4

For the song Eres para mí by Julieta Venegas, I'm finding conflicting lyrics on the web.

For one line in the song, I'm finding two versions:

El viento me lo dijo con un soplo suavecito

El viento me lo dijo con un soplo suavecillo

From reading the lips of the artist that sings this lyric (in the music video), it appears she's saying suavecillo.

However, I'm not finding anywhere on the web translations for either suavecito or suavecillo.

8

It is indeed quite complicated to distinguish whether Julieta Venegas says suavecito or suavecillo. I listened to the verse few times and I still cannot tell.

However, the diminutive for suave cannot be suavecillo. Instead, use suavecito. You cannot find this in the normal dictionary, since diminutives and superlatives normally are not listed there (its size would increase dramatically!).

Luckily, for this specific case we have RAE saying this in Twitter:

#RAEconsultas Como diminutivo de «suave» existen «suavecito» y «suavito». El superlativo es «suavísimo».

| improve this answer | |
  • My Google search skills are lacking! How did you find this!? Thank you so much! – Rock Anthony Johnson Jul 22 '16 at 10:31
  • 1
    I checked "diminutivo de suave" : ) I was biased because I already knew suavecillo is not correct, so the browsing through the result was faster (being a native speaker always helps haha) – fedorqui 'SO stop harming' Jul 22 '16 at 10:32
  • @RockAnthonyJohnson I always use suavito when telling my son that he must pet our cats in a soft, tender way, rather than almost hitting them: "¡Guille, suaviiiiiiito!" – Charlie Jul 22 '16 at 10:44
  • There are some caribbean countries where they use the ending -illo and even -ico to form a diminutive. Although the RAE says it is not correct, I believe it is in those countries. – Vladimir Nul Jul 22 '16 at 13:00
  • A mi 'suavecillo' no me sonaba nada mal y estaba a punto de expresarlo cuando vi el enlace que publica @456L el cual en mi opinión confirma esta respuesta. Otra cosa que aprendí. – DGaleano Jul 22 '16 at 13:09
10

Contrary to what fedorqui states in his answer, you can rarely talk in binary terms (correct/incorrect) when addressing language use or, specially, dictionaries. Dictionaries' task is to exclusively establish which uses are the most common in any given language and describing them, not prescribing them.

Anyhow, the use of the diminutive suffix -illo (as in suavecillo)/-illa is actually widespread in Meridional Spanish as well as in other transitional dialects. The suffix -ico/-ica is also used in other regions of the country such as Jaén and Murcia. In addition to that, -ino/-ina is widespread in Asturias, -uco/-uca in Cantabria, etc. We have a pretty diverse language dialect-wise. We sometimes even use diminutives of diminutives: chiquitito, poquinina.

A source from Wikibooks ("Otros sufijos diminutivos").

| improve this answer | |
  • Muy buen enlace. Ahí dice como crear el diminutivo con -ito (suavito) y como se crean los diminutivos de palabras terminadas en 'e' (suavecito). Concluyo que cuando @fedorqui habla en binario es correcto entonces. +1 – DGaleano Jul 22 '16 at 13:06
  • 1
    Interesting approach. I agree I was too categorical: something that is not used today can end up being part of the vocabulary in few years. – fedorqui 'SO stop harming' Jul 22 '16 at 13:11
3

The confusion arises because we never hear the end of the word, as it overlaps with the next line, that starts with:

Y yo...

So we hear something like:

suaveci-- Y yo

In many Spanish speaking regions including Mexico, Y yo sounds exactly as -illo. That's why one could hear this as suavecillo. See this question and this Wikipedia article

In the release version (2:06) of the song, Anita Tijoux sings the El viento... line, and Julieta Venegas the following one. But when singing live you can hear Venegas recreating this overlapping effect by herself. Like here (2:20), here (2:20), and here (2:33).

If she could finish pronouncing the word she would certainly say suavecito, as she does in her song with that exact title (0:41) :)

As the other answers explained, suavecito is the standard diminutive for suave (soft). It can be understood as even softer than just soft.

As Hithere's answer said, the diminutive can also be form with -illo in some regions, which together with the overlapping effect may have led some people to think suavecillo was what's said in the song.

| improve this answer | |
  • This is a good work you have made! – Vladimir Nul Jul 22 '16 at 16:00
  • You are implying that yo and llo have the same sound. They are different when spoken I think. – Alejandro Jul 22 '16 at 17:00
  • @Ustanak as I say, it depends on the region. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ye%C3%ADsmo – rsanchez Jul 22 '16 at 17:14
  • @Ustanak updated the answer with links – rsanchez Jul 22 '16 at 17:37
1

The songs says: Suavecito.

"Suavecillo" its a regular expression used on the north of the country (México).

The finish on words "illo" its so normal. "Plebillo" (Plebito), "Perrillo" (Perrito), etc.

| improve this answer | |
1

Suavecillo is more vernacular, but almost not used in Mexico.

Julieta would certainly say "suavecito".

Suavecillo would be more Venezuelan.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.