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Old 11-23-2004, 10:12 PM   #1
The Fly
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Bono's Broken Spanish on Radio 1

First, I'm a newbie to the forum but I was an active participant of Womanfish up until it shut down. Now that we have a new album and tour looming I thought I better get back in the loop.

Any way, a post titled "Catorce" mentioned Bono's Spanish. I remembered hearing it and thought that it didn't sound anything like the Spanish I've been speaking for the past eight years. (Just to establish my credibility I'm getting an MA in Latin American Literature; I lived in Chile for two years and have traveled a bit in South America and the Iberian Penisula.)

So, with that intro, this is what I can make out of Bono’s broken Spanish (Italian) on the Radio 1 broadcast with Jo Wiley. Um…think of this as Bono’s own amalgamation of several romance languages. I am not even sure what he is trying to say. I don’t speak Italian but I can read it all right. However, I do speak Spanish and Portuguese fluently. There seems to be more Italian (questo instead of esto ‘this’) in this than anything else. I am not even sure I can offer a translation because these are not even Spanish words. They are a bunch of nonsensical words that sound like Spanish strewn together.

Jo Wiley: The one question that most people are asking is ‘How is your Spanish?’

Bono: Bueno, questro en he cantado e Jo Wiley es, uh, BBC tuas bastados [laughter] en de questo y ese quiuotos, eh, Dublín esos a Hanover Quay and a [Jo: Okay, stop that] new U2…

If anybody wants to take a crack at it, be my guest. I can even send you an mp3 of just this section of the interview so you don’t have to go hunting for it.


P.S. Hopefully this is an okay place to post this message. Let me know if it's not.

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Old 11-24-2004, 04:28 AM   #2
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Actually that's a good point, You'll have noticed that Bono always tries his hand at the language of every country he visits.

and I've always taken it for granted that he knows what he's on about.. after all you can't go wrong singing NEIN in the middle of MOFO in Stuttgart can you,

but his Norwegian I'm sus about.

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Old 11-24-2004, 04:47 AM   #3
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Its bongolese gone latin
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Old 11-25-2004, 06:19 AM   #4
The Fly
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I'm currently in my fourth year of spanish at school and some of this is a little confusing to me too. Actually all of it is. I'd love to have that mp3 though. My E Mail is
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Old 11-25-2004, 08:45 AM   #5
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Nice observation UVMan, it is a little confusing to me too. Actually, all of it is. I sent an mp3 snipet of the interview your way. Let me know if you got it.

When I have some time I might comb through the different Popmart shows in Mexico, Bs. As. Argentina and Santiago, Chile to see if what he says is more intelligible Spanish.

Off the top of my head he says 'huevos grandes' (big balls) at Mexico and says 'buenas noches' a few times.

Oh, and 'el pueblo vencerá' in MOTD means the people will overcome. (For those of you that want a Spanish lesson pueblo also means town and the verb vencer also means conquer.)

Actually, I was pretty surprised. I thought that his Spanish--even on the spot--would've been better. After hearing some clips of him reading Italian and then the 'Madre de Dios' poem I thought he had a decent accent. But, I suppose reading is not speaking.

Happy Thanksgiving
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