Sunday, May 06, 2007


Dan de baja a 9 policias por consumir cociana y marihuana

That was the Headline in Ecos de San Miguel newspaper this week. That headline took up almost a fourth of the front of the newspaper. With my limited Spanish and with reading some of the rest of the article, I knew that the policias were in deep trouble for consuming cocaine and marijuana but I wasn't sure what they did to them. Dan....from the verb dar....They gave. Baja...lower, fall???? Somehow it just wasn't computing....certainly not as a literal translation from my limited Spanish vocabulary.

So off to my handy, dandy new Concise Oxford Spanish Dictionary, 3rd Edition. I read through the dar's, one half a page in the dictionary. Still I couldn't figure out exactly what the headline meant.

Next I tried baja. Aaahaaaaaa......there it was, almost at the end of baja........dar de baja is to dischange. They discharged 9 policias or as The Donald would say, "You're Fired."

Secondary headline was, "Segun la Direccion de Seguridad Publica fueron dados de baja despues de resultar positivo en el examen antidoping." My translation of this is, "They were fired according to the direction of Seguridad Publica after they tested positive in a drug test." But I love the phrase "el examen antidoping." Antidoping? Why not use "el examen para drogas?"

Even if I learn to speak better Spanish, I doubt that I'll ever be fluent enough for these nuances of the language. But nevertheless, I gotta start working with a tutor again.


JCarlos said...

That means they were fired.

I understand you because I have a lot of troubles with English language.


wolverinemx said...


For your knowledge, the following sentence is the opposite...

Dar de alta...

Antidoping, is a word with american influences, but is now part of the spanish.


Billie said...

jcarlos and Wolv, You have my deepest appreciation for learning another language. It is hard! But at least you can write in the second language. I can barely read Spanish.

Wolv, it seems to me that the Spanish way of using antidoping is a little different than the way I think of the use of the word in English. In English we seem to use the word more in conjunction with sports and using chemical substances to improve performance rather than the use of illegal drugs such as cocaine or marijuana. But regardless, I got the meaning and that is what is important. I think that there are many more English words used in Mexico than in Spain or maybe even in other Latin American Spanish speaking countries. We, both Mexicans and Americans, go back and forth so much that the Spanish and English words for things just get carried to the "other side."

La Gringa said...

Bille, glad to hear that they took action against the bad police.

I wanted to tell you about a language site that has been very helpful to me. In addition to a Spanish-English dictionary, they have discussion forums where you can find out the exact nuance of a phrase, including slang, and even how it might be used differently in different Spanish-speaking countries. The contributors are both native English- and Spanish-speaking people, so there is some really good info there.

Word Reference

wolverinemx said...

yes Billie, there are many word in mexico with american influence, for example, I am living in Monterrey, Mex. and here the people tell 'troca' when in US the word is 'truck', and the word in spanish is 'camioneta'

Billie keep trying to speak, I recommend you write in your blog with both languages... tell your post in english and below the same meaning in spanish....

its very complex in the beginning, I Know that, but keep trying.. Maybe, the translation has not sense, but with practice you must do better