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Stories from Puerto Rico / Historias de Puerto Rico (English and Spanish Edition) Paperback – June 11, 1999

4.6 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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About the Author

Robert L. Muckley and Adela Martinez-Santiago are experienced authors of several language books.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1st edition (June 11, 1999)
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • ISBN-10: 0844204021
  • ISBN-13: 978-0844204024
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #759,430 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Luis Hernandez on August 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
As a compilation of 18 legends, true-life experiences, and mysteries, "Stories from Puerto Rico," provides that reader with a wide array of stories all relating to the island's folklore and supernatural occurrences. The book's bilingual text, allowing both English and Spanish-language readers to enjoy these tales and accounts. The chronological order of these stories also is beneficial to classify which legends/accounts are recent and which are from the Spanish-colonial era. The tales in this book goes as follows:
(1) Creation {Pre-Colombian tale}: Discusses the Taino Indians (original island inhabitants) belief on how their gods created the Antilles.
(2) The Death of Salcedo {1511}: True-life tale of the murder of a Spanish conquistador by the Tainos, who wanted to determine whether or not he was a god. The drowning of this man in an island river helped the natives realize that the Spaniards were not from heaven.
(3) Guanina {1511}: A legend similar to a Puerto Rican version of Romeo & Juliet. Spanish conquistador-Taina love story ending in tragedy.
(4) The Miracles of Our Lady of Monserrate {1600}: The apparition of the Virgin in the town of Hormigueros caused many to build a shrine in her honor. Similar to the apparition of the Virgin in Lourdes and Fatima, this one was different because it involved the image of the Virgin of Monserrate, the black virgin who is the patron saint of Catalonia (Spain).
(5) The Snake's Curve {1700}: a legend involving a witch's curse that turned a woman from the town of Guayama into a snake.
(6) The Devil's Sentry Box {1790}: A legend that took place in San Juan involving the disappearances of several Spanish soldiers guarding the city from a Sentry House near San Cristobal Castle.
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Format: Paperback
As a compilation of 18 legends, true-life experiences, and mysteries, "Stories from Puerto Rico," provides that reader with a wide array of stories all relating to the island's folklore and supernatural occurrences. The book's bilingual text, allowing both English and Spanish-language readers to enjoy these tales and accounts. The chronological order of these stories also is beneficial to classify which legends/accounts are recent and which are from the Spanish-colonial era. The tales in this book goes as follows:
(1) Creation {Pre-Colombian tale}: Discusses the Taino Indians (original island inhabitants) belief on how their gods created the Antilles.
(2) The Death of Salcedo {1511}: True-life tale of the murder of a Spanish conquistador by the Tainos, who wanted to determine whether or not he was a god. The drowning of this man in an island river helped the natives realize that the Spaniards were not from heaven.
(3) Guanina {1511}: A legend similar to a Puerto Rican version of Romeo & Juliet. Spanish conquistador-Taina love story ending in tragedy.
(4) The Miracles of Our Lady of Monserrate {1600}: The apparition of the Virgin in the town of Hormigueros caused many to build a shrine in her honor. Similar to the apparition of the Virgin in Lourdes and Fatima, this one was different because it involved the image of the Virgin of Monserrate, the black virgin who is the patron saint of Catalonia (Spain).
(5) The Snake's Curve {1700}: a legend involving a witch's curse that turned a woman from the town of Guayama into a snake.
(6) The Devil's Sentry Box {1790}: A legend that took place in San Juan involving the disappearances of several Spanish soldiers guarding the city from a Sentry House near San Cristobal Castle.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
I found this book to be very helpful in two important ways: widening my perspective of Latin culture, and bettering my Spanish reading comprehension. The 18 stories are each short enough to keep the reader interested in the story, but filled with enough vocabulary to keep him or her constantly learning. Plus, the reader that is a little shaky can use the opposite page in English as a crutch, and there is also an index of vocabulary in the back of the book if one would prefer that approach. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to further their vocabulary, while at the same time broaden their cultural perspective.
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Good:
These somewhat longer than the stories in the other dual language books and are probably more challenging and interesting.
Big problem:
The translations are artful and smooth – but that is not the point of a dual language book. Often the translation doesn't correspond to the Spanish. Words are added in, adjectives and whole phrases are left out, things are listed in a different order than they are in the Spanish, etc.

Here is one good example of this. I'll keep it to just one, but this sort of thing arises on every page and eventually gets tedious and annoying.

Toward the top of page 13 it says, "Lo sentaron en la orilla." This means, "They set him/sat him up on the embankment." But the translation on page 12 is, "They propped him up." That just isn't helpful.

So this book could be useful as a study on how to translate smoothly, but it doesn't live up to the promise of a dual language book.
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