Thread Rating:

Wizard
Administrator
Wizard 
Joined: Oct 14, 2009
  • Threads: 1387
  • Posts: 23293
November 11th, 2011 at 8:36:31 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

PART I
Which one of these phrases is correct?
(1) Busco un libro que sea interesante.
(2) Busco un libro que es interesante.



She said (1) is right. The subjunctive tense is used to express doubt. In this case while you're looking for an interesting book, you may not find one. She added that buscar is a verb that is generally connected to the subjunctive tense.

Regarding it being archaic, my tutor never touched on it but she was very clear that (1) was proper Spanish.

Quote: pacomartin

PART II
Quoting the lyrics from a very famous Argentine protest song from the 1970's (in the subjunctive mood).
It confuses me what is the best translation:

Solo le pido a Dios
Que el dolor no me sea indiferente


"I only ask of God
He not let me be indifferent to pain" (1)
That I may not be indifferent to pain" (2)
That the pain is not indifferent to me" (3)

I would go with #2, but I see it translated as #1 or #3 in some cases (like the link above).



She said number 2 is right. I may not know much about Spanish, but (1) and (3) sound like very awkward English to me. Probably that is how my Spanish sentences sound.

I've been to China five times and always laugh at the English translations of Chinese signs. For example those yellow signs, that say "slippery when wet" or "piso mojado," they stand up on wet floors in China say, in English, "Caution Tripping Drunken Walking." I have a picture of one, if you don't believe me. I asked me wife what it said in Chinese and she said it said the same thing, but in Chinese it is perfectly normal. When translated to English word for word it just comes off so badly it is a source of humor. Jay Leno sometimes pokes fun of other such translations from Chinese to English. I'm not one to speak about the fine points, or even the rough points, of Chinese, but as I was saying in another post, just the general way of communicating is a lot different. I think I can say they don't have a lot of prepositions and short connecting words. The pretty much string together the most pertinent points of what you want to say, and the words that hold things together, like in English or Spanish, are simply assumed.

In my opinion, electronic translators are still pretty bad at sentence translation, and should only be used as a last resort. Most of my effort to learn Spanish comes from reading side by side books in English and Spanish. The original was in English. Time after time I see the Spanish translation not trying to translate every word literally, but instead to convey the general gist of the story, but to something that comes off well in Spanish. For example, where the English version said "tooth fairy" the Spanish said "ratoncito."
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
pacomartin
pacomartin
Joined: Jan 14, 2010
  • Threads: 649
  • Posts: 7895
November 12th, 2011 at 2:07:31 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

She said (1) is right. The subjunctive tense is used to express doubt. In this case while you're looking for an interesting book, you may not find one. She added that buscar is a verb that is generally connected to the subjunctive tense.

Regarding it being archaic, my tutor never touched on it but she was very clear that (1) was proper Spanish.


Nareed said (2) was right. But that only confirms the fact that I was told in Mexico that Mexican Spanish had relaxed some of the formalities of peninsular Spanish. For instance, in Mexico, I was told they have almost completely abandoned the future tense conjugation. Instead they use ir + a + verbo en infinitivo as a way to express the future tense. English does not use subjunctive mood for the same sentence. We say "I am looking for an interesting book". We do not say "I may be looking for an interesting book".

In Old English, when the language had many inflection, the indicative and subjunctive were quite distinct like present day Spanish.
A hallmark of the subjunctive in present day English is that tenses are often mixed one says I wish she were here". The verb were looks like plural past tense in the indicative mood, instead it is singular present in the subjunctive mood.


Quote: Wizard

"I only ask of God
He not let me be indifferent to pain" (1)
That I may not be indifferent to pain" (2)
That the pain is not indifferent to me" (3)

She said number 2 is right. I may not know much about Spanish, but (1) and (3) sound like very awkward English to me. Probably that is how my Spanish sentences sound.


I agree with you, but I see so many translations of this song on the internet using other versions, that I thought I would ask.

Quote: Wizard

I've been to China five times and always laugh at the English translations of Chinese signs. For example those yellow signs, that say "slippery when wet" or "piso mojado," they stand up on wet floors in China say, in English, "Caution Tripping Drunken Walking." I have a picture of one, if you don't believe me. I asked me wife what it said in Chinese and she said it said the same thing, but in Chinese it is perfectly normal. When translated to English word for word it just comes off so badly it is a source of humor.


One particularly poetic signage that we saw in Spain was "No cambio de sentido" or "No change of heart" instead of "No U-turn".

Quote: Wizard

In my opinion, electronic translators are still pretty bad at sentence translation, and should only be used as a last resort. Most of my effort to learn Spanish comes from reading side by side books in English and Spanish. The original was in English. Time after time I see the Spanish translation not trying to translate every word literally, but instead to convey the general gist of the story, but to something that comes off well in Spanish. For example, where the English version said "tooth fairy" the Spanish said "ratoncito."



My friend commercialized an electronic translator that was developed for DOD use. It doesn't even try to recognize single words at all, but it's lowest atomic level is "the phrase". The device is most effective if you are on guard duty in Afghanistan, and a single misunderstood command could result in an accidental shooting. Medical personnel have found it effective as well. But that is with languages where you don't recognize a single word.

A while back I gave a rather extensive explanation of the grammatical reasons why you should use "estar" with "hecho". But if you had put your sentence into "google translation" you would have at least discovered that your sentence was incorrect. When I was in school in Oaxaca, in class we would use different translators just to compare results.

There are some electronic translators that refer to themselves as "gisters" instead of "translators". They acknowledge that they are only providing the "gist" of the document.
=============
gist - 18th century from Anglo-French legalese phrases, e.g. cest action gist "this action lies," meaning "this case is sustainable by law," from O.Fr. gist en "it consists in, it lies in". Extended sense of "essence" first recorded 1823.
Wizard
Administrator
Wizard 
Joined: Oct 14, 2009
  • Threads: 1387
  • Posts: 23293
November 12th, 2011 at 9:37:18 PM permalink
Fecha: 13 de Noviembre, 2011
Estado: Tlaxcala
Palabra: Cuna




Today's state is Tlaxcala. Please don't ask me how to pronounce it. I don't think I've ever seen T and L consecutively before, in English or Spanish. Never mind that I can never remember how to pronounce an x, except in Mexico. Besides being a mouthful to pronounce, Tlaxcala is the smallest state in Mexico in terms of area.

The motto of Tlaxcala is "Cuna de la nacion." The word cuna is our SWD, which can mean cot, cradle, cradle, or birthplace.

Ejemplo time.

Capitan, no tengas miedo de la araña en su cuna, lo es mi mascota. = Skipper, don't be afraid of the spider on your cot, it is my pet.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
pacomartin
pacomartin
Joined: Jan 14, 2010
  • Threads: 649
  • Posts: 7895
November 12th, 2011 at 10:29:03 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

The motto of Tlaxcala is "Cuna de la nacion."



It's an interesting motto because it is certainly not the birthplace of the Mexican nation. Guanajuato is the cradle of the independence movement. Tlaxcala had a deep and enduring bond to Spain.

Wizard
Administrator
Wizard 
Joined: Oct 14, 2009
  • Threads: 1387
  • Posts: 23293
November 12th, 2011 at 10:52:52 PM permalink
Maybe it is my slow Internet speed, but that map is taking ages to load.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
Nareed
Nareed
Joined: Nov 11, 2009
  • Threads: 373
  • Posts: 11413
November 13th, 2011 at 4:19:57 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Today's state is Tlaxcala. Please don't ask me how to pronounce it. I don't think I've ever seen T and L consecutively before, in English or Spanish.



It's not Spanish. It's a pre-hispanic language. Possibly, I'm guessing here, Nahuatl (see?) You'll find several names with the "tl," like Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl, which are two of the volcanoes near Mexico City.

Quote:

The motto of Tlaxcala is "Cuna de la nacion." The word cuna is our SWD, which can mean cot, cradle, cradle, or birthplace.



My dictionary says means cradle, day care center (casa de cuna), homeland, place of origin and a kind of bridge (wow!). Mostly it's used to mean "cradle." The word for "cot" is "catre."

Ejemplo time.

Capitan, no tengas miedo de la araña en su cuna, lo es mi mascota. = Skipper, don't be afraid of the spider on your cot, it is my pet.



"Capitán, no tengas miedo de la araña en TU catre (sorry!), es mi mascota."

You're having a very hard time with "lo." In this case, remember there's no pronoun for animals or inanimate objects in Spanish. If you must use a pronoun for the spider, you'd use "ella." Saying "...ella es mi mascota" would be correct, though the pronoun is superfluous.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
pacomartin
pacomartin
Joined: Jan 14, 2010
  • Threads: 649
  • Posts: 7895
November 13th, 2011 at 5:18:58 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Maybe it is my slow Internet speed, but that map is taking ages to load.


I put a much smaller map in it's place. The cable speed here is 15 Mbs so I never noticed problems.

Before 1520 Tlaxcala remained independent of the Aztec empire, but was almost surrounded by them. They became allies of Cortez in the conquest, and as a result they were granted a high level of autonomy for the 300 years of the Spanish rule. The members of the Tlaxcalan kingdom did not fight in the war of independence and were only fully added to the new nation decades later.

So they are the cradle of nation, only because they aided the European conquest.

The Mexican stories of how they became a nation are much more complex than those of the USA. This painting of Cortez and his native wife (slave?) Malinche is very significant. It is a union of two people which produced a child (on the floor between them). The child, Martín, is sometimes called the "first mestizo" (or mixed person). But he is also face down in the dirt because he lived his life far below in status to his half brother who Cortez had with a Spanish woman.
Doc
Doc
Joined: Feb 27, 2010
  • Threads: 45
  • Posts: 7101
November 13th, 2011 at 7:19:39 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I don't think I've ever seen T and L consecutively before, in English or ....


Should I feel "guiltless" or "gutless" for pointing out examples that I already know are not quite what you meant?
:-)
pacomartin
pacomartin
Joined: Jan 14, 2010
  • Threads: 649
  • Posts: 7895
November 13th, 2011 at 9:27:30 AM permalink
Quote: Doc

Should I feel "guiltless" or "gutless" for pointing out examples that I already know are not quite what you meant?
:-)



There are hundreds of English words that contain "tl": "tly" - peartly; "tless" - restlessness, "tle" - bottled, "tler" - startler, "tline" - coastline, etc. Most of them break syllables between the 't' and 'l' with a few exceptions like "battle".

I think what the wizard meant was that no English words start with "tl".
Nareed
Nareed
Joined: Nov 11, 2009
  • Threads: 373
  • Posts: 11413
November 13th, 2011 at 9:35:08 AM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

I think what the wizard meant was that no English words start with "tl".



Maybe. When you get to letter combinations, all sorts of things are overlooked.

For instance, I hurried to say the name "Tlaxcala" isn't Spanish. But here are words in Spanish with "tl," well, at least one I could think of: Tlapalería (it means paint and paint-tool store; meaning house paint rather than art or industrial paints.)

I read an anecdote concerning a quiz game with a question like "name the only country whose name in English contains the letters "ATE," in that order." The answer is "GuATEmala." Very nice, but what about "The United StATEs of America"?
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal

  • Jump to: