educacion, pero al contrario, es asi que se habla en los paises del Caribe y nadie te mira dos veces por hablar de esta manera. Claro esta, que aqui en Mexico yo no hablo asi y pienso bien como decir las cosas, puesto que aqui si me mirarian bien raro, y quizas ni me entiendan o pensaran que soy "del campo".

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Old April 23, 2008, 02:50 AM
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David, that is one of the most accepted theories for some of the peculiarities of American Spanish. You can also add two other Spanish regions to the first migratory movements to America: Extremadura and the Canary Islands. In both regions d intervocálica was lost long ago.
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Last edited by Alfonso; April 23, 2008 at 01:05 PM. Reason: Corrections thanks to Poli
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Old April 23, 2008, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfonso View Post
David, that is one of the most accepted theories for some of the peculiarities of American Spanish. You can also add two other Spanish regions to the first migratory movements to America: Extremadura and the Canary Islands. In both regions d intervocálica was lost long ago.
Then, there's the unique use of the letter r in Puerto Rico. If you're not
familiar with it, it sounds like the letter j in Spain combined with the
letter r in France. A woman I know from Puerto Rico told me that this
distinct sound comes from the Gallegos who populated the island in the 19th century. Does anyone else have a theory?

Poli

Last edited by poli; April 23, 2008 at 01:48 PM.
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Old April 23, 2008, 01:12 PM
Alfonso Alfonso is offline
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Thanks a lot, Poli, for your corrections.
As you describe it, it seems to be a French r. I don't think gallegos have a different /r/ from mine.
Spanish /r/ and /rr/ are very peculiar sounds and there are not such a dialectal differences.
Maybe, the /r/ you describe for Puerto Rico comes from French language not from gallegos. You know: galo >< galego
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Old April 23, 2008, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfonso View Post
Thanks a lot, Poli, for your corrections.
As you describe it, it seems to be a French r. I don't think gallegos have a different /r/ from mine.
Spanish /r/ and /rr/ are very peculiar sounds and there are not such a dialectal differences.
Maybe, the /r/ you describe for Puerto Rico comes from French language not from gallegos. You know: galo >< galego

galo><galego? I don't understand.
As for French in Puerto Rico: The last names Maisonet and Betancourt
are common in PR.
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