The notes on the map to One-Eyed Willy's treasure are all in Spanish.

When the Goonies get to the organ trap/puzzle, Mouth reads the instructions:

To move on, play the tune......as each note is said. If you make too many mistakes... ...ye will surely be...

Be what?


What is that? Come on.


But the Spanish translation of the instructions as read by Mouth would have been

Para seguir adelante, toca la melodía...cuándo toque cada nota. Si cometes demasiados errores...seguramente estarás muerto

Do any of the supplemental materials explain why the English translation mysteriously rhymes when it was originally written in Spanish?

  • Man, this is a great question but I'm sure the answer is as simple as; it's a kid's movie. It's a gaping logic hole that no one probably cared about. In kid's movies, you can get away with stuff like that. Jun 14 '14 at 20:43
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    @JohnnyBones It's certainly possible. I believe the anniversary box set came with a copy of the map, which might at least confirm what the Spanish version said.
    – phantom42
    Jun 14 '14 at 20:51

First of all, though I'm sure it's not the answer you'd be most pleased to hear, but it's The Goonies. This movie is primarily intended as a light-hearted entertaining adventure. The fact that the words magically rhyme in English is just a minor logical flaw sacrificed for the movie's atmosphere, since the movie is originally done and supposed to make sense and completely unfold its entire effect in English.

If you really want some kind of in-universe answer, you also have to keep in mind that you don't necessarily need to translate everything literally, especially poetry. We could thus assume that the original Spanish words rhymed, too, and Mouth did not only translate the actual words, but also their rhyming scheme to keep up the intended impression of the words, sacrificing some exactness in translation for the sake of style and atmosphere. I agree that it is very far-fetched for Mouth to be able to do that (though, he isn't particularly bad in Spanish) and do it right on the fly in this moment (especially since his surprise over "dead" implied that he hadn't read it in full beforehand), but nearer you won't get to an actual in-universe answer for this, I guess.


This is only a guess, but it makes sense to me:

The person who made the map was a native English speaker. He made the puzzle in English. He then translated it into Spanish either because he was told to or just to make it harder for other people to read. Either way, he didn't care about making the rhyme work in Spanish, only in English.

  • Yet that would require whoever reads it to translate it in exactly the same way as it was originally intended, which is itself quite unlikely given the huge freedom one has when translating into different languages. But ok, I agree that it might indeed be a possibility, if one is to ignore the obvious out-of-universe answer.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Jun 18 '14 at 15:38
  • @NapoleonWilson There's no requirement that the puzzle be translated back to English to solve it. However, if it is translated back to English, you only need to get two words exact for it to rhyme. I expect the obvious answer is correct (kid movie), but this is a reasonable in-universe alternative. Jun 18 '14 at 15:55

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