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Trucos: Useful Tricks

Strolling down the historic streets of Burgos, Carlos and María Angeles (who goes by Angeles) tell us about their local nightspots. Pubs, they say, manage to circumvent local laws and keep customers through the night -- until about 8 AM -- by briefly closing and then opening again. Angeles explains:

 

Sí, son trucos, pequeños truquitos de la picaresca española.

Yes, they're tricks, little tricks of Spanish wiliness.

Captions 78-79, Burgos - Caminando

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Trucos are "tricks." And, as we've explained before, the ending -ito is diminutive, so truquitos are "little tricks." Saying pequeños truquitos is merely repetitive, for effect. It emphasizes that we're talking about "little, harmless tricks." Also: note that truquitos is spelled here with a 'qu' to preserve the hard 'c' sound in Spanish (like 'k' in English).

 

Hace todo... es muy inteligente, hace todo lo que le pides, se sabe un montón de trucos.

He does everything... he's very smart, he does everything you ask him, he knows a ton of tricks.

Captions 55-56, Rosa - La perrita Mika

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Deberíamos decirle que nos enseñe unos truquitos.

We should tell him to teach us some little tricks.

Caption 5, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 4

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BANNER PLACEHOLDER

A related word in the first quote of this lesson is the adjective picaresca, which means "rascally" or "picaresque" in the literary sense. Remember, picaresque literature was founded in Spain, "flourished in the 17th and 18th centuries in Europe and continues to influence modern literature," according to Wikipedia's entry (in English) on the subject. The genre usually features the adventures of a roguish hero (un pícaro), living by his wits. You might note that Angeles -a Spanish history fan herself- utters the term picaresca with a giggle and a knowing appreciation of the form.

Vocabulary

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Untertitel 56, 55
Mittleres Niveau

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