"Qué rico el mambo" is a song by Pérez Prado.

What does this phrase mean and what sort of feelings does it evoke? It is written by a musician from Cuba who wrote a lot of Mambo music. When this song became popular in America it was also known as "Mambo Jambo", and this English translation doesn't quite help me understand the meaning.

Unfortunately I don't have any knowledge in Spanish, so I tried using Google and it translates it to "how rich the mambo". I'm not sure if that is right. I also asked a friend who knows Spanish and she doesn't know how to translate this either.

I'm only looking for the translation of the title. The song has one lyric which goes "Mambo, que rico mambo. Mambo, que rico es es es!", if that is of any help!

Another thing that may help, I have found a movie with the same title (has nothing to do with the song but could help with the title translation) https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C2%A1Qu%C3%A9_rico_el_mambo!

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    You want a translation of the whole thing, or just the title? I don't think you're going to get a translation of the whole thing here no matter what you do. However, if you show that you've tried to understand and translate the title, you'd probably get some help with that. – aparente001 Jan 27 '18 at 2:11
  • Thanks @walen for the edits, it definitely makes much more sense now! I was trying to guess the translation from the synopsis of the movie with the same title (hence the link). Very strange approach, as I have realised after you posted the answer. – mfn Jan 27 '18 at 11:19
  • Great work reshaping your question, mfn. I had forgotten how skimpy the lyrics are! @walen, I love the new title. // What is whelp? – aparente001 Jan 27 '18 at 14:10
  • @walen - Oh, I had to look up welp! I found "linguistic shrug". Is it kind of like ni modo (which I've never figured out how to translate to English)? – aparente001 Jan 27 '18 at 15:15
  • @walen - Interesting reading, thank you. Apparently I'm an alien! Anyway, the Merriam-Webster explanation was much better than "linguistic shrug," for god's sake. – aparente001 Feb 6 '18 at 15:40

The word "rico" can mean "rich" in Spanish, indeed. Both in the wealthy sense as well as in all the other senses of "rich".

"Rico" can also mean "tasty, yummy", as in "¡Qué rico este melocotón!" ("This peach is so yummy!").

I'd say the use that the title is making of "rico" is a combination of all these meanings, excluding "wealthy".

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There's already a solid answer here but since you asked about the feelings the song's title and lyrics evoke, I'll expand with some example-vignettes.

Vignette 1. An extended family meets for a common beach vacation in Florida. They quickly unpack, change into bathing suits and head for the pool. As they join each other in the pool, they remark on the water temperature to each other: ¡Qué rica el agua! | How lovely the water [is]! | Comme c'est beau! | Wie schön warm ist das Wasser! About the feeling: this phrase expresses satisfaction with the warmth of the water, but also sums up how good it feels to be in the lovely water, to be on vacation, to be all together. It's an expression of happiness. (Qué introduces an exclamation.)

Vignette 2. A certain two-year-old tends to fight bedtime like a tiger. Parents do their best to make the bedtime procedure a positive daily ritual. But with this spirited child it's a Shakespearian three-act play every evening. In the last step, when the child is settled in bed, parent turns out the light, gives the good-night kiss, and attempts to indoctrinate the child with how cozy his bed feels: Mmm, ¡qué rica la cama! | Mmm, how good the bed feels! / How good it feels to be in bed!

The definite article "el" does mean "the" but it doesn't get translated in the song title, because we're talking about a generality.

Although this wouldn't work for Hollywood, here is what the title and lyrics mean:

¡Qué rico mambo! | What a wonderful mambo!

¡Qué rico el mambo! | literally: How wonderful mambo is! loosely: How I love mambo!

¡Qué rico es! | How wonderful it is!

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