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pacomartin
pacomartin
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February 17th, 2012 at 5:36:33 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

Have you considered reading books written in Spanish rather than translations? That ought to give you a better sense of languege use (not a good one, naturally, as you're still faced with biases by the authors).



That's probably a good suggestion. But the number of books that were originally written in Spanish, and have since been translated into English is very small, compared to the other way around. In addition, the books translated from Spanish to English are more literary or intellectual books, instead of popular and children's books.
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The study of English words, particularly with an eye towards teaching it is huge. While Spanish is studied a lot, it hasn't spawned quite the worldwide industry. For instance, there is a list of 3000 words that everyone studying English should know. The list was set by the Oxford English scholarly group. To the best of my knowledge there is no such list for Spanish.

It's much easier to find rankings of English words by how often they are used. For instance, reviving an old post, you can rank the following English words by how often they are used. "Attitude" and "Magnitude" are the most commonly used words with the suffix tude.

attitude actitud 
magnitude magnitud 
gratitude gratitud
altitude altitud
multitude multitud 
amplitude amplitud 
solitude la soledad 
latitude latitud 
aptitude aptitude
ingratitude ingratitud 
ineptitude ineptitud 
fortitude fortaleza 
longitude longitud 
servitude servidumbre 
rectitude rectitud 
verisimilitude verosimilitud 
platitude trivialidad
vicissitude vicisitud 


Now it is easy to highlight the non-standard translations. As we discussed earlier, "solitude" is actually non-standard in English, Spanish is the normal derivation from Latin. The word "platitude" doesn't have a cognate in Spanish, because it is a derived word from the French word for "flat".


The following English words have the same suffix, but they are all very seldom used in English. It seems logical that many of them would be relatively rare in Spanish.
promptitude habitude mansuetude quietude midlatitude vastitude turpitude negritude pulchritude plenitude solicitude similitude senectitude plentitude lassitude desuetude definitude decrepitude crassitude correctitude consuetude colatitude certitude disquietude dissimilitude etude inquietude infinitude inexactitude incertitude inaptitude hebetude finitude exactitude beatitude

Now that is not an ironclad rule. Sometimes the word is rare in English, but the cognate is common in Spanish.



The word fortitud, servitud are both valid Spanish words, but the DRAE says they are anticuado . But fortitud means Fortaleza física o moral
Nareed
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February 17th, 2012 at 6:01:05 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

That's probably a good suggestion. But the number of books that were originally written in Spanish, and have since been translated into English is very small, compared to the other way around. In addition, the books translated from Spanish to English are more literary or intellectual books, instead of popular and children's books.



It's an excellent suggestion. But not in the way you mean. I meant to read books in Spanish which were written in Spanish. That's one thing that spurred me to learn enlgish. There were many books iw anted to read, which were hard to get or non-existent in Spanish. So I got them in English and, at first, muddled through them. Now I no longer read Spanish tranlsations of anything.


Quote:

Now it is easy to highlight the non-standard translations. As we discussed earlier, "solitude" is actually non-standard in English, Spanish is the normal derivation from Latin. The word "platitude" doesn't have a cognate in Spanish, because it is a derived word from the French word for "flat".



Interesting as that is, it's not very helpful in learning another langauge. The trick, if a trick it be, is to forget your native language, or set it aside, and think in the language you're learning.

My dad kept using the word "after" to mean "before" or "prior to," because to him it sounded like "antes" in Spanish, which means "before." I had problems like that, I kept thinking "ingenuity" meant "easy to fool," which is what "ingenuo" means in Spanish. My teacher advised me not to try to speak two langauges at the same time. it's not easy at first. You can get there with practice, and by ditching the Spanish-English dictionary, too.
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Wizard
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Wizard
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February 17th, 2012 at 8:39:53 PM permalink
My thing is if I try to learn out of a Spanish textbook I'll get bored and quit. I don't have the time to take a formal class. My tutor is teaching at UNLV now so I haven't had a lesson in about three months. My attention span is short and if learning something isn't a little fun I won't stick with it.

Anyway, let's have a new word.

Fecha: 18 de Febrero, 2012
Palabra: pertrechos


Today's SWD is in honor of the angriest RV salesman on earth, Jack Rebney. This is a video of outtakes from a Winnebago sales video. This is almost exactly what my father becomes when he gets lost or is stuck in bad traffic.

My favorite part of the video is at the 4:07 point, where a French word is evidently put into the script. The Spanish word for accoutrements I think would be pertrechos, which also refers to ammunition.

Ejemplo time.

Todo lo que necesité era una cámara, pero gasté mucho dinero para los pertrechos. = All I needed was a camera, but I wasted a lot of money on the accoutrements.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
Nareed
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February 17th, 2012 at 9:29:05 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

My thing is if I try to learn out of a Spanish textbook I'll get bored and quit.



<sigh> Not a textbook. A novel, a collection of short stories, a collection of essays, a children's book, a comic book. Anything at all.


Quote:

The Spanish word for accoutrements I think would be pertrechos, which also refers to ammunition.



The dictionary (yes, I had to look it up), defines it as ammunition, weapons and other gear needed by a soldier. A second definition is instruments needed for any operation. That's literal, with "operation" meaning any kind of specific task, not necessarily surgery or a military or intelligence operation.

Quote:

Todo lo que necesité era una cámara, pero gasté mucho dinero para los pertrechos. = All I needed was a camera, but I wasted a lot of money on the accoutrements.



I'm going to get grilled on this and I won't have an answer. Anyway:

"Todo lo que necesitABA era una cámara..."

The rest is fine, assuming the word applies.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
pacomartin
pacomartin
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February 17th, 2012 at 9:36:11 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

My favorite part of the video is at the 4:07 point, where a French word is evidently put into the script. The Spanish word for accoutrements I think would be pertrechos, which also refers to ammunition.



The word accoutrement has been recorded in English documents for almost 5 centuries. It is clearly taken from the French word which at the time was spelled accoustrement but is spelled exactly the same in Modern French (without the extra 's'). Given it's very long use it is now considered part of the English language.

The word pertrechos is of uncertain origin. It does not correspond to a Latin, Arabic or Italian word.
pacomartin
pacomartin
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February 17th, 2012 at 9:40:24 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

I'm going to get grilled on this and I won't have an answer. Anyway:
"Todo lo que necesitABA era una cámara..."



No grilling necessary. Straight from the verb book: A description of mental, emotion, or physical condition in the past requires the imperfect, instead of the preterite tense.
Wizard
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February 18th, 2012 at 3:11:08 AM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

No grilling necessary. Straight from the verb book: A description of mental, emotion, or physical condition in the past requires the imperfect, instead of the preterite tense.



That seems rather vague to me. Isn't talking about something in the past tense going to usually fall under one of those categories? I'm still struggling for a good rule of thumb to know when to use both imperfect and preterit.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
pacomartin
pacomartin
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February 18th, 2012 at 4:20:52 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I'm still struggling for a good rule of thumb to know when to use both imperfect and preterit.



It isn't easy, and I make a lot of mistakes.

The only simple rule that I know of is the Repetition and continuity rule. An action that was happening, used to happen, or happened regularly in the past, as it was ongoing.

The following two English forms are good candidates for translating into imperfect:
(1) Past progressive: I was eating. "Nareed has corrected me more than once here, where she used the Spanish past progressive: Estaba comiendo."
(2) The "used to" form: "I used to eat".

But "simple past" in English can go to either the imperfect or the preterite.

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From Wikipedia on Imperfect: A physical or mental state or condition in progress in the past. Often used with verbs of being, emotion, capability, or conscience. The following verbs are often used in the imperfect in several Romance languages:

English equivalent , Spanish
to love , amar
to desire , desear
to want , querer
to prefer , preferir
to hope , esperar
to feel , sentir
to regret/lament , lamentar
to be , ser/estar
to be able to , poder
to be familiar with , conocer
to know (as a fact) , saber
to believe , creer
to think , pensar
to imagine , imaginar
to stand/stay , quedar

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This website says that it is optional if I want to use the imperfect past or the continuous imperfect for these examples.

I was watching TV when he arrived
1) estaba viendo la tele cuando él llegó
2) veía la tele cuando...

I was leaving the house when he rang
1) estaba saliendo de la casa cuando llamó
2) salía de la casa...
Wizard
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February 18th, 2012 at 9:59:22 AM permalink
Thanks, Paco. Let's say that I'm really not sure and just want to go with the best odds. For example, my tutor says if you completely on the fence between para y por, your chances of being right are better with por. So, between the preterite and imperfect, which one is used more often?
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
pacomartin
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February 18th, 2012 at 12:36:14 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Thanks, Paco. Let's say that I'm really not sure and just want to go with the best odds. For example, my tutor says if you completely on the fence between para y por, your chances of being right are better with por. So, between the preterite and imperfect, which one is used more often?



I'm not sure that majority use will help you here. One will seem out of place. Look at the following English sentences in simple past, simple continuous past, and the past perfect continuous, or past perfect.

1) I waited there for more than two hours when she finally arrived. (simple past)
2) I was waiting there for more than two hours when she finally arrived. (progressive past)
3) I had been waiting for more than two hours when she finally arrived. (perfect past)
4) I had waited there for more than two hours when she finally arrived.(perfect progressive past)

The sentences all pretty convey the same thoughts, and I would be hard pressed to say which are most common.

Only sentences #5, #6 are very explicit.
5) I used to wait for up to two hours, before she finally arrived. (wait is imperfect past)
6) I did wait for two hours, and she never arrived. (wait is preterite past)


Preterit vs. imperfect

English speakers tend to use "por" more often because it sounds like "for".

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