Spanish to English Translations for Borderlands/ La Frontera by Gloria Anzaldua, Fourth Edition, Chapter 5: How To Tame A Wild Tongue

I put this together to help some of my AP Lang students read Borderlands/ La Frontera: The New Mestiza by Gloria Anzaldua.  I am not a native Spanish speaker and would LOVE some comments or assistance with the translations!

These are only translations for words or phrases for which Anzaldua has not included English translations.  Many times, she will write the English directly following the Spanish.  It also does not include translations of Nahuatl (Aztec) words.

Chapter 5 – How To Tame A Wild Tongue 

“How To Tame A Wild Tongue” is by far the most famous of Anzaldua’s essays.  If you only had to read one part of Borderlands/ La Frontera, it was probably “How To Tame A Wild Tongue”.  Many anthologies and classes include it as an example of Chicana literature.  “Wild tongues can’t be tamed, they can only be cut out.”

75- 76- Pa’ hallar buen trabajo tienes que saber hablar el ingles bien.  Que vale toda tu educacion si todavia hablas ingles con en “accent”. 

To find a good job, you have to speak English well.  Forget about all your education if you still speak English with an “accent”.

76- El Anglo con cara de inocente nos arranco la lengua– the white man with a face of innocence ripped out our tongue.

76- Ahogadas, escupimos el oscuro.
Peleando con nuestra propia sombra
El silencio nos sepulta.  

Drowned, we spit in the dark.
Fighting with our own shadow
The silence buries us.

76- En hoca cerrada no entran moscas– flies don’t enter a closed mouth.

76- Muchachitas bien criadas- Well- raised girls

76- Es una falta de respeto– It is disrespectful

76- hablar pa’ ‘tras, repelar.  Hocicona, repelona, chismosa- to speak with repulsive words.

Hociona– big mouth, big lips, blabbermouth
Chismosa– gossip

76- mal criada– bad maid (bad woman, who is meant to serve).

76- nos quieren poner candados en la boca– they want to put locks on our mouths

76- reglas de academia– rules of academia.

77-Oye como ladra:  en lenguaje de la frontera– hear how he barks: the language of the borderlands

77- Quien tiene boca se equivoca-  Whoever has a mouth is wrong.

77- evolucion, enriquecimiento de palabras nuevas por invencion o adopcion- evolution, enrichment of new words by invention or adoption

77- un nuevo lenguaje– a new language

77- Un lenguaje que corresponde a un modo de vivir– a language that matches our way of life

77-espanol ni ingles– Spanish nor English

78- los recien illegados- the newly illegal

78- braceros– Mexican agricultural laborers

78- tejana– Woman from Texas

79- lado/lao– side

79- mojado/mojao– wet

79- tirado– throw away

79- el lenguaje popular, dialectos y regionalismos – the popular language, dialects and idioms

79- Estar, estoy, ahora– We are, I am, now

79- cubanos and puertorriquenos– Cubans and Puerto Ricans

79- para– for

79- ella, botella– she, bottle

79- tocar, gastar– to touch, to spend

79- vostros– you all

79- imaginate, me emociona – Imagine, I’m excited

80- Deslenguadas.  Somos los del espanol deficiente.  Tongueless.  We are those of lesser- than Spanish.

80- mestizaje– mixed ones

80- somos huerfanos– we are orphans

80- Pena– pain

80- Mexicanas y latinas– Mexicans and people from other Latin American countries

80- agringadas– whitewashed Mexicans

81- “Vistas”, corridos, y comida– movies, music, and food

82- vamanos a las vistas– Let’s go to the movies

82- Nostros los Pobres– a Mexican film called “we the poor”

82– Cuando los hijos se van– Movie called “when the children run away”

82- bailes– dances

82- bolero, rancherita, corrido– types of Mexican music, like the Mexican version of country music

82- norteno– northern

82- bajo sexto– six- stringed guitar

83- La Cucaracha– this song

83- “el tango negro“- the black tango

83- menudo– this soup:

83: chile colorado: red chile with beef, like this:

83: panza– animal stomach, used in menudo

84:  Si le pregusntas a mi mama, ?que eres?”– If you ask my mom, “what are you?”

84- nostros los Chicanos- We the Chicanos

84- nostros los americanos, nostros espanoles, o nostros los hispanos.- we the Americans, we the Spanish, we the Hispanics.

84- nostros los Mexicanos– we the Mexicans

84- mexicanos del otro lado and mexicanos de esta lado– Mexicans from the other side and Mexicans from this side.

84- Si le preguntas a mi mama, “?Que Eres?” te dira, “soy mexicana.”  If you ask my mom “Who are you?”, she says “I’m Mexican.”

84- Mexicana, Chicana, tejana– Different identities connected to Mexican

84- Raza– The Race

85- A veces no soy nada ni nadie.  Pero hasta cuando no lo soy, lo soy. Sometimes I am nothing and nobody.  But until I am not, I am.

85- la Raza Unida– The United Race

85- ?Quien esta protegiendo los ranchos de mi gente?  Quien esta tratando de cerrar la fisura entre la india y el blanco en nuestra sangre?  El Chicano, si, el Chicao que anda como un ladron en su propria casa.”

Who is protecting the ranches of my people?  Who is trying to close the gap between the Indian and the white in our blood?  The Chicano, yes, the Chicano, who walks like a thief in his own house.”

85- norteamericano– North American

86- Humildes– humble

86- quietos– quiet

86- nosotros los mexicanos– we the Mexicans






1 comment on “Spanish to English Translations for Borderlands/ La Frontera by Gloria Anzaldua, Fourth Edition, Chapter 5: How To Tame A Wild Tongue

  1. Pingback: Spanish to English Translations for Borderlands/ La Frontera, by Gloria Anzauldua – CRITIC OF EVERYTHING

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