Candid photographs

Here’s a new discovery for me, which, at the same time, is a new ‘false friend’. It’s the word ‘candid’ (frank/open). In Spanish it means innocent, pure and, in figurative sense, na?ve, ingenuous, gullible.

Now, one word of the day I’ve just read is ‘paparazzo’: a freelance photographer who aggressively pursues celebrities for the purpose of taking candid photographs. The term ‘candid photographs’ had me puzzled: surely this kind of photographs is far from innocent and pure? Of course, thanks to the dictionary, I now understand it has nothing to do with my first interpretation:

candid adj. not posed or rehearsed: a candid snapshot; informal or natural; especially caught off guard or unprepared: a candid photograph; a candid interview.
n. an unposed informal photograph.

Candidly, I’m sure that some of you will also benefit from my little ‘morning puzzle’.

Hi Conchita,

On the candid front immediately comes to my mind a tv series called Candid Camera. This is a series where people are filmed watching something which they really can’t believe. An example: a driver coming into a car park is asked to hand over his keys because the car will be parked by one of the attendants. The hapless driver sees one of the ‘attendants’ parking a car nearby and he is seen frequently hitting other cars in the process. Naturally the car driver doesn’t want the same to happen to his car. It turns out that the whole event is stagemanaged and the cars being hit are old bangers and the idea is that each potential parker is filmed as he sees the same thing happening. And we all fall about laughing as we watch the horror on the faces of the car owners. Ho Ho


I generally give my candid opinion here, but it’s almost never innocent or pure.

Now, never confuse the word candid with the word candied. :smiley:

Hi Conchita

That reminds me of a TV series…

There used to be a TV show in the US called “Candid Camera”. I think it began in the 1950s. It was hugely popular. (I’m not sure whether there’s a current version of this show or not.)
There’s a similar TV show in Germany.

What this show did was to place an unsuspecting person in a very unusual situation. There was a hidden camera recording everything that happened and reactions of the “victims” were usually really hilarious.

Is/was this type of show also on TV in Spain?


EDIT: Oops! Alan was faster … Sorry about the Candid Camera “rerun” :lol:

One of the funniest scenes from Candid Camera involved filming teenagers combing their hair in the 1950s.

Another good one showed a class of small children singing the national anthem. It sounded great. Then they separated the kids and had them sing it individually, and half of them were singing complete nonsense.

In the US, somebody tries to resurrect Candid Camera about once every decade in syndication. It usually stars the founder’s son and some beautiful babe. It’s always good, but it only seems to last a short time. Generally it’s been replaced by those shows like America’s Funniest Home Videos, which usually shows candid home shots of people falling down.

Wait a minute, I guess Candid Camera still exists. Here is its website:

On the CBC there is a Canadian variant of the show, called Just for Laughs. This one is a little different, because it’s shot with no sound, which tells me they must do it in Qu?bec and don’t want to have to worry about language issues. Nonetheless, the gags are imaginative and very funny. In one of them, people on the street were asked to watch someone’s car for a couple of minutes. Once the driver has gone inside the building, a kid comes by, tears the side-view mirror off the car, and either hands it to the “guard” or puts it at his feet. You can imagine the hubbub when the driver comes back out.

The French “La cam?ra invisible” is the first programme of this kind I watched as a child. Here they have “Inocente, inocente” (gullible), which is what you call someone who has been fooled. We can also watch similar programmes on the Nick channel (where they show the French Canadian variant Jamie mentioned).

Hi Conchita.
Great finding! Now I?ve learnt the meaning of “candid” (word I had never come across before in English) and “Candid camera” what we call here “c?mara oculta”.

“Occult Camera”! Whoa! That sounds VERY UGLY in English. It sounds like a TV program showing satanic rituals, animal sacrifices, and even worse things!

“Whoa!” is right! :lol:
The direct translation does sound scary! :shock:


Hello Tere and welcome aboard!

We also call it ‘c?mara oculta’ in Spain — I had forgotten to mention it.

As Amy and Jamie mentioned, in English it sounds totally different and quite strange indeed! The term would best translate as ‘hidden camera’.

Although ‘occult’ has this meaning in English, too, it is probably less used in this sense. The word also refers to the supernatural in Spanish (as in English), both as a noun and as an adjective.

What names do they have in Spanish for those candid video shows where the footage is shot by amateurs and sent in? In a typical half hour, there are generally two really funny clips, and the rest just show people falling down. Our version of the show is called “America’s Funniest Home Videos”. Of course, we have so many TV channels that we have to fill them with something, so we also have other shows of this type, but they are specialized, including “America’s Greatest Pets”.

We call them ‘v?deos caseros’ (home videos). As you say, Jamie, only a few are really funny, generally. Also, I get the impression that they are not always candidly taken, but rehearsed. Maybe my capacity for amazement is sadly diminishing :frowning: !

The ones featuring babies or children being hurt can give me a very unpleasant feeling.

We don’t have that type here, but I did once see a very funny one of a little girl screaming and crying because she refused to eat peas. The drama was absolutely hilarious, and I had a feeling the parents took these videos and played them back to their daughter so that she could be shocked by her own behavior.

In the US we have a lot of court shows. A TV production company will hire a (usually retired) judge to hear cases, and real courts get rid of some of their overload by getting willing parties to agree to have their minor cases decided by the judge on the show. Plus, I suppose, they get a free trip to New York, Chicago or wherever, to be on the show. At their best, these shows are very informative as to how the law functions, and I’m sure many people are much better prepared for court than they were 30 years ago.

Other ones are informative in a different way: You get to see a part of the human race that you can’t believe exists. There is one show where I can’t figure out how the judge decides the cases, because in many of them it’s very clear that everybody is lying, even though they’re under oath and can go to jail for lying. One of my favorite cases was one that was on recently. A woman was suing her sister who had borrowed her car and then run up $3,500 in parking fines, which she refused to pay back to the woman. When the judge asked the defendant why she refused to pay back her sister for all the parking fines, she angrily told him, “Because Jesus done forgive all my debts when I was in prison and became a Christian!” The judge snapped back, “Jesus died for your SINS, not for your parking violations!” and he forced the girl to pay. To the very end, even after the case was decided, the girl insisted that Jesus had excused her from paying her sister back. People can really be crazy!

Hi Jamie!

It is tricky, isn?t it? “occult camera”…hum…I?d rather say “hidden camera” to avoid misunderstanding :slight_smile: , as it was suggested above.

Those funny home.made video clips were shown here as ?show de bloopers" :shock: As you can see, mostly English.
Those situations are called that way and as you commented, some of them are rather cruel…and many are not so “candidly” recorded (I?m using my new adquisition here! Tks people!) :smiley:

Ouch…that sounds…terrible… :frowning:

We also had that sort of court show here. I guess it must have been inspired by the one there. Here, a judge listened to both parts in a neighbouring or familiar disagreement and, by the end of the programme, he took a decision. I got the impression they were not real cases but actors playing their parts. I agree with you: the good thing was people got to know a bit of the legal lingo and how to act, rights and duties… It was rather educational…

Jamie…You made me laugh to tears. That case about the woman justifying herself on Jesus?death…LOL…was greeeeeeeeat!!! LOL
You see. That?s the point. They are not good, they are not believable…but sometimes…they are better than many comedians…LOL

Thanks…It was great to read you!


Yeah…and that happens with many words, doesn?t it?
Common, for example… What if I say “She?s a common girl”

Have a nice day


familial disagreement

We had the type of court show with actors when I was a little kid. Now, though, these are real court cases, and the people are really angry, really pathological, really lying, really real.

There is one show I really can’t figure out, though. It’s got a “judge” who I can’t imagine would be a judge in real life, and he is called “Extreme Akeem”. No name, just that. One time two very angry women were in front of him arguing about who a lottery ticket really belonged to (it wasn’t worth much money). There was no telling who the ticket really belonged to, so he had the bailiff throw the ticket into a garbage dumpster and told the women that whichever one found it first could keep it. Sure enough, these women were up to their thighs in garbage, frantically looking for the ticket until one of them found it. Now, THAT kind of show is even disgusting to most Americans!

Tere, these women were absolutely real, and very serious.

I sometimes get students from this stratum of society. One guy had to miss class because he was in jail for forging checks on some girlfriend’s account. I asked him why he’d done it, and he replied, “Money.” When I dicussed it with him further, he said, “It’s okay to do stuff like that, because Bill Gates STOLE THE WHOLE IDEA FOR COMPUTERS!”

Another good one I saw was on one of the shows where they follow the police around. The Las Vegas police were called to the scene of a wild fight, and when they arrived, two men in their 30s were punching each other and bashing each other’s heads on cars. The police approached and (typical for American police) asked, “Would you two gentlemen mind telling us what’s going on here?” The men looked up very surprised, and with very earnest eyes, staring through the blood dripping down their faces, innocently told the police, “Oh, we’re related!” That was supposed to explain everything! I have laughed about that one for years.

I understood they are real there. What I meant to say is I get the feeling they are real cases (here) role played by amateur actors before a real judge.
That sort of thing is very common here just to increase the audience rate (rating)… and I guess it must be similar in other places.