Instrucciones para llorar (Reading and Listening Practice + Vocabulary)


Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

To help you keep practicing your Spanish reading and listening skills, this week I introduce Instrucciones para llorar (Instructions on How to Cry) written by the Argentine writer Julio Cortázar.

Instrucciones para llorar 

Dejando de lado los motivos, atengámonos a la manera correcta de llorar, entendiendo por esto un llanto que no ingrese en el escándalo, ni que insulte a la sonrisa con su paralela y torpe semejanza.

El llanto medio u ordinario consiste en una contracción general del rostro y un sonido espasmódico acompañado de lágrimas y mocos, estos últimos al final, pues el llanto se acaba en el momento en que uno se suena enérgicamente.

Para llorar, dirija la imaginación hacia usted mismo, y si esto le resulta imposible por haber contraído el hábito de creer en el mundo exterior, piense en un pato cubierto de hormigas o en esos golfos del estrecho de Magallanes en los que no entra nadie, nunca.

Llegado el llanto, se tapará con decoro el rostro usando ambas manos con la palma hacia adentro. Los niños llorarán con la manga del saco contra la cara, y de preferencia en un rincón del cuarto.

Duración media del llanto, tres minutos.

 

English translation

Putting the reasons for crying aside for the moment, we might concentrate on the correct way to cry, which, be it understood, means a weeping that doesn’t turn into a big commotion nor proves an affront to the smile with its parallel and dull similarity.

The average, everyday weeping consists of a general contraction of the face and a spasmodic sound accompanied by tears and mucus, this last toward the end, since the cry ends at the point when one energetically blows one’s nose.

In order to cry, steer the imagination toward yourself, and if this proves impossible owing to having contacted the habit of believing in the external world, think of a duck covered with ants or of those gulfs in the Straits of Magellan into which no one sails ever.

Coming to the weeping itself, cover the face decorously, using both hands, palms inward. Children are to cry with the sleeve of the dress or shirt pressed against the face, preferably in a corner of the room.

Average duration of the cry, three minutes.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JDPTaaO5y8

 

Vocabulary

Atengámonos: comes fron the verb “atenerse”, which means to conform or submit to a thing.

Contracción: The action of contracting, especially a muscle or organ.

Espasmódico: Related to spasm or is accompanied by this type of muscle contraction.

decoro: To behave in accordance with one’s social status.

Saco: A type of coat and, in general, a loose-fitting garment.

 



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