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https://www.duolingo.com/Roger_Burke

A military question for a Spaniard

La Legion Espanola refers to themselves as "los novios de la muerte." When they say "novios," are they saying bridegrooms, boyfriends, or fiances? I would like the answer to come from a native of Spain with some direct knowledge of Spanish military culture. Gracias.

4 years ago

17 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/dj63010
dj63010
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Why would anyone down vote your question? Some people are here just to stir up problems and have no interest in learning anything. I up voted you so now you are still at negative 1.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lurc72
lurc72
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I agree with you, he's just making a question!!! I can understand people downvoting for example if someone has given a wrong answer or so, otherwise I really don't see the point in downvoting. So I'm also giving him a vote up :-)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rspreng

My take - because he is not simply asking a question, but assuming only a certain class of people can provide the correct answer. What if I asked a question about cooking and said I wanted only women that had been to culinary school to respond? ;)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lurc72
lurc72
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ok I see your point 'cause questions can be unrespectful, so in that cases yes, I understand people downvoting. In this particular case, at least from my point of view, is not so, but I think there are many sentitive people, in fact I have nothing to do with military staff, but his question can be perfectly answer by any spaniard as it is common knowledge, that's why I've dared to answer ignoring the "sore point" he wrote. But I guess like almost everything on life it depends on people and tastes, so obviously if someone doesn't like something is free to vote as she/he pleases, but it would be good we all were a little less intransigent :-)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lurc72
lurc72
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in Spain we use the word novios as general. So novia/novio is girl/boyfriend; prometida/prometido is engaged, but we don't use them much; and we have no different word for bride or groom, we use novia/novio, and at weddings we shout "¡qué vivan los novios!". So regarding your question you can translate it literally as "we are the boyfriends of death"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Roger_Burke

You say, "In Spain," but are you Spanish? I am looking at the "New Revised" Spanish/English" Dictionary" under "Novio" and the three definitions are 1. Bridegroom, 2. A man betrothed to a woman [fiance], 3. One new to some dignity or state.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lurc72
lurc72
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yes I am!!!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rspreng

And Wikipedia says it is "bridegrooms of death" I think the idea is that these guys are are prepared to die.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lurc72
lurc72
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yes, the whole sense is that, they are prepared to die

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Roger_Burke

I ask the question because while I respect your opinion I have a Velazques Dictionary that styles itself as a leading authority on the Spanish Language. It has the three definitions for novio, none of which is boyfriend. Wikipedia says"Hymn and slow march "El Novio de la Muerte (Bridegroom of Death)" is the official hymn and regimental slow march of the Spanish Legion, composed in 1921 with words by Juan Costa set to music by Fidel Prado." Military heritage magazine did a 2005 article on el Tercio de Estranjeros titled "Bridegooms of Death." I am just trying reconcile Velazquez and most military historical references with DL and "popular" usage of "novios." No offence is intended to anyone but as an outsider it is hard to differentiate between expertise and unfamilairity with a rather arcane (to some) subject. And as a parting thought, boy friends and girl friends come and go. The relationships run hot and cold. It can be a very temporary thing. I can't imagine approaching a Sgt in the Tercio and saying, "Hey sarge, I didn't realize how dangerous this could be so take this silly rifle. I am out of here and going home before I break into tears." I think that the Tercio believes a soldier is wedded in holy matrimony to his unit - for better or for worse. When I listen to their himno that is the vibe that I get.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rspreng

IMO you are over thinking it, but I do not believe that very people many refer to another as 'novio/a' (it certainly means boy/girl friend, as well as fiance/fiancee/bride/groom, in context, in the Spanish speaking world) with the idea it is a temporary relationship. If I, referring to my girlfriend, say 'ella es mi novia' it means she is my girlfriend and does not mean temporarily. The first definition in my big, thick, Collins dictionary is "boy/girlfriend (amigo/a") and the definition in my "Vox Diccionario" = Persona respeto a otra con la que mantene relaciones amorosas con otra, especialmente con intencion de casarse o vivir en pareja.'

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Roger_Burke

Yes, but girlfriend/boyfriend is not a contractual obligation so if you do change your mind you don't have to pay out-of-pocket. Being married has a whole different set of rules.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vwlj
vwlj
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A passing thought: ella es mi novia=she is my girlfriend/sweetheart (and I'm not planning to dump her); ella está mi novia=she is my girlfriend/sweetheart (for today, anyway). I'm pretty sure novio/a can be used with either ser and estar - as can casarse.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lurc72
lurc72
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no no, we don't use estar, always ser. In the old days and old songs you might find "estamos de novios" instead of "somos novios", but nowdays it would very rare if you hear it from a native speaker, at least in Spain, maybe in another countries is more used, but not here.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lurc72
lurc72
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yeah you're completely right, and as I said above we don't have a word for bridegroom, so we use novio/a for all, I mean, let's say I'm hanging out with a man since 2 months, so if he's not a "friend with benefits" I call him novio (and at this stage probably we are not thinking of marriage at all). If we've been together for 10 years I still call him novio. If we're getting married we say "estamos prometidos" that is we are engaged, I can also say "Juan es mi prometido", but as said above we don't really use prometido/a very much, (at least in Spain). At wedding day we still are novia and novio. It can be confused as in english you also use girl/boyfriend to refer to just friends, specifying that is a girl or boy. Regarding the 3rd meaning of word novio (one new to...), yes I knew this meaning from long time ago, but I can recall to have seen/heard it with that sense ever, not even in literature, in fact most people don't even know about this meaning. So the sentence of the Legionarios, you can translate novios either as boyfriends or bridegrooms. In resume, what we use in Spain: friend (girl/boyfriend) – amiga/o girl/boyfriend – novia/o fiancé/fiancée – prometido/a; not much used so we still mostly use novio/a bride/bridegroom – novia/o other relations like “special” friend or one/few nights stand – we have many many expressions, here you have some: amiga/o especial, rollo, rollete, ligue, amiga/o con derecho a roce, amiga/o con beneficios… and so on Hope this long text hasn’t confused you even more!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dj63010
dj63010
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Or perhaps "lovers of death"?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lurc72
lurc72
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it makes sense, but note that lover we translate it as amante, and even that it means a person who loves, the main use of it is to refer to an adventure outside marriage.

4 years ago