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View Full Version : Help translating "Ay, Similó"?


Morgyn
10-10-2017, 04:26 PM
Samsung is using the Peggy Lee version of a song called "I Similau (https://youtu.be/Fqsi0Bkslyc)" in one of its commercials. I, wondering what that means, run a Google search, and find that there's at least one theory saying that the song title should actually be (in Spanish), "Ay, Similó". (BTW, while I like Peggy Lee's voice, I like Desi Arnez's version (https://youtu.be/lB1lh0B1-wM) better.)

Which doesn't help a lot. "Ay" means "Oh", according to Google translate, but I can't find a reliable translation for "Similó". Looking for only "Similó" makes Google say it is Catalan, not exactly Spanish, and translates the word as "feels". Another page for Spanish verb conjugates says it's the third person singular past tense of the verb "similar", but doesn't provide a translation of that.

So it might come out as, "Oh, he felt this", but I'm not convinced yet. I only had a couple of years studying Spanish, and it was a very, very long time ago.

Anyone have any ideas? I intend to keep looking, but hey, someone here might know, yeh?

JKellyMap
10-10-2017, 07:51 PM
One site claims the following:
“Similó is said to belong to the Petro family of spirits, which have a reputation for being aggressive, for loving blood, and for eating human beings. Not the nicest spirits! But they can heal and protect those who invoke them. They are generally described as "supernatural magicians."

There's one account that mentions a manifestation of Similó in the shape of a goat, in the act of eating human body parts. I don't know if Similó had a specific area of expertise, but it sure makes sense to think that he (or she?) was related to fertility, given the song's lyrics.”

JKellyMap
10-10-2017, 08:12 PM
....However, I couldn’t find Similó or Similau among the standard lists of Yoruba/Santeria/Vudu/Candomble, etc. spirits and deities. Perhaps it’s an alternate pronunciation of this one:

http://supernaturalcreatures.org/encyclopedia/silibo/

“Silibo is an esoteric lwa of magic and sacred sexuality. In her book, Vodou Visions, author, artist, and Vodou priestess Sallie Ann Glassman compares Silibo to Shakti and the Shekhina. Silibo is not syncretized to a saint; instead the biblical image to which she is compared is from the Book of Revelation: the woman cloaked in the sun.”

DigitalC
10-10-2017, 08:21 PM
Without reading your OP my brain translated your title as "yeah, ditto" but I'm not sure thats right.

choie
10-10-2017, 08:55 PM
Yeah, I don't know the language or even anything about the religion/mythology being addressed in the song, but from extensive listens (I love Arnaz's version in I Love Lucy), I know the rest of the song is translated to English except for that line, which made me figure it was a name. Guess I always assumed he was addressing the deity / spirit he's praying to for, um, vitality.

Morgyn
10-10-2017, 09:31 PM
One site claims the following:
“Similó is said to belong to the Petro family of spirits, which have a reputation for being aggressive, for loving blood, and for eating human beings. Not the nicest spirits! But they can heal and protect those who invoke them. They are generally described as "supernatural magicians."

There's one account that mentions a manifestation of Similó in the shape of a goat, in the act of eating human body parts. I don't know if Similó had a specific area of expertise, but it sure makes sense to think that he (or she?) was related to fertility, given the song's lyrics.”Is that the Tiki Room site? I found that about an hour or so after posting, but hadn't made it back to update.

I had not found the Silibo reference, though. I'd think it's a strong probability, based solely on the anecdote that my brother needed speech therapy to straighten out his 'b' and 'v' sounds after we moved from Brasil to the UK. It's easy to mix up phonemes, particularly if they're said fast and with what is, to the hearer, an accent.

JKellyMap
10-11-2017, 04:10 AM
Yes, that was in Tiki Room.

Nava
10-11-2017, 10:50 AM
Looking for only "Similó" makes Google say it is Catalan, not exactly Spanish, and translates the word as "feels"

If it's Catalan, it's a Catalan I don't speak. It doesn't look at all like the verb to feel, "sentir" (pronunciation and conjugation are different from Spanish but yes, the infinitives happen to be spelled the same).

If the original is in Spanish, having a capital in the middle of the name already indicates that word is a proper name. We don't put capitals in titles that wouldn't appear if the same word was elsewhere (first word of the sentence, proper names and some treatments). For example: El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha; La dama boba; Viaje a la Alcarria.

madsircool
10-11-2017, 11:16 AM
It sounds Portuguese to my ears.

JKellyMap
10-12-2017, 08:57 AM
I'm no expert, but based on a little internet research and knowing a little about the genre (time, place, and style), it seems quite likely to be a spirit/deity from the West Africa/Caribbean/Brazilian pantheon -- a complex of related religions that includes Santería, Vudu (Voodoo), and Candomblé.

Morgyn
10-12-2017, 11:07 AM
Yeah, Nava, I was pretty dubious about the Catalan claim. Between people here and on FB and some research on my own, I'm inclined to go with the "Similau/Similó is the name of a spirit or deity" theory. (Searching for similó, btw, took me to a website claiming it was the third person singular preterite version of "similar". I find myself dubious about this, too, but mostly because I've yet to find the Spanish infinitive "similar". My google-fu seems to be lacking.)

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