Colombian Folklore: Phrase

Type: Fixed Phrase

  1. “A buen entendedor pocas palabras bastan” Translation from Spanish to English: “A word to the wise is sufficient.”
  2. I obtained this piece of folklore from my friend Daniela. Daniela was born and partially raised (only for a couple years) in the country of Columbia, in the city of Bogota. After a couple years she left and moved to another country, but in her adulthood, she has gone back and visited. Both of her parents are Columbian as well. So, according to Daniela, this fixed phrase/saying is incredibly common in Columbia, about “everyone says it.” As a child, she did not know about the saying, but as an adult when her parents and older individuals in Columbia started saying it to her, she knew that is was not just a saying but apart of the Columbian identity. The translation was provided by Daniela as well, who is multilingual.
  3. The saying is something that you wouldn’t say to a friend or peer, but parents or elders say to younger generations. Ultimately, the saying means that, for those who are wise, simplicity in language is enough to communicate a desired message. For the wise, “one word” is good enough. Not literally “one word” but the idea of simplicity being the better answer for those who can understand. That is the key to the saying, “the wise.” If you are not wise, then you will need a longer and more complex explanation, according to this saying and Columbian culture.
  4. I really enjoy this saying, insofar that I believe it is true, and accurate. Especially in American culture, we tend to avoid simplicity in our language and in our ways of communication, but most of the time the simple answer is the right answer…for those who are capable of understanding it.