What does 'robarse a' mean?

3
votes

This week's Semana magazine describes how a Colombian rice company, ROA Mills, created a symbol using the picture of an Arab on their boxes of rice. This Arab symbol is, according to the article, aimed at women because it was women who chose what brand of rice was bought. The article then continues 'Así nació en 1985 Mustafá, el señor que se roba a todas las señoras y de paso les enseña las bondades de un arroz de buena calidad.' I looked up robar on this site, and it doesn't seem to have a reflexive form that makes sense in this context. Surely the article doesn't tell us that the Arab robbed these women, especially when it says immediately afterward that the rice is of good quality? But if not, what does this expression se roba a mean in this context?

4048 views
updated NOV 2, 2009
posted by rob-andi
Good question.

4 Answers

1
vote

There is another definition of the verb “robar” in the Span¡shD!ct dictionary which is:

5. To gain another’s affections, to ingratiate oneself.

It is more likely to be this meaning of the verb that makes sense in the context in which it is used.

The use of “se” in the sentence. I’m guessing, since I have a lot of lessons yet to be done, that “se” is used here to indicate that Mustafá, ingratiated himself to the women. But as between the correct grammatical terminologies, I don’t want to try to be specific.

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updated NOV 1, 2009
edited by Moe
posted by Moe
1
vote

Perhaps this article by Lazarus might explain the use of "se" here.

Se

updated NOV 1, 2009
posted by Eddy
0
votes

according to the Real Academia Española, robarse can mean 'to escape, flee' - just like the American English, "steal away". This fits with the sentiment of "de paso" - secretly, on the spur of the moment. Thus "...Mustafa, the man who crept away to all the women, and whispered the secret [lit. secretly taught them] of the benefits of a rice...". slightly 'atmospheric' Spanish, hope this helps.

updated NOV 1, 2009
posted by nathanvictor
I love this one!
0
votes

My guess is "se roba" means "he took the time".

updated NOV 1, 2009
posted by lorenzo9