What's the non-English language used in this video?
September 8, 2019 3:34 PM   Subscribe

When I was little, I adored the Sesame Street song "Put Down the Duckie." But I was always confused by the celebrity mashup version, which included one guest who didn't sing in English. My parents thought she was singing in Hawaiian, but coming back to it after getting two linguistics degrees, I'm not certain. Can anyone here tell?
posted by dialMforMara to Writing & Language (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Celia Cruz at about 3 minutes in? Spanish, I assume.
posted by zamboni at 3:51 PM on September 8, 2019 [2 favorites]

I just watched the video. I assume you mean Celia Cruz (the video's description gives the celebrities in the order they appear). She was born in Havana, Cuba and reportedly was not fluent in English. That would suggest it was Spanish, though maybe a Cuban dialect?
posted by Meldanthral at 3:52 PM on September 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

Google translate says that "drop the ducky" translates in Spanish to "suelta el patito," which fits what she says.
posted by gideonfrog at 3:56 PM on September 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

That’s most definitely Spanish.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 4:17 PM on September 8, 2019

It's Spanish, yes. "Suelta el patico" = "drop the duckling."

Here's a song for children about ducklings.
posted by humbug at 4:18 PM on September 8, 2019

My parents thought she was singing in Hawaiian

My guess as to the Hawaiian association is that you were listening to a recording? Cruz is immediately followed by Itzhak Perlman strumming on a violin, which sounds kind of like an ukulele.
posted by zamboni at 4:42 PM on September 8, 2019

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