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When you go “al trantrán”?

It is not at all certain that the Spanish expression “ir al trantrán” has its roots in the bay of Cádiz, although from Cádiz it is the “Tirititran” with its chorus “Tiriti tran tran trantrat tran tran, tirit tran tran trantra ay tiriti tran tran” covered, among others, by Camarón de la Isla and Tomatito. On this side of the Atlantic, we like flamenco and popular singing and, although we do not sing and dance at all hours, almost always when we say that someone va al trantrán” which it means that he goes to the group’s trailer or goes slowly or improvising or goes without hurry; or is carried away by life, circumstances, events, or routine, among other things. It is so in the absence of an academic definition. Trantán, as a word, does not have its own personality in the Diccionario de la Lengua Española, nor even onomatopoeia. But if we use it as a noun we should write ‘trantrán’ rather than tran tran, according to the Urgent Spanish Foundation. Some historians believe that probably the origin of ‘ir al trantrán’ is to be found in the political couplets of Charles III’s Spain to the Marquis of Esquilache, the king’s Italian-born minister who gave rise in Madrid to the so-called Mutiny of Esquilache (which supposed his exile), revolt to which Francisco de Goya dedicated one of his paintings with the same title. In Italy, Trantán is an onomatopoeia that means getting carried away by routine or monotony, in the mouth of Esquilache or not. In any case, and in the absence of precise documentation on the origin and settlement of the term, “ir al trantrán” is not the same as “ir de cabeza” or “ir a ciegas” or “ir con la lengua fuera”, or “estar perdido”, “abrumado” or “confused”. Not for now. From the Spanish of the news in Spanish, I have extracted eight sentences, by way of example, so that you can understand when “se va al trantrán” and how we pronounce it:

El equipo no va a salir al trantrán al terreno de juego, sino al cien por cien.

Victoria al trantrán de líder de la liga de fútbol.

Dejó pasar los minutos al trantrán.

No me gusta el trantrán diario de la cocina.

La gente, en general, camina por la vida al trantrán.

Casi al trantrán, el marcador pasó de 25 a 26.

Porque la cosa empezó al trantrán…

Cobran mucho, pero trabajan al trantrán…

¡Vamos al trantrán de los acontecimientos!

Por Pía Valls / PracticaEspañol


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