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Nareed
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May 10th, 2011 at 6:36:58 AM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

Yo soy Jehová tu Dios, que te saqué de la tierra de Egipto, de casa de servidumbre.
No tendrás dioses ajenos delante de mí. (1960)



God's going to punish you for that. You're not supposed to say His name (why?)

On the other hand, Spaniards never understood transliteration, so they messed up God's name anyway. The very first letter of the name, in Hebrew, is "yud" and that's pronounced like the Spanish Y. Beats me why they put a J there.

On the other other hand, though, in English the J does duty for the Spanish Y, so... Oh, just let me know when we meet in Hell :P
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May 10th, 2011 at 8:01:08 AM permalink
Sorry to break the flow of the conversation. Let's skip the word of the day for May 10, since we've got so many discussions going on as it is. Yesterday I pestered my Spanish tutor with the querer questions.

First, as Paco said, the dog LIKES Taco Bell. She said if the dog meant she loved Taco Tell she would have said Yo quiero a Taco Bell.

I had to be really annoying (I'm good at that) to get a straight about about the usage in Limón y Sal. She hemmed and hawed, tried to change the topic, but I kept demanding a translation. So, finally she went both ways, as follows:

Yo te quiero con limon y sal, = I WANT you with lemon and salt,
yo te quiero tal y como estas, = I LOVE you so and as you are.

¡Que interesante!

However, I think she would say this is just her best guess.
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May 10th, 2011 at 8:24:20 AM permalink
Quote: FleaStiff

Why bother? Just yell louder and louder in English until they finally understand.


If you are not inclined to use FleaStiff's technique, and you want to break your conversation to see if you are being understood, then say "entiendes ?" or "entiende ?" (familiar/formal) instead of the more popular comprende?.

Although the meanings of the two verbs are similar, comprende? is overused by gringos. Even in English it sounds a little more polite to say Do you understand me?, then Can you comprehend me? which even if you don't intend to be rude sounds like Are you capable of comprehending what I am saying?


Comprendo? is utter gibberish since you are are actually saying "I comprehend" but you are conveying it as a question. That just means you are a gringo who puts an "o" on the end of English verbs and thinks they are now speaking Spanish.


Quote: Wizard

Yo te quiero con limon y sal, = I WANT you with lemon and salt,
yo te quiero tal y como estas, = I LOVE you so and as you are.


yo te quiero tal con limon y sal = I love this with lemon and salt (you are probably talking about french fries)
Yo te quiero con limon y sal = I love you with lemon and salt == I want you with lemon and salt (you are not talking about french fries)
Nareed
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May 10th, 2011 at 8:49:22 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Yo te quiero con limon y sal, = I WANT you with lemon and salt,
yo te quiero tal y como estas, = I LOVE you so and as you are.



On the second verse, I fail to see where the "so" comes from.

Anwyay, since the song starts the "te quiero" sequence with "te quiero con limón y sal," I say that indicates "want" rather than "love." What do you put lime and salt on? She's expressing a desire, not a feeling. So it's "want" in that verse and by extension on the others.

On other things, in honor of May 10th I make the word of the day "Madre."

before you jump and say it just means "mother," research the following examples:

1) ¡me vale madres!
2) que poca madre
3) No tienes madre

I hope Spanish internet filters don't filter this post out. The remaining examples really get obscene..

Oh, yeah, May 10th is Mother's Day in Mexico. I couldn't let it pass.
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May 10th, 2011 at 9:38:06 AM permalink
Quote: Nareed

On the second verse, I fail to see where the "so" comes from.



That was my own best guess. My understanding is tal=such, but it didn't fit in well with the rest of the verse, so I took some poetic license and changed it to "so." I see you translated it as "I want you hust [sic] the way you are." May I ask where the "just" comes from? Also, what happened to the y in the English translation?

Quote: Nareed

What do you put lime and salt on?



To be honest, I don't know. A margarita perhaps?

Quote: Nareed

She's expressing a desire, not a feeling. So it's "want" in that verse and by extension on the others.



My translator would disagree, but it would not be the first disagreement about a translation. Just look at how divisive bible translations can be. Many would say that all translations other than the King James are straight from the pit of hell.

Anyway, with your permission, I think we've beaten querer to death, so I motion that we move onto your word for May 10. Here are my best guesses for your other usages of madre:

1) ¡me vale madres! = I use mother coupons. (I could be way off here)
2) que poca madre = What a small mother.
3) No tienes madre = You don't have a mother.

I must have made a mistake, as I don't see what is so bad about those.

Quote: Nareed

Oh, yeah, May 10th is Mother's Day in Mexico. I couldn't let it pass.



¡Feliz dia de madres en Mexíco!
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May 10th, 2011 at 9:49:58 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

May I ask where the "just" comes from? Also, what happened to the y in the English translation?



The phrase "tal y como estas" means "just the way you are" If you translate each word, though, something meaningless comes out. When translating the trick is to convey meaning, not the literal translation

Quote:

To be honest, I don't know. A margarita perhaps?



You put lime and salt on food. Really. In the song she dones't say she wants to eat him, but the meaning, again, is of desire, thus "want."

Quote:

My translator would disagree, but it would not be the first disagreement about a translation. Just look at how divisive bible translations can be. Many would say that all translations other than the King James are straight from the pit of hell.



Many actually think the King James version is the actual word of God in English, I kid you not.


I'll just give you the translations and see if you can figure out why:

Quote:

1) ¡me vale madres! = I use mother coupons. (I could be way off here)



"I don't give a damn!"

Quote:

2) que poca madre = What a small mother.



What an awful thing to do (or say)

Quote:

3) No tienes madre = You don't have a mother.



You've got no shame.

Quote:

I must have made a mistake, as I don't see what is so bad about those.



Mexican slang. it takes a while to learn.
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May 10th, 2011 at 9:59:42 AM permalink
I think the Pentecostals would say that the King James was indeed a divinely inspired translation.

Thanks for the lesson in Mexican slang. I would have never read those that way.

What about "¡Tú madre!"?
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May 10th, 2011 at 10:26:49 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Thanks for the lesson in Mexican slang. I would have never read those that way.



I've come across lots of Mexicans in vegas. it may come in handy.

Quote:

What about "¡Tú madre!"?



That seems a literal translation of "Your mamma," or however that goes in english. It's not used in spanish.
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May 10th, 2011 at 11:05:49 AM permalink
Quote: Nareed

That seems a literal translation of "Your mamma," or however that goes in english. It's not used in spanish.



What about the movie Y Tu Mamá También?

Also, do you put an accent on the u or not in tú?
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pacomartin
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May 10th, 2011 at 11:06:54 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I think the Pentecostals would say that the King James was indeed a divinely inspired translation.

Thanks for the lesson in Mexican slang. I would have never read those that way.

What about "¡Tú madre!"?



"Tú madre!" answered with Y tu mama tambien!" is a very heated exchange without actually saying anything vulgar. Tú madre! is shorthand for Ch---@ tú madre!. Sort of like the line It's your turn in the barrel is widely understood in America.

========================

Some Pentecostals believe the KJV was divinely inspired, while others simply trust the translation better, especially over key passages.
לָכֵן יִתֵּן אֲדֹנָי הוּא לָכֶם אוֹת הִנֵּה הָעַלְמָה הָרָה וְיֹלֶדֶת בֵּן וְקָרָאת שְׁמוֹ עִמָּנוּאֵל
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (KJV 1611)
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Imman'u-el. (RSV 1946)
Por tanto, el Señor mismo les dará esta señal: Una virgen concebirá y dará a luz un hijo, y Le pondrá por nombre Emmanuel.
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May 10th, 2011 at 11:09:54 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Also, do you put an accent on the u or not in tú?


tu only has an accent when used as a subject pronoun (you). When uses as a possessive pronoun (ie. your), it does not have an accent.
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May 10th, 2011 at 11:21:18 AM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

tu only has an accent when used as a subject pronoun (you). When uses as a possessive pronoun (ie. your), it does not have an accent.



Ah, muchas gracias.
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Nareed
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May 10th, 2011 at 11:45:57 AM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

"Tú madre!" answered with Y tu mama tambien!" is a very heated exchange without actually saying anything vulgar. Tú madre! is shorthand for Ch---@ tú madre!.



I've never heard it used like taht. if someone says "C**** tu madre!" A common answer is "la tuya!"


Quote:

לָכֵן יִתֵּן אֲדֹנָי הוּא לָכֶם אוֹת הִנֵּה הָעַלְמָה הָרָה וְיֹלֶדֶת בֵּן וְקָרָאת שְׁמוֹ עִמָּנוּאֵל



Was the Bible even written in Hebrew? I thought at elast portions were written in Aramaic.

For the record I understand a bit of Hebrew, but can't really read nor make sense of the passage above. I think the last two words do say "named Immanuel." The first two wrods I think say something about someone giving something.
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May 10th, 2011 at 11:47:41 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Also, do you put an accent on the u or not in tú?



I don't put in any accents when I type in Spanish. If there are any missing I let Word insert them with the spell checker. Life's too short for me to worry abnout tiny specks of ink :P
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May 10th, 2011 at 12:14:45 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

Was the Bible even written in Hebrew? I thought at elast portions were written in Aramaic.



This is getting out of my area, but I think the old testament was written in Hebrew, and the new testament in Greek. I think Aramaic was the language Jesus spoke. I'm not sure why the new testament was not written in that language, but perhaps because it was written some time after Jesus' death, and the writers were more comfortable with Greek.

Question for Paco. How do you say "yo mama" in that African language consisting of only clicking and lip smacking sounds?
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May 10th, 2011 at 12:25:41 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

I've never heard it used like taht. if someone says "C**** tu madre!" A common answer is "la tuya!"

Was the Bible even written in Hebrew? I thought at elast portions were written in Aramaic.

For the record I understand a bit of Hebrew, but can't really read nor make sense of the passage above. I think the last two words do say "named Immanuel." The first two wrods I think say something about someone giving something.



la tuya in urban dictionary.

I am pretty sure that the movie title is meant to be interpreted the same way, but in a literal sense (and less angry and vulgar). Maribel Verdú was 31 years old. The actors were 21 and 22 in real life, but they seemed to be playing 15 to 16 in the film. Maribel's character could be interpreted as being slightly older.




The actress that plays the mother was 56 when the movie was made, which would be on the high side for having a teenage boy.
===========
Most of the old testament was written in Hebrew with only some very small sections in Aramaic. Despite Aramaic being the language spoken by Jesus, the new testament was written in Greek (although some scholars believe that Matthew was translated from an earlier lost version in Aramaic). Writing in Greek insured that they would be understandable to a much larger population than the Aramaic speaking peoples.
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May 10th, 2011 at 1:35:01 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

I don't put in any accents when I type in Spanish. If there are any missing I let Word insert them with the spell checker. Life's too short for me to worry about tiny specks of ink :P



As a native speaker you will always know what is the correct meaning and correct pronunciation. These simple words don't change pronunciation with or without the accent, but they change meaning.

Unaccented Accented
adjectivo adjectives pronombre pronouns
mi my me
tu your you
el the él he
demostrativo demonstrative demostrativo demonstrative
adjectivo adjectives  pronombre pronouns
este this éste this one
ese that ése that one
miscelánea miscellaneous miscelánea miscellaneous
aun even aún still, yet
como as, like cómo how
mas but más more
si if yes
solo alone sólo only


You wouldn't mispronounce the following words, but someone trying to learn Spanish would follow the standard rules.

comí, miércoles, cuídate, vivió, estación
lápiz, clímax, difícil
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May 10th, 2011 at 2:49:27 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

You wouldn't mispronounce the following words, but someone trying to learn Spanish would follow the standard rules.



That's nothing. Native Hebrew speakers write and read without any vowels at all.

One thing I love about English is that there are no accents or other symbols on top of letters. Just the plain alphabet.
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May 10th, 2011 at 3:37:09 PM permalink
There is a website for Spanish:
Diccionario de sinónimos y antónimos © 2005 Espasa-Calpe:

querer
desear, ansiar, anhelar, apetecer, aspirar, ambicionar, pretender
amar, estimar, adorar, venerar, reverenciar, enamorarse, prendarse
Antónimos: despreciar, aborrecer

decidir, disponer, proponerse, determinar, resolver, pretender, procurar
pedir, exigir, requerir
afecto, estimación, cariño, amor
Antónimos: odio, desdén


The answer is a little perplexing:
amar, amor, enamorarse seem very similar

pretender - is an example of what was alway termed a false friend. It looks like a well used English word, and the English and Spanish word comes from the same Latin verb, but about 150 years ago the meaning changed in English so that it just barely resembles it's original Latin meaning. It would never be listed as a synonym in English.
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May 10th, 2011 at 5:12:24 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

The answer is a little perplexing:
amar, amor, enamorarse seem very similar

pretender - is an example of what was alway termed a false friend. It looks like a well used English word, and the English and Spanish word comes from the same Latin verb, but about 150 years ago the meaning changed in English so that it just barely resembles it's original Latin meaning. It would never be listed as a synonym in English.



Yeah, I'll give you some advice I've given to other people learning another language: use a dictionary in the language you're learning, not a Spanish-English dictionary. You'll understand the language better that way.

In Spanish Pretender also means "to pretend" and "pretense" But it can mean "intent," "desire," "want," too.

¿Que pretendes hacer al respecto? What do you intend to do about it?

¿Porque pretendes que te gustan los juegos de azar? Why do you pretend to like games of chance?

Those are the main usages.
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pacomartin
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May 10th, 2011 at 6:27:22 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

In Spanish Pretender also means "to pretend" and "pretense" But it can mean "intent," "desire," "want," too.



These are considered archaic meanings in English.

Google offers up these three alternative translations. Which is the most natural one to you?

Let's pretend to be cowboys and indians.
Vamos a suponer que los vaqueros y los indios.
Vamos a preteder que los vaqueros y los indios.
Vamos imaginemos que los vaqueros y los indios.
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May 10th, 2011 at 7:03:43 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

These are considered archaic meanings in English.

Google offers up these three alternative translations. Which is the most natural one to you?

Let's pretend to be cowboys and indians.
Vamos a suponer que los vaqueros y los indios.
Vamos a preteder que los vaqueros y los indios.
Vamos imaginemos que los vaqueros y los indios.



They're all missing "somos" as a translation of "to be," and all have superfluous articles.

"Vamos a pretender que somos vaqueros e indios."

But a child would say "Vamos a jugar a indios y vaqueros" Which is "let's play cowboys and indians."

We're going to get tagged as racists, too :P
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May 11th, 2011 at 10:18:01 AM permalink
Fecha: 11 de Mayo
Palabra de la dia: CLANDESTINO


This is an easy one. According to spanishdict.com, it is an adjective meaning Clandestine, secret, or private. However, the translation of the song Clandestino by Manu Chao translates it as "outlaw." I think you get the general point. Check out the video, it is a pretty catchy song.

By the way, I welcome others to post any word of the day they choose if I don't get to it first.
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May 11th, 2011 at 10:37:57 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Fecha: 11 de Mayo Palabra de la dia: CLANDESTINO


sinónimos: secreto, oculto, subrepticio, furtivo, encubierto, anónimo, prohibido, ilegal, ilegítimo

I think that grammatically translating the adjective into a non-abstract noun is a bit of a stretch. People translate adjectives into abstract nouns all the time, happy (adjective) become happiness (abstract noun).

I think in Spain "clandestino" or "clandestine" people implies illegal immigrant in Spain. The use of "outlaw" is geared more for Americans who would not catch the hidden meaning. Notice that he refers to Ceuta and Gibralter as the primary terminal points for illegal immigration from Africa to Europe via Spain. The fuzzy voices in the background I think are Subcomandante Marcos making his speeches from Guatemala.

I was trying to pick love songs and dance songs. But for political protest songs, one of the most complex is Ojala, written in 1969 (13 years after Castro took over Cuba) by a young Cuban man named Silvio Rodrigues. He combines very romantic music with his ideals of revolution. Ojala is a Spanish variation of "By Allah", and it is one of the loan words from the centuries of occupation of Spain by the Moslems. The most famous of such word is "Ole".
Silvio in concert gives you an idea of how wildly popular the song, Ojala. It is a very difficult song to translate since it uses the subjunctive tense which is mostly archaic in English, and a lot of very poetic license.

Ojalá que las hojas no te toquen el cuerpo cuando caigan
para que no las puedas convertir en cristal.
Ojalá que la lluvia deje de ser milagro que baja por tu cuerpo.
Ojalá que la luna pueda salir sin tí.
Ojalá que la tierra no te bese los pasos.

Ojalá se te acabé la mirada constante,
la palabra precisa, la sonrisa perfecta.
Ojalá pase algo que te borre de pronto:
una luz cegadora, un disparo de nieve.
Ojalá por lo menos que me lleve la muerte,
para no verte tanto, para no verte siempre
en todos los segundos, en todas las visiones:
ojalá que no pueda tocarte ni en canciones

Ojalá que la aurora no dé gritos que caigan en mi espalda.
Ojalá que tu nombre se le olvide a esa voz.
Ojalá las paredes no retengan tu ruido de camino cansado.
Ojalá que el deseo se vaya tras de tí,
a tu viejo gobierno de difuntos y flores.
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May 11th, 2011 at 1:09:14 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

This is an easy one. According to spanishdict.com, it is an adjective meaning Clandestine, secret, or private."



Right. it can also mean "covert."
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May 12th, 2011 at 8:44:24 AM permalink
Fecha: 12 de Mayo
Palabra de la dia: CABELLO



The word for day is CABELLO = hair, in particular the hair on your head. A similar word is pelo, which also means hair, but refers to hair on other parts of the body or on an animal. I have seen pelo used for fur too, although piel can also mean fur.

Here are some ejemplos.

Mi cabello es sucio. = My hair is dirty.
La cabello de ella es castaño. = Her hair is brown.
Necesito lavar mi cabello. = I need to wash my hair. (corrected -- thx Nareed)
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May 12th, 2011 at 8:49:18 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

The word for day is CABELLO = hair, in particular the hair on your head. A similar word is pelo, which also means hair, but refers to hair on other parts of the body or on an animal. I have seen pelo used for fur too, although piel can also mean fur.



Piel also means leather and skin. It's used as fur mostly when referring to clothes, such as a fur coat. In that sense it may be closer to "pelt."

Cabello ideally is used only for human scalp hair, but usages do vary.

Quote:

Necesito limpiar mi cabello. = I need to wash my hair.



That would be "necesito lavar mi cabello." Lavar means to wash, while limpiar means to clean. Not quite the same thing.
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May 12th, 2011 at 3:04:28 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Palabra de la dia



Sorry, I just caught this one.

It's "Palabra DEL Día." For reasons best known to someone, I'm sure, "día" is a "male" word. You can also say "de el día" but "del día" is by far the preferred usage.
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May 12th, 2011 at 3:36:33 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

It's "Palabra DEL Día." For reasons best known to someone, I'm sure, "día" is a "male" word.



Día is masculine?! This is the part of Spanish that drives me nuts. I knew that del = de el, but didn't know that Día is masculine. If I had anything to do with it I'd make all the nouns ending in "a" feminine, and "o", masculine.

Then again, maybe Paco can explain the logic behind it.
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May 12th, 2011 at 3:46:35 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Día is masculine?! This is the part of Spanish that drives me nuts.



Join the club. My advantage lies in being exposed to the alnguage all day, every day, for decades.

Quote:

If I had anything to do with it I'd make all the nouns ending in "a" feminine, and "o", masculine.



If it were up to me I'd make up an article for things and make all nouns neutral. What's the use of gender in nouns?

Quote:

Then again, maybe Paco can explain the logic behind it.



I'm sure it has something to do with the original Latin word it derives from.
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May 12th, 2011 at 4:00:26 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

If it were up to me I'd make up an article for things and make all nouns neutral. What's the use of gender in nouns?



I second that motion.

If it makes you feel any better, in German there are three variants for "the," masculine, feminine, and neutral.
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May 12th, 2011 at 4:25:50 PM permalink
The latin word for day was dies, the word we get diety from. The days are named after gods.

Ancient languages have a lot of grammar that we do not think are necessary today. Besides gender in nouns, and familiar and formal pronouns, the ancient Greeks had not only first, second, and third person I, you, he/she but they also had a verb form for "two people".

Spanish days are named after Roman gods (Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus) while English days are named after Nordic Gods (Týr, 'W'Odin, Thor, Freyja ).

My guess is that the "ie" dipthong is never used at the end of a word, while the "ia" dipthong is frequently used at the end of a word. So one "dies" in Latin got turned into Spanish it changed vowels. But it kept it's inherent masculine root meaning.

I was told that you will never figure out a mnemonic device to remember the genders of all the nouns, and it is something that you just have to brute force memorize.
pacomartin
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May 13th, 2011 at 8:25:00 AM permalink
Proposed word(s) of the day:
The "yo-go" verbs, which are irregular in the first person singular present indicative (the "yo" person) are so critical to communication that they are worth learning early in the process.
caigo: I fall
digo: I say, tell
hago: I make
oigo: I hear
pongo: I put/place/set
salgo: I leave
tengo: I have
vengo: I come

The "imperitivo" mood of these verbs is very frequently used. Although you won't study the imperitive mood for many months, these words are so frequent that you will have trouble getting through a conversation without hearing one. To get imperitive simply change the "o" to and "a".

diga: Talk!
oiga: Listen!
venga: Come here!
salga: Leave! Get out of here!

digame: "Talk to me", is one of the most common expressions in Spansih
FarFromVegas
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May 13th, 2011 at 8:34:21 AM permalink
I worked with a guy from Puerto Rico, and when he wanted to get someone's attention he would call out something that sounded like "me da!" What was he saying, and how would that be spelled?

He taught us a whole bunch of rude words, so I wouldn't want to use that if he was calling out "listen up, slut!" because that would have struck him as funny.
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Knuckleball3
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May 13th, 2011 at 8:44:30 AM permalink
He was more than likely saying "mirra" It means look. Mirrar= to watch or look at
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benbakdoff
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May 13th, 2011 at 8:45:40 AM permalink
Quote: FarFromVegas

I worked with a guy from Puerto Rico, and when he wanted to get someone's attention he would call out something that sounded like "me da!" What was he saying, and how would that be spelled?

He taught us a whole bunch of rude words, so I wouldn't want to use that if he was calling out "listen up, slut!" because that would have struck him as funny.



The word is mirar. It means look and you are pronouncing it correctly. It's commonly used to get someone's attention.
Nareed
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May 13th, 2011 at 8:55:07 AM permalink
Quote: FarFromVegas

I worked with a guy from Puerto Rico, and when he wanted to get someone's attention he would call out something that sounded like "me da!" What was he saying, and how would that be spelled?



It would seem to me he was using a vulgar word for the common end result of the digestive process in most animals. BUt that would be incongrous with calling out for attention.
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pacomartin
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May 13th, 2011 at 9:10:49 AM permalink
Quote: FarFromVegas

I worked with a guy from Puerto Rico, and when he wanted to get someone's attention he would call out something that sounded like "me da!" What was he saying, and how would that be spelled?

He taught us a whole bunch of rude words, so I wouldn't want to use that if he was calling out "listen up, slut!" because that would have struck him as funny.



He was saying ¡Mira! or basically Look! . If you are not shouting it means behold!.

The single Spanish r sounds a lot like the English "d." (The same isn't true of the Spanish rr sound, which is trilled.)

At the beginning of words it is trilled, but otherwise a single r is formed by hitting the tongue against the front of the palate. It is sometimes said that the Spanish r" sounds like the "tt" in "little," .

The exact pronunciation varies somewhat with the speaker, the region the person is from, and the placement of the letter in the word.

There is a list of list of Puerto Rican slang which may help you discern what the really dirty words are, but unfortunately you can't always figure out how a word is spelled because of the pronunciation differences.
Wizard
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May 14th, 2011 at 1:13:37 AM permalink
Fecha: 14 de Mayo
Palabra del dia: GUSTAR



The word of the day, gustar, is a verb I think is best translated as "to please." If you look it up in a dictionary it will probably say "like," because that is how it usually gets translated, but can lead to errors for beginners, like me.

A mistake I've been making for 30 years is to say things like "Yo gusto la biblioteca." This is actually saying "I please the library." If I mean to say "The library pleases me" is should say it like Spanish Mike and say "Me gusta la biblioteca."

In the present tense, and used in this way, there are two ways only to conjugate gustar: gusta and gustan, depending on whether one item or multiple items is doing the pleasing. However, the pronoun before it has four possibilities, depending on who is getting pleased, as follows:

Me gusta/gustan = pleases me.
Te gusta/gustan = pleases you (informal).
Le gusta/gustan = pleases him, her, you (formal).
Les gusta/gustan = pleases them.
Nos gusta/gustan = pleases us.

Here are some ejemplos:

Me gusta vino = Wine pleases me.
Me gustan los libros = Books please me.
Te gustan zapatos = Shoes please you.
Le gusta bailar = Dancing pleases him.
Les gustan gatos = Cats please them.
Nos gustan películas italiano = Italian movies pleases us.

I'm still having a hard time breaking the "yo gusto" habbit. My Spanish teacher is so annoyed with my mistakes that I have to do ten push-ups every time I screw up gustar. Hopefully any mistakes above won't cost me too many.
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Nareed
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May 14th, 2011 at 6:03:30 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

The word of the day, gustar, is a verb I think is best translated as "to please." If you look it up in a dictionary it will probably say "like," because that is how it usually gets translated, but can lead to errors for beginners, like me.



Actually like is closer in meaning than please. To please is better translated as "agradar." Examples:

Me gusta jugar ruleta = I like playing roulette
No me gusta mi trabajo = I don't like my job
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pacomartin
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May 14th, 2011 at 6:32:44 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Fecha: 14 de Mayo
Palabra del dia: GUSTAR




The verb is often translated as "to like" because that is the English way to say the same concept. The literal translation is to be pleasing to indirect pronoun".

The English uses the subject (I, you he, we, they) -- verb ("to like" in it's proper conjugation) -- direct object (thing discussing)
I like coffee. == Spanish: The coffee is pleasing to me
Mary likes candy == Spanish: Candy is pleasing to Mary
Mary and Frank like sports == Spanish: Sports are pleasing to Mary and Frank

So Spanish is changing the sentence form to "indirect object" (to me, to us, to Mary, ...) --verb("is pleasing to" ) -- subject(coffee, candy, sports)
The verb is not being conjugated but only used in singular (gusta) and in plural (gustan). Who is being pleased is shown by the indirect object
(1) Me gusta la café
(2) A María le gustan los dulces
(3) A María y Paco les gustan los depórtes

(1) gusta is singular becase the subject of the sentence, "coffee" is singular. The "indirect object" , me, is also singular
(2) gustan is plural because the subject of the sentence, "the candies" is plural. The "indirect object", María, is singular so we use "le" which is singular
(3) gustan is plural because the subject of the sentence, "sports" is plural. The "indirect object", María y Paco, is plural so we use "les" which is plural

The verb is highly irregular in that it has no first or second person, only third person.

EDIT: As Nareed said if you want to use please in the "active voice" you would use "agradar" which conjugates in the normal manner.

I believe that gustar is the only verb in Spanish that only exists in the third person. It only is in the third person because the subject of the sentence is always physical objects. Gustar cannot be used in the active voice, but only the passive voice.
Wizard
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May 14th, 2011 at 7:49:41 AM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

I believe that gustar is the only verb in Spanish that only exists in the third person. It only is in the third person because the subject of the sentence is always physical objects. Gustar cannot be used in the active voice, but only the passive voice.



Thanks, as always, for your comments. I knew that about gustan, but forgot to write it. Shame on me, that should cost me 10 push-ups at least.

With regard to your comment, how about these verbs: molestar, importar, fascinar, encantar, interesar.
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pacomartin
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May 14th, 2011 at 7:57:07 AM permalink
The previous post where Mike talks about saying Yo gusto café to mean "I like coffee" is one of your most common mistakes. In general it is a class of mistakes where you learn the archetype and when you hit a wierd exception you try to force it into the archetype. As I said earlier "gustar" is a one of a kind verb (or nearly one of a kind) verb that only exists in the 3rd person.

In English the nearly "one of a kind" verb is "to go". Small children will sometimes say "I go" in the present tense, and "I went" in the past tense. But briefly when they become acquainted with standard conjugation of verbs they will say "I goed" for the past tense. They quickly move out of this stage and go back to "I went".

The reason that "go" is nonstandard in English is that it is really the synthesis of two verbs from older versions of Anglo-Saxon. In present it is "I go, you go, he/she goes, we go, they go". In the past it is "I went, you went, he/she went, we went, they went". The verb "went" is the past tense of a verb whose infinitive is "to wend". The present tense of "wend" is largely archaic, but sometimes it is used for effect as in "I wend my way through the forest". The meaning is still understood, but it becomes poetic.

The same verb, "ir" which means "to go" in Spanish is also irregular in that it is a synthesis of more than one Latin verb. In present it is "voy, vas, va vamos, van". In the two past tenses it is "iba, ibas, iba, ibamos, iban" for the imperfect past, and "fui, fuiste, fue, fuimos, fueron" for the preterite past tense.
Note that "fui, fuiste, fue, fuimos, fueron" is also the preterite past tense for ser, or "to be: essentially". If you went somewhere in the past and the action was completed, then it is the same concept of "being in the past", and you use the same verb.

Watch a Family guy spoof on common mistake. This mistake is caused by mistranslating "Me llamo Brian" to "My name is Brian". In reality it is literally translated "I am called Brian". The English speaker has a tendency to want to say "Me llamo es Brian".
pacomartin
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May 14th, 2011 at 11:51:01 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Thanks, as always, for your comments. I knew that about gustan, but forgot to write it. Shame on me, that should cost me 10 push-ups at least.

With regard to your comment, how about these verbs: molestar, importar, fascinar, encantar, interesar.



These verbs would be used very often in the passive voice, just like gustar, but unlike gustar they do have meaning in the active voice as well.

To me, gambling is enchanting/fascinating/bothersome/interesting/important/pleasing .

encantar
fascinar
molestar
interesar
importar

Importar in particular is almost always used in the 3rd person exactly like gustar. Coffee is important to me.

Quote: Christopher Kendris; Spanish verb expert


Importar can be conjugated regularly in all the persons
but it is used most commonly as an impersonal verb in the third person.
Gustar is commonly used in the third person singular or plural.


Note: I was taught that gustar is only used in the third person singular or plural since there is a better word for transitive use of the verb.
Es de mi agrado- It's to my liking.
Paco es un muchacho agradador - Paco is eager to please.
Wizard
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May 14th, 2011 at 1:15:48 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

These verbs would be used very often in the passive voice, just like gustar, but unlike gustar they do have meaning in the active voice as well.



Thank you. So are you saying that gustar may never be used in the active voice? For example, if I wanted to say I please the queen, could I say "Gusto la reina."?
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pacomartin
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May 14th, 2011 at 2:51:25 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Thank you. So are you saying that gustar may never be used in the active voice? For example, if I wanted to say I please the queen, could I say "Gusto la reina."?



No, the verb gustar is never used as a transitive verb.

A transitive verb is always incomplete in a sentence without a direct object. "Querer is transitive". The phrase "Yo quiero .." is not a complete sentence unless you add a direct object "Yo quiero tacos."

An intransitive verb never takes a direct object, but can only be used with an indirect object. "Me gusta papa fritas", the subject is potato chips, the indirect object is me . To me, potato chips are pleasing" or "Potato chips are pleasing to me".

Many verbs can be used be used transitively or intransitively, but it is often for common speech to make a preference.
"Agradar" is a verb that can be used transitively or intransitively, but it is most often used intransitively. It means "to please"
So "Yo agrado la reina" (I please the queen) is technically correct, but it is somewhat strange.

La reina se complace conmigo -The queen is pleased with me (where complacer also means "to please") sounds better.
La reina se complace conmi trabajar
But complacer can have a sexual meaning. If you want to be clear that is not the case you could say"

La reina se complace con mi trabajar-"The queen is pleased with my work".
Wizard
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May 14th, 2011 at 3:18:18 PM permalink
Could I say "Yo la reina gusto"?

By the way, I had in my mind the sexual connotation. Like Monica might have said "I please the president."
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pacomartin
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May 14th, 2011 at 7:05:45 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Could I say "Yo la reina gusto"?

By the way, I had in my mind the sexual connotation. Like Monica might have said "I please the president."



gustar as a verb cannot be conjugated outside of 3rd person. It is only gusta and gustan (single/plural)
In the imperfect it is (gustaba, gustaban)
In the imperative it is: [ que guste! You like! ] and [que gusten! What fun! ]
And you can go 3rd person in all the other tenses and moods as well.

So you cannot make conjugate it into a first person; you must use a different verb.
I am not sure which verb best conveys sexual satisfaction. I think it might be satisfecho.

However

gusto is also a fairly common masculine noun
mucho gusto -> pleased to meet you (very very common phrase)
el gusto es mío -> the pleasure's mine (very very common phrase)
con mucho gusto -> gladly, with pleasure (very common phrase)
da gusto estar aquí -> it's a real pleasure to be here
estar a gusto -> to feel comfortable
tomar gusto a algo -> to take a liking to something
iría con mucho gusto, pero no puedo -> I'd really love to go but I can't
una casa decorada con buen gusto -> a house decorated in good taste
una casa decorada con mal gusto -> a house decorated in bad taste
sobre gustos no hay nada escrito (Proverb) -> there's no accounting for taste
Wizard
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May 14th, 2011 at 8:30:56 PM permalink
Thanks for the examples of gusto as a noun.

Quote: pacomartin

gustar as a verb cannot be conjugated outside of 3rd person. It is only gusta and gustan (single/plural)



Okay, then why does spanishdict.com conjugate gustar as follows:

Pronoun Presente Pretérito Futuro Subjuntivo
Yo gusto gusté gustaré guste
gustas gustaste gustarás gustes
Ella/Él/Usted gusta gustó gustará guste
Nosotros gustamos gustamos gustaremos gustemos
Vosotros gustáis gustasteis gustaréis gustéis
Ellos/Ustedes gustan gustaron gustarán gusten


In the page on gustar questions a reader challenges this conjugation, to which they reply, "The congugation of gustar, in first person singular, "gusto" means "I please" and is the correct congugation. The problem here is that you would never just say "Yo gusto" because the phrase always requires an indirect object stating who was pleased. So the correct construction would be "Yo les gusto" (I please them) or in English - They like me. Or "Yo le gusto" (I please him/her). etc."

Do you claim they are in error? Otherwise, if Yo le gusto is allowed, why not Yo la reina gusto? Nareed, your opinion is welcome too, of course.
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Nareed
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May 14th, 2011 at 8:57:37 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Otherwise, if Yo le gusto is allowed, why not Yo la reina gusto? Nareed, your opinion is welcome too, of course.



Because the second example literally means "Me the queen like." You can't shorten it that way. the correct sentence is "yo le gusto a la reina."
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