Arrested Development #7
Context: George-Michael (the son) was about to touch a very dangerous kitchen appliance when Michael (his father) said...
Original English: Careful! Don’t touch that! Never touch that.
Spanish Translation: ¡Cuidado! No toques eso. Nunca toques eso.
At first, Michael yelled, “Careful!”--to get George-Michael’s attention.
One of the most common ways to say “Careful!” in Spanish is “¡Cuidado!”
“Cuidado” comes from “cuidar” which means “to take care”.
That’s the imperative.
Isn’t “cuidado” a participle or something like that?
It is, but in this case, “cuidado” comes from the phrase “ten cuidado”.
And “ten” comes from “tener” and REALLY IS the imperative.
The “ten” makes the whole phrase a command:
ten cuidado = be careful, take care
Just, at some point in history, a crazy old dude said, “¡Cuidado!” instead of “¡Ten cuidado!”
His neighbor heard that, thought it sounded cool, and started saying it.
Soon, everybody was saying it.
And that gringos and gringas, is the history of Spanish.
P.S. “Toques” comes from “tocar” (to touch) and in this case, “toques” is also the imperative (“toques” can be the subjunctive--but not today =)).
So everything Michael said in this scene is the imperative.
He was commanding George-Michael the whole time.
The translation is word-for-word, exactly the same.