Translation

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What does Samba pa ti and Solo para ti mean'

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updated JUN 6, 2008
posted by Clever

24 Answers

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A truly valiant effort, James. Kudos to you.

My two cents:
I can't help but wonder if the RAE is part of the cultural difference that is impeding the understanding in this instance. In English, any word or spelling or phrase becomes officially enshrined in the language, theoretically, once it is picked up by Webster's (at least here in the US. All of you Anglophiles and genuine Angles can put down your pitchforks and torches). Webster's, in turn, attempts to present the language as it is actually used by the generic majority of the population. In Spanish, on the other hand, entry into the language, technically, is governed by the decree of the RAE, a much more conservative institution that is significantly more committed to the language as it should be spoken.

As my linguistics teachers would summarize, our yardstick for correct language is inherently descriptive, while theirs is inherently prescriptive. This could account for the fact that to you, me, and most English speakers (excluding the occasional classicist or grammar nazi) it is perfectly reasonable to say that a word is not incorrect or misspelled because it was intentionally done or has achieved a wide enough usage, while from the perspective of a Spanish speaker, right is right and that's not it. smile

updated JUN 6, 2008
posted by David-H
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Mark Twain filled his book Tom Sawyer with such spellings, and I don't think anyone would accuse him of misspelling.

Creo que James, en este caso se está refiriendo una forma de utilizar las palabras, en el sentido de que las mismas pueden ser empleadas con excepciones (acompañadas de algunas características fónicas o gramticales) que las diferencían de su uso formal, pero se tornan muy expresivas, en este caso se les llama "Recursos estilísticos", exclusivos de las obras literarias.
En México hay una autor , cuyos libros estan repletos de este típo de recursos y slangs, "Vicente Leñeros" (podría decirse que se tiene una licencia especial para hacer mal uso del idioma, o convertir una frase de muy mal gusto en un recurso literario), como es el caso también de "Jaime Sabines"

Aunque, estoy completamente de acuerdo que decir "pa ti" es muy común, se hace referencia a la palabra "misspelling" en el sentido de que lo correcto y aceptable para cierto nivel de instrucción es completar las palabras y decir "para tí". El hecho de que sean tomadas de la calle y aparezcan en una obra literaria, no las hace gramaticalmente correctas.

updated JUN 5, 2008
posted by Vernic
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Mark Twain filled his book Tom Sawyer with such spellings, and I don't think anyone would accuse him of misspelling.

Writers often to this if they intend to show exactly how the characters sound in the story, but these novels are meant to be for native speakers whose command of the language is high. They are people who can appreciate the purpose of such spelling, and are completely aware that the correct spelling is "para".

For a beginner that spelling is misleading and can be very confusing if its purpose is not explained from the very beginning.

Each country has its own pronunciation features, but in writting we all understand each other perfectly. My local accent is one of the strongest and most difficult one to understand in the world, but I don't write as I speak. It is very important to keep a proper spelling in writting, so things like "pa ti" should be clearly shown in italics to highlight its purpose.

P.D. ¿Can anyone understand "Me via'n ca Huani"? This a phonetical rendering of how people in my city speak.

updated JUN 5, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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[sigh]

This all started because Vernic said, "'Pa tí' it's a misspelling of "Para tí" = For you." I took exception to that because Santana did not "misspell" the word, he deliberately wrote it that way to express how it is pronounced where the samba is performed. It's like rap music here; if you wrote the lyrics in standard English, they would sound silly.

And if you still don't understand my point, then me doy por vencido.

updated JUN 5, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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Thank you Heidita, you always so nice.

updated JUN 5, 2008
posted by Dunia
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James, sorry, but you are not right. Sometimes there are mistakes that are very extended but this doesn't make them right. To say (not to pronounce) "pa" may be common among uneducated people but it should never be taken as good speaking or even standard.

updated JUN 5, 2008
posted by Dunia
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Yea, we agree!

updated JUN 5, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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We seem to be having a failure to communicate here. grin

I am fully aware that the "correct" word is para, but I also know that many people say pa' when speaking, and sometimes it is desirable for a writer to express this pronunciation, which is what Carlos Santana did when he titled his song Samba Pa' Ti, and what the producers of the above-mentioned movie did. When a word is intentionally rendered this way, it isn't a misspelling, at least as far as that word (misspelling) is used in English.

updated JUN 5, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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James, it is intentional for some people, others simply think that the "correct" word is pa or gonna.

updated JUN 5, 2008
posted by 00494d19
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Huh? They are exactly the same thing. They shorten para to pa, and therefore pronounce it as pa. Just like we say "gonna" for "going to" in English. And sometimes a writer intentionally uses "gonna" for effect. It isn't the spelling you'll find in the dictionary, but it isn't a misspelling, either, since it is intentional.

updated JUN 5, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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buena comparación dunia, genial diría yo!

updated JUN 5, 2008
posted by 00494d19
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It is similar the case of past participles. For example we say "cansao" insted of "cansado". It is accepted in informal speaking but not in writing. I insist that is substandard and should be avoided.

updated JUN 5, 2008
posted by Dunia
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In fact, it is astonishing to me that you aren't aware of this. That's how common it is.

it is astonishingly uncommon here in Spain. And if people in your part of the country say "pa" all the time, they are simply mispronouncing para, I am astonished that you shouldn't be aware for that.

updated JUN 5, 2008
posted by 00494d19
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In my humble opinion it is not that they pronounce "pa", what they do is to shorten "para", that is not the same concept.

updated JUN 5, 2008
posted by Dunia
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Where? Where is para pronounced like "pa", that's simply not true.

I hate to tell you, but you are way off on this one. Around here, where there are many native speakers from various parts of Latin America, it is extremely common to pronounce para as pa. In fact, it is astonishing to me that you aren't aware of this. That's how common it is.

updated JUN 5, 2008
posted by 00bacfba