Isn't hearing **derecho** and **derecha** while driving nerve-wracking?

4
votes

It is, it is! Especially when I'm driving with my Mexican friends who give me directions - often later than I'd like.

They shout "¡Derecho!" or "¡Derecha! and I do become confused. That's because both words can mean "right," as in turn right.

But derecha, also means "straight ahead." And that is definitely what they mean when they use it. Recently, I spent nearly 5 frantic minutes circling a glorieta, because I kept turning right every time I heard "Derecha!"

I've begged them to use adelante but with little success.

Have any of you had this experience?

Also, anyone here know of a better word than adelante? for straight ahead?

9783 views
updated MAR 12, 2010
edited by 00494d19
posted by 0057ed01
Thank you for creating this "lesson" for us all.

12 Answers

2
votes

is there another word that I can order them to use when I want to drive straight ahead?

LOL

The answer is Yes, there is. There response will be: They'll use whatever comes to their mind at the moment! grin

I do empathize with you, Volpon. I had the exact same problem years ago. Before I could distinguish the subtleties of 'o' vs 'a' at the end of words I got so confused. I also know what you mean about them not saying 'al la' before 'derecha'. Maybe that would have helped, but sometimes they would say it, and sometimes not.

I begged my friends to tell me 'Directo' for straight and 'a la derecha', but it would usually only work if that person had to say it within the following few moments. Days later I would be driving in circles or missing turns all over again. smile If it is easier for you to give commands, you could use adelante (with a gesture pointing straight ahead of you), or 'siga recto' like Luisa suggested.

But as for what they will tell you... Keep training those ears of yours! That's the best remedy. cool smile

updated ENE 21, 2010
posted by chaparrito
3
votes

You can use "siga recto" which means "keep going straight".

Is this better?

updated ENE 22, 2010
posted by LuisaGomezBartle
That's a very good suggestion, almost like a calming hand on my confused, wrinkled brow. Do you happen to be a mom?
Aún no, pero pronto empezaré a tratar :)
Aw, esta es noticias buenas. Buena suerte...
2
votes

Derecho = Straight

Derecha = Right.

Derecho never means turn right.

Hope this helps.

updated MAY 26, 2011
posted by LuisaGomezBartle
2
votes

Well, I know for this topic my answer won’t contribute to the betterment of knowledge we all try to seek, but for me, the simplest way to resolve the problem is have the person who knows where they’re going be the driver.

  • But, I have heard 'sigue recto' or as Heidita mentions 'Vaya recto' at least here in Chicago.....(without the todo)
updated ENE 22, 2010
posted by bdclark0423
jeje, good answer and a vote for staying up so late!;)
0
votes

it should be... "RECTO (straight) (from "se acerca a la •rectA• final" / when is getting close to the end when you are racing)" wink derecho comes from derecha (right) and izquierdo comes from izquierda (left).

PS: your mexican friend thinks "recto" is wrong 'cause it sounds like a part close to the anus but at the same time "recto" has the same meaning for straight so he is wrong. Ask him if it is "recta final" or "derecha final" (the right way is "recta final" so that means you should go straight=recto)

updated MAR 12, 2010
edited by ajproart
posted by ajproart
0
votes

"Sigue yendo" = "keep going". Does that work?

updated ENE 22, 2010
posted by jaimetayag
I'm not sure. Doesn't seem to suggest straight ahead. But I'll try it out.
no, this is not correct
Sorry for my Spanglish!
0
votes

I don't have quite that experience but I often listen to the Spanish radio and for some reason they think it's funny to have the sound of a horn honking randomly. Every time I hear it I think I did something wrong and someone is honking at me. They really need to fix that shut eye

updated ENE 22, 2010
edited by Jessicasa
posted by Jessicasa
Are you writing from Boston? Horn-honking is a favorite sport there! (As is rarely stopping at stop signs.)
No, Jessicasa must be writing from Chicago! Did you ever notice some songs have horns or sirens in it. That drives me crazy too.
her profile actually says she's from Memphis :-) jejeje
0
votes

I don't know if this has been mentioned. In Spain we do not normally get the direction: derecho, very confusing especially for a new driver!

The directions are:

(tuerza/gire)

a) a la derecha

b) a la izquierda

Vaya: todo recto (straight on)

updated ENE 22, 2010
posted by 00494d19
I can see Luisa has already said this, well, ok then;)
Yah!, her answer wasn't there earlier, but now I see it too! I think it's time for me to log off!!!!!!
0
votes

We could get into a lengthy discussion on how these words are used. The dictionary entries are lengthy and there seems to be some overlap in meanings, depending on whether they are used as adjectives or nouns. (Or, in this case, as imperative verbs.)

However, all I'm asking is - is there another word that I can order them to use when I want to drive straight ahead?

Is "adelante" commonly used?

updated ENE 21, 2010
posted by 0057ed01
0
votes

It does help somewhat, Luisa.

But there's this from the dictionary: "del derecho, - right side out."

My confusion comes, likely, from not being able to distinguish between derecha and derecho while driving.

Do you know of another word that would eliminate using "derecho" entirely?

updated ENE 21, 2010
posted by 0057ed01
Dictionary also shows "derecha" as "right, straight." Give me a new word, please!
0
votes

I can see where you're confused, since "el derecho" is a noun that means "the right" as in "the right to demand".

updated ENE 21, 2010
posted by jaimetayag
0
votes

Derecho means to keep going straight while a la derecha means to turn to the right. Note that you have to use "a la" on the last one.

updated ENE 21, 2010
posted by claudiamatos24
Yes, but they never say, "a la." They just yell one of the two words. What do you use as a command to go straight?