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Maritsa


Oct 7, 2009, 3:18 PM

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Ensename, por favor!

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I joined the forum maybe 3 months ago, and have read a lot and written very little. As some of you have mentioned, (or at least it is my impression), many of you know each other, if not personally, at least through talking here and maybe through e-mails or telephone. I thought I had learned a lot in the past 6 years, but when I started reading mexconnect, I realized just how little I know. I used to read mostly the southern forum, and almost decided not to bother anymore after some of the nasty , arrogant posts I read. Then, today I decided to check out this one about Learning Spanish. I spent all afternoon reading posts and watching videos. I checked out the Don Juan de la Boca videos and was thoroughly entertained. And I had so much fun reading all of the information and discussion about words and the stories of funny misunderstandings. I found myself wishing I could meet all of you! You sound like a great bunch of people.

Anyway, I have a story and a question. I made a big pot of chile con carne one day for my boyfriend and myself and a couple of his nephews who came to visit. They are all from Chiapas, and Timo and I have lived together for six years now. But this was about 2 years ago. After everyone was done eating, I asked the nephew "Te gusta mi chile?" First, everything went silent, and I thought they would burst, trying not to say anything. Then they all burst out laughing, and of course it only took me a few seconds to realize what I had said and to laugh at myself.

My question is about a word that Timo and the muchachos have used many times, and I am not sure if it is an appropriate word or not, They always call black people "moyos" (or is it "mollos") and I would like to know if this is comparable to the N word or if it is acceptable? One person has told me that perhaps they are saying "morros"(?) meaning "big lips". So I am very confused and don't want to use a word that may be racist or derogatory.

When I first started working for a landscaping company, where I met my friend, I drove the big equipment truck because none of the guys had a license. When I backed up or needed someone to watch the highway for me to pull out, they would always say, ""Sale, gringa!" I actually did know what they were saying, but it sounded a lot like "Sally Gringa", so that kind of became my nickname.



esperanza

Oct 7, 2009, 4:18 PM

Post #2 of 15 (7644 views)

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Re: [Maritsa] Ensename, por favor!

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My question is about a word that Timo and the muchachos have used many times, and I am not sure if it is an appropriate word or not, They always call black people "moyos" (or is it "mollos") and I would like to know if this is comparable to the N word or if it is acceptable? One person has told me that perhaps they are saying "morros"(?) meaning "big lips". So I am very confused and don't want to use a word that may be racist or derogatory.

The word is mollo and it originates in Honduras. It's not a word that you want to adopt. It hasn't the extreme tension that the 'N' word has, but it's not a word to use in polite society.

'Morro' is slang for 'snout' (like an animal's snout) and does not mean big lips. It's another word that you don't want to adopt.

It's always important to ask these questions. The words you inquired about are street language and not in conversation, for example, with the lady down the block.

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Maritsa


Oct 7, 2009, 4:29 PM

Post #3 of 15 (7640 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Ensename, por favor!

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Thank you so much, Esperanza. I have been trying to get an answer to this for a long time. And Timoteo's explanations in Spanish sometimes confuse me more.


sergiogomez / Moderator

Oct 15, 2009, 10:16 PM

Post #4 of 15 (7555 views)

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Re: [Maritsa] Ensename, por favor!

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It's perfectly common to refer to black people (or dark-skinned, or African-American, or whatever term you prefer) as mollos, mollitos, or morenos. My Zacatecan boyfriend tends to use the diminutive mollito. In a potentially tense situation, using the dimunitive can help defray any derogatory meaning. Provided, of course, that you keep your tone light: say it with a sneer and it turns into an insult!


esperanza

Oct 16, 2009, 10:57 AM

Post #5 of 15 (7532 views)

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Re: [sergiogomez] Ensename, por favor!

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Sorry to disagree, Olivia, but common usage does not make the usage correct. Many words commonly used among certain groups of people are completely unacceptable in polite conversation. Millions upon millions of people call one another, for example, cabrón, pendejo, coño, mollito, and other such words--in a friendly way, of course--but I'm sure you wouldn't say them to your maiden aunt. Nor would your boyfriend.

I'd stay away from questionable usage, if I were the original poster.

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sergiogomez / Moderator

Oct 16, 2009, 11:16 AM

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Re: [esperanza] Ensename, por favor!

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I didn't mean to imply that common usage makes it something that suits everyone's discretion, only that common usage makes it part of many people's everyday speech, no matter how uneducated or morally questionable that might be.


Zarcero

Oct 16, 2009, 1:52 PM

Post #7 of 15 (7521 views)

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Re: [sergiogomez] Ensename, por favor!

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moreno is actually acceptable in all circles in Latin American to describe someone of African ancestry. There are also hundreds of songs that use this word. Negro/a is also acceptable as in the Cuban song La Negra Tomasa. I have heard no issue with mollo either.

The derogatory word for someone of African ancestry that should not be used is mayate.

Cheers,

Mike


Manuel Dexterity

Oct 16, 2009, 1:58 PM

Post #8 of 15 (7514 views)

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Re: [Zarcero] Ensename, por favor!

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Mayate in México has a different but equally derogatory meaning.

Moreno(a) is a perfectly valid word for describing a person's complexion.

"Piel morena eres cumbia, sol y arena
piel morena, mi delirio y mi condena "



mazbook1


Oct 16, 2009, 7:46 PM

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Re: [Manuel Dexterity] Ensename, por favor!

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Maybe someday I'll learn how to use "quote", but it sure isn't working for me now.

Manuel D. said:

Mayate in México has a different but equally derogatory meaning.
Moreno(a) is a perfectly valid word for describing a person's complexion.

Thanks for the new word, Manuel D. <GRIN>

And you are absolutely correct about moreno/a. It's even divided into classes: moreno claro for light brown, moreno for medium brown and moreno oscuro for dark brown. I've heard these terms used by all classes of folks in all sorts of formal or informal settings all the years I've been in México. I wouldn't hesitate to use them in speaking to my maiden aunt(-in-law).


(This post was edited by mazbook1 on Oct 16, 2009, 7:48 PM)


Maritsa


Oct 17, 2009, 11:50 AM

Post #10 of 15 (7463 views)

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Re: [mazbook1] Ensename, por favor!

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Thank you to all of you for the information. I have had a couple of slow days at work when there were no bosses around, and I went back through the previous posts on this forum, all the way to 2004! I learned a lot in 2 days! I really enjoyed the jokes and the posts and corrections in Spanish. And of course I realized how long most of you have known each other. It was really interesting and fun following the posts.

When I went to Mexico 3 years ago I was not then on-line, so I only had books, TV and my boyfriend to teach me. I didn't even realize that these forums existed! I am learning everything I can, so if I decide to move to Mexico I will be more confident and able to stay out of trouble (with laws, visas, etc.)

Timo will be flying back home in a couple of weeks and I will be moving back to NJ to take care of my mom for a while. She just had skin cancer removed twice, a knee replacement, a blood clot and then shingles! So she needs me right now. If I can find a job there and things go well, I may be able to follow him next year. So I am in the middle of packing, sorting or throwing away all of my stuff. Not that that would be of interest to anyone - I'm just a little unsettled right now and feeling like I did when I went through my divorce 9 years ago! The difference of course, is that I don't have any children to worry about this time, and I don't want to leave Timo.

I keep thinking of a saying I heard quite some time ago: "The only person you spend your whole life with is yourself!"


Carron

Oct 17, 2009, 1:14 PM

Post #11 of 15 (7455 views)

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Re: [Maritsa] Ensename, por favor!

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Some of us nasty, arrogants are probably some of the nicest people you would ever want to meet in person. And, yes, many of us are e-friends of many years and we are happy to welcome you to our midst.


Maritsa


Oct 17, 2009, 4:23 PM

Post #12 of 15 (7440 views)

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Re: [Carron] Ensename, por favor!

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I apologize for the "nasty, arrogant" comment a while back. I knew that it would bite me in the !!! sooner or later. But then, we all know what happens when we "assume".

Carron, I really enjoy and look forward to your stories about Chiapas. I have never liked the city, and I can see myself living in the country, very simply. Sometimes I wish that I had done something totally different with my life, as I dreamed when I was young. But then I wouldn't have my four great kids , and I would not have met Timoteo. So I guess my life is as it should be. And I will learn what I need to learn and do what I have to do.


sergiogomez / Moderator

Oct 21, 2009, 11:07 PM

Post #13 of 15 (7402 views)

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Re: [Carron] Ensename, por favor!

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Some of us nasty, arrogants are probably some of the nicest people you would ever want to meet in person. And, yes, many of us are e-friends of many years and we are happy to welcome you to our midst.


Hmm, yeah, I'll admit to having said things that I thought better of later. By the way, it occurred to me the other day that I tend to assume things when I post most of the time.

What goes through my head is something like this: if I'm an American living in Mexico, one of my main goals is to understand the language around me, and be able to converse intelligently with the people who speak it. To do that, there will be times when I'll need to understand slangy, off-color, and downright weird words--all kinds--if for no other reason than to understand what people around me are saying. Whether or not I want to adopt the same vocabulary is up to me.

That's pretty much the hypothetical situation running around in my head when I think about the different questions that pop up here. And that is also why I make a point of answering questions about anything and everything. Of course, knowing that teachers use the site as an educational resource, it might be a good idea to keep mature audience stuff to private mail or chat. That can be handled as it comes up.

Which brings me to another idea. . .if anyone wants to chat, I'd be more than happy to talk with you on Yahoo. My address is lamexicanita86@yahoo.com; add me to your contacts. If there's a better way to do it, let me know. I confess to still being in the stone age of chat.


Peter


Oct 22, 2009, 7:16 AM

Post #14 of 15 (7391 views)

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I have never liked the city, and I can see myself living in the country, very simply. Sometimes I wish that I had done something totally different with my life,


I feel the same way, normally I prefer the country and living very simply. Here in Mexico it is different for me, I prefer being in the city, right downtown if possible. And here in Mexico I live very simply in the city, walk to everything that interests me, and so on. It's a different world here, different rules.

At times I wish I could have three houses, in the city, on a rancho, and another en la playa. But I would be spread too thin for that. I live in Morelia, a moderately large city. My only regret was that I built a house a little on the outskirts in a new colonia that has not yet fully developed, though someday it will.

What I am saying is the life here is so different I found what I wanted in a place I hadn't expected to find it, and now I rent a house right downtown and couldn't be happier. I still own my other house and it serves for visiting guests and a getaway for me but I don't use it much at all.

Explore all options. Chiapas sounds wonderful to me, somewhere I still want to visit, but I'm sure if I moved there I'd be in the city, right in middle of as much of it as possible. It was always a dream of mine to live off the land, but here the land could end up more easily living off of you.


zaragemca

Nov 9, 2009, 8:33 AM

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Re: [Peter] Ensename, por favor!

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Greeting, in the term, Moreno it have been accepted for human,but the word, Negro, have already been classified by the 'Real Academia Espanola, as something to use only in things or, animals. In Cuba the connotation have to do which the way it is said, and there are occasions where people could say, 'ahi si que no mi negra', which mean, 'not way Jose', regardless of the of the other person race. Gerry Zaragemca
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