|LUIS VALDEZ’ ZOOT SUIT TRANSLATIONS
COURTESY OF PUENTE ENGLISH 110, FALL 2006
ACT ONE: PROLOGUE (25-26) (Translation courtesy of Daisy Cruz)
PACHUCO: Que le watcha a mis trapos, ese?
Why you looking at my clothes, homie?
Sabes que, carnal?
You know what, brother(homie)
Estas garras me las plante porque
I put these clothes on because
Vamos a dejar caer un play, sabes?
We are going to watch a play, you know?
(HE crosses to center stage, models his clothes.)
Watcha mi tacuche, ese. Alivianese con mis calcos
Checkout my suit, homie. Lighten up with my ______
tando______lisa, tramos, y carlango, ese
straight,______ and________, homie
Nel, sabes que, usted esta muy verdolaga. Como se me
Nah, you know what, you are becoming to _____. I sort of think
que es puro square.
to much of a square.
(EL PACHUCO breaks character and addresses the audience in perfect English.)
Ladies and gentlemen the play you are about to see is a construct of fact and fantasy. The Pachuco Style was an act in Life and his language a new creation . His will to be was an awesome force eluding all documentation. A mythical,quizzical, frightening being precursor of revolution Or a piteoous, hideous heroic joke deserving of absolution? I speak as an actor on stage. The Pachuco was existential for he was an Actor in the streets both profane and reverential. It was the secret fantasy of every bato in or out of the Chicanada to put on a Zoot Suit and play the Myth mas chucote que la chingagda.
more gangster than a mother f****er.
(puts hat back on and turns.)
come on then
Act One, Scene One (27) (Translation Courtesy of Alex Flores)
Downey Gang… “Rifa!” … “tell them where your from”
Henry… “toma” … “F-word”
Pachuco…. “trucha”…. “cops” / “ese loco” … “that crazy guy” / “vamos” … “lets go” / “tambien” … “also” / “y en todos los salones” … “and in all the halls”
Act One, Scene Three (Translation Courtesy of Brian Yee)
PACHUCO YO – PACHUCHO I AM
PACHUCO: Qué pues, nuez? – What then, shy one? (literally: nuez – walnut)
PACHUCO: [ . . . ] Qué demadre, ¿no? – What a disaster, no?
PACHUCO: [ . . .], carnal. – bro.
PACHUCO: Calmantes montes, chicas patas. –
(literally: tranquilized hills, small paws)
(guess based on context: chill out, little one)
PACHUCO: Stupid move, carnal. – Stupid move, bro.
PACHUCO: Muy patriotic, eh? – Very patriotic, eh? (Spanglish)
PACHUCO: [ . . . ] ¿Te curas? – Can you heal yourself (literally: Do you heal yourself?)
PACHUCO: Qué mamada, ¿no? – What a drag, no?
PACHUCHO: [ . . . ], ya estuvo, carnal. – That’s enough, bro.
PACHUCHO: [ . . . ] frajo? – cigarette? (guess based on context)
PACHUCHO: [ . . . ] Me la rayo. – He destroyed it. (literally: He destroyed his)
PACHUCHO: [ . . .], carnal. – bro.
PACHUCHO: [ . . .], carnal. – bro.
PACHUCHO: Con safos, carnal. – with courage, bro.
Act One, Scene Seven (44-45) (Translation Courtesy of Omar Zeledon)
CUANDO SALGO YO A BAILAR
YO ME PONGO MY CATRIN
LAS HUISITAS TODAS GRITAN, DADDY
VAMOS A BAILAR EL SWING!
When I go to dance
I get very elegant
All the girls scream, daddy
Lets dance swing!
CUANDO VOY AL VACILON
Y ME METO YO A UN SALON
LAS CHAVALAS GRITAN, PAPI VENTE
VAMOS A BAILAR DANSON!
When I go to the party/dance
And I get in the dance hall
The girls scream, daddy come
Lets dance Danson (type of dance)!
(Glancing over at RUDY.) He’s okay, sis, let the carnal enjoy himself.
He’s okay, sis, let the brother enjoy himself.
(Staggering over.) Ese, carnal!
Chale, ¿que traes? Listen, you want to go out to the Sleepy Lagoon? I’ve got something to tell you.
No, what’s your problem?…
TOCAN MAMBO SABROSON
SE ALBOROTA EL CORAZON
Y CON UNA CHAVALONA VAMOS
VAMOS A BAILAR EL MAMBO
They are playing Mambo Sabroson (type of mambo)
The heart breaks out
And with a girl we go
We go dance the Mambo
Y a ti que te importa, puto!
And what do you care, bitch!
He started it, ese. El comenzo a chingar conmigo.
…He started messing around with me.
Act Two, Scene Nine (Translation Courtesy of Luis Padilla)
Carnal-- brother Rudy (p. 87)
Bendito sea Dios-- God all mighty Dolores (p. 87)
Pero mira-- but look Enrique (p.87)
pos-- (slang) well Joey (p. 87)
ese-- a greeting amongs vatos: "hey you" Joey (p. 87)
Venganse, vamos todos-- come on, everyone lets go. Enrique (p.88)
Chale-- (slang) no Henry (p. 88)
Simon-- (slang) yes Pachuco (p. 88)
Jefitos-- (slang) term for parents Della (p.89)
Yo tambien: Me too Alice (p. 89)
Andale-- Let go Enrique (p.90)
chingazos-- (slang) punches or hits Rudy (p. 91)
Pero no le Hace-- It doesen't matter. Dolores (p. 31)
Pero me Chingan la madre-- but it's worthless Della (p.89)
Tacuche-- suit Henry (p. 92)
Ponganse mas abusado-- stay sharp Joey (p. 92)
Cabrones se amontaron-- The ganged up on me Rudy (p. 93)
sebes por que?-- Do you know why? Rudy (p. 93)
greña-- hair Rudy (p. 93)
hijos de la chingada-- sons of bitches Rudy (p. 93)
Te digo que no-- I'm stelling you no! Enrique (p.94)
Definitions a la Luis Rodriguez’s Always Running
Batos/vatos—dudes or guys
Chale—slang for “no”
Ese—A greeting amongst vatos: “hey you.” In LA, African American street youth use the term to designate any Mexican American gangbanger.
Orale—Hello. Hey. Okay.
Pendejo(a) -- stupid
Pinche gabacho—damn Anglo
Rifa—the best of all
Simon- Calo (Chicano street slang) term for “yes”
Trucha—Calo (Chicano street slang) term for “watch out, be alert”