Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Castration of a Country

Let me let you in on a little secret. Sometimes I translate Spanish news items for our English-only readers. Usually, I use Google Language Tools to convert the words to Spanish but then I have to polish the language and fix things that a computer can't possibly "know."

One of the interesting things I've noticed in doing this several times is that Google attempts to translate the name "castro". Invariably it comes back with "I castrate". Technically this is a correct translation of the word "castro". You may remember the cumbersome exercise of conjugating verbs from your high school Spanish class. The verb is "castrar" which means "to castrate". "Castro" is the first person singular of this verb, as in "yo castro." We all know the 1st definition of "castrate," it literally means "to remove the testicles of (a male); geld or emasculate." But there's a more figurative definition according to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. That definition is: to deprive of virility or spirit; emasculate.

How very appropriate, in 46 years the only thing castro has succeeded in is depriving the spirit of the Cuban people and emasculating them.

Perhaps the Google language computer"knows" than I first thought?


Robert said...


The exact same thing happens to me when I use Babel Fish to translate Spanish articles for posting.

I never thought of the Castro translation that way, but it makes perfect sense in more ways than one.

If it wasn't for Babel Fish and other translation programs, I wouldn't have the time to do it.

Jose Aguirre said...

Interesting point but lately the Cuban people are starting to demonstrate they have balls and hopefully soon will castrate castro in a public square!


Anonymous said...

hehehe... lovin' it! Imagine that: Fidel Castro means Faithful I Castrate.

Henry "Conductor" Gomez said...


I agree. I'm very hopeful that we are on the cusp of a change. I have posted those thought here. But the historical "castration" of the Cuban people by fc can't be denied.

Tremenda Trigueña said...

Que profundo...¡sigan predicando la verdad hermanos!