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Last night I was watching this great show on the Travel Channel called "Man v. Food" where this guy goes around the world to find the best pig-out joints. So last night's episode he was in Puerto Rico. He found a restaurant that has a 9 pound steak platter called "The Sleeping Cow", which he said was "Vaca Acostá", and he said it with the accent on the last a, which I couldn't find in my verb book! But the owner of the place who prepared the dish for him said it the same way. Clearly "The sleeping cow" is "La Vaca Durmiendo", "acostarse" is "to put oneself to bed", which doesn't seem like the right verb to use.

Any thoughts?

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  • Posted Jul 22, 2010
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  • Btw, if you have a chance to see it, it's a really funny show. - amykay Jul 22, 2010

6 Answers

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Like Marianne said, it's a Caribean Spanish pronunciation issue. They sort of leave out the "s"', and glide over the "d" if it's between two vowels, and leave the endings off words. They also talk very, very fast. Acostada would sound more like aco'ta'a, or acotá.

And Vaca Acostada just sounds better than Vaca Dormida in Spanish, while Sleeping Cow sounds better than Cow Lying Down in English. You'll see these odd little bits of translation all the time if you read a book in both English and Spanish, for example.

  • Jul 22, 2010
  • | Edited by KevinB Jul 22, 2010
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  • leave out the s, glide over the d...ok, I can remember all that while I'm trying to conjugate the verbs too!!! AAAhhh!! - amykay Jul 22, 2010
  • You don't have to remember it. It's just local dialect, like a Boston or Texas accent. It just takes some getting used to hearing it. - KevinB Jul 22, 2010
  • ;-) - amykay Jul 22, 2010
  • Please dont get all worked out trying to figure it out, you wont. This is a slang which is native to puertorricans only. Like "Ay, Bendito!" the word can be translated to "Oh, may it be blessed!" but it looses the true meaning in the translation. - Ramon3717 Jul 29, 2010
  • Each country has their own native slangs which are not necesarily the correct pronaunciation or spelling. Its like saying "ya'll" instead of "you all" or "all of you". - Ramon3717 Jul 29, 2010
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I agree with "Vaca dormida" (The cow asleep)

Also, "acostarse" is to lie down or recline...which doesn't mean that he's necessarily asleep.

I think when he said "Vaca Acostá" with a spoken accent on the end he meant "Vaca Acostada." Many places, including Puerto Rico, leave off the end and say it this way..... Pescado becomes "pe'ca'o."

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It was probably La Vaca Acostada, and he very likely said it La Vaca Acostá/Acostáa. It's from the verb acostarse. Ds sort of fall by the wayside in Spanish words when people aren't thinking about enunciating. The translation is okay, but I suppose "The Cow in Bed" has somewhat different meaning and "The Cow Lying Down" doesn't have the same ring to it, though either of those would be more accurate. Also, La Vaca Acostada just sounds better than La Vaca Durmiendo/Dormida. It almost rhymes. Almost. smile

  • I agree la vaca durmiendo sounds kind of clunky. - amykay Jul 22, 2010
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Amy, you're right to question this, however, "Sleeping" is being used as an adjecive here, so it should be "La Vaca Dormida."

  • Jul 22, 2010
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Ok, so dormida is the conjugation, Gracias. But I was correct in thinking that "dormir" was definitely the verb to use, not "acostar". It threw me because the Puerto Rican owner of the restaurant said it that way too. Muy extraño!

  • Jul 22, 2010
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  • Then it translates to "The Reclining Cow" instead of "Sleeping" I'd say. - --Mariana-- Jul 22, 2010
  • Gotcha. It should have been "the dead cow" because it was ready to be eaten! - amykay Jul 22, 2010
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Has he taken you to the Big Texan for a free steak?

Our World-Famous FREE 72oz. STEAK DINNER (if eaten in 1 hour) is only for the very hungry. Many have tried. Many have failed.

I tried, I did not fail. But that was in 1971, don''t know that I could do it again!

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  • Jul 22, 2010
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  • Do they have paramedics standing by with a defibrulator while you eat that beast? - KevinB Jul 22, 2010
  • I think that restaurant has been covered on the "Texas" episode! But I don't remeber if he ate the whole thing, my son remembers every episode and if "man" or "food was victorious! - amykay Jul 22, 2010