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Definitions of “Claro” and Translations to English

February 4, 2010

I have been using the word “claro” quite a bit lately for a lot of different things, and it seems to me that again, we have a word that should be discussed. I’m not so sure that it is indicative of culture, but is certainly indicative of the imprecision that is language and especially translation.

Simply using Google Translator illustrates this. When entering the Spanish word “claro” the definitions come up as follows: clear, bright, transparent, distinct, apparent, thin, weak, and others, none of which I have ever seen in a Spanish I dictionary. I was taught that claro meant of course, right, sure, or yes (in a loose sense).

Sure, right and yes don’t appear anywhere on there and I have heard this word used in this context too many times to count.

When putting “of course” in the translator we get por supuesto, which is the best denotation of of course, but claro or claro que si should be on there as well.

“Right” does not get a claro definition.

“Sure” does get a claro definition but only as an interjection.

How can we make our communication more precise and avoid misunderstanding? Should we expand vocabulary or contract it? Order it or disorder it?

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