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pacomartin
pacomartin
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October 8th, 2011 at 5:32:21 PM permalink
Quote: Doc

I thought that was Yoda voice.

More seriously, I can't remember details of passive voice, but I think of it with action verbs, with an assisting form of to be or to get: "I push," vs. "I am pushed." I can't really think of passive voice forms with non-action verbs. If I use the same kind of structure, I wind up with some sort of progressive form: "I am being Sam."



Yoda voice is passive voice taken to the extreme.

What you are calling action verbs are normally called transitive verbs in that they are capable of taking a direct object. "Push" is transitive since you can "push" an object. An intransitive verb cannot take a direct object, examples include "fall" in English as "the book fell". Pronomial verbs have the subject and the direct object the same thing. Very often a "pronomial" verb is also reflexive in that it's subject and object are the person speaking. In the RAE dictionary they give one of these options before every definition of a verb.

At first I thought that "I am Sam" was active voice and "Sam, I am" was passive, but there is no transitive verb (as you pointed out). The verb is simple conjugation, and only conveys existence.

As Nareed pointed out, many Spanish writers dislike the passive voice very much, and often try to eliminate it entirely. English is far more tolerant of the passive voice in general. As always, English uses the "-ing" form of verbs much more than Spanish.

The phrasing "I am Sam. Sam, I am." appears to be an anadiplosis which is a rhetorical term for the repetition of the last word of one line or clause to begin the next.

Yoda uses an anadiplosis when he says, "Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. I sense much fear in you."

Dios os perdone, el mi hijo,— hijo que mucho preciaba
(The ballad, ‘Pártese el moro Alicante’)

In the ballad "the Muslim is leaving Alicante', a Muslim king gives a nameless (virginal Muslim serving girl) to his defeated and imprisoned adversary, the Christian Ganzalo Gustos. Ostensibly a gift to soothe the nobleman's loss of his seven sons in battle, the young woman's virginity, sexuality, and fecundity are in fact the avenue by which Gustos will obtain new sons and reconquer Muslim Iberia.
Nareed
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October 8th, 2011 at 5:58:28 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

As Nareed pointed out, many Spanish writers dislike the passive voice very much, and often try to eliminate it entirely. English is far more tolerant of the passive voice in general. As always, English uses the "-ing" form of verbs much more than Spanish.



Well, I've no idea what Spanish writers like or dislike. I realize the info was incomplete, I do that with casual assumptions sometimes. The writer's group was in English. I haven't even tried to write fiction in Spanish since, oh, must have been near 1990. I just can't write Science Fiction properly in Spanish.
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Wizard
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Wizard 
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October 8th, 2011 at 6:15:39 PM permalink
I have never understood the nit-picky editors who chastise every use of the passive voice. A point is made more clearly using it sometimes.
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Nareed
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October 8th, 2011 at 6:23:05 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I have never understood the nit-picky editors who chastise every use of the passive voice. A point is made more clearly using it sometimes.




My personal pain in the neck went too far when she criticized this opening:

Quote:

My name is Golden. I am a human being.
I was born on Earth seven hundred and twenty eight years ago.



How else is someone supposed to describe the time and place of their birth?
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Nareed
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October 8th, 2011 at 6:33:51 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

It just goes to show the frustration I often deal with trying to get through the Spanish translation of an English book.



I quit reading translations to Spanish a long time ago. I've read a few books in both languages, and in all of them I found egregious errors. None worse than in a Spanish copy of "We The Living." The book is about the early years of Communism in Russia. It involves an early scene between Andre and Kira more or less like this:

Spanish version:

Andre: I know what you're going to say. You admire our ideals but loathe our methods.
Kira: I admire your methods.

This seemed very out of character for Kira, especially given subsequent events in the book. The original goes like this:

Andre: I know what you're going to say. You admire our ideals but loathe our methods.
Kira: I loathe your ideals.

And that is perfectly in keeping with Kira's character throughout the book.


Quote:

For example, the original English book refers to the tooth fairy. However, in the Spanish translation the fairy becomes a raton. One might think that raton was Spanish for fairy. I asked my house cleaner about it and she said in Mexico a mouse does indeed exchange children's baby teeth for money, instead of the fairy that has that duty north of the border.



FWIW I think a tooth fairy makes more sense. What would a mouse do with teeth? A fairy, being sentient, is allowed to have some eccentricities. Collecting teeth isn't as bad as such things go, and she pays for them. And where would a mouse get money?

Just the same, some pediatric dentists down here, when they extract baby teeth they put them in small, plastic, mouse-shaped containers for the children to take home and put beneath their pillows. I used to get them wrapped in gauze, without so much even as a plastic baggie.
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Wizard
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October 8th, 2011 at 10:48:38 PM permalink
Thanks for all the comments above, but time to move on.

Fecha: 9 de Octobre, 2011
Palabra: Telo


Today's word has no English equivalent. It may not be known outside of Argentina either. A telo is a very short-term hotel, like an hour. Yes, couples go there just for the purpose of having sex. Here is a good article that tells more about them: Argentina's discreet way with sex, from the BBC news.

I was speaking with someone visiting from Argentina about them yesterday. She said that in Argentina there is no such thing as a home mortgage so children usually live with their parents until they marry, or even later than that. That creates a need for a place to have a little privacy from time to time.

Ejemplo time (ahem).

Mi novia rompe neustro relación después de la llevé a ese telo sucio. = My girlfriend broke our relationship after I took her to that filthy telo.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
Nareed
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October 9th, 2011 at 4:56:32 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Fecha: 9 de Octobre, 2011
Palabra: Telo


Today's word has no English equivalent. It may not be known outside of Argentina either.



I'd never heard of it before.

It's curious there's no exact equivalent in English. In Mexico such places are known as "hotel de paso."

Mi novia rompe neustro relación después de la llevé a ese telo sucio. = My girlfriend broke our relationship after I took her to that filthy telo.



Mi novia rompIÓ nuestrA relacion despues de QUE la llevé a ese telo sucio.
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pacomartin
pacomartin
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October 9th, 2011 at 5:56:52 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Today's word has no English equivalent.



There is no equivalent need for a word in the USA. The small families, higher rates of living alone, and the more than 4 million hotel rooms available in this country, means that renting rooms by the hour is confined to slums.

Many countries have some equivalent. Love hotels are everywhere in Japan. Although the motivation in Japan seems to be less getting away from the relatives as it is to indulge in make use of some fantasy or dedicated equipment. I was talking to a woman who was raised in Hong Kong, and she implied that a normal middle class couple has virtually no privacy since so many family members live together.

I remember reading that in Vietnam, the government decided to start arresting large numbers of people having sex in the bushes in a public park. Naturally, they assumed they were cracking down on prostitution. They were surprised to find that the majority of couples were married, and were just desperately looking for a little privacy from their relatives (at no cost).

I would think that Las Vegas would be the near perfect city for the married couple looking for a place to go to help their sex life. With 150K hotel rooms, many of which are dirt cheap midweek, you can afford an overnight tryst far from electric bills, washing machines, and the kids.
Nareed
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October 9th, 2011 at 6:38:41 AM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

There is no equivalent need for a word in the USA. The small families, higher rates of living alone, and the more than 4 million hotel rooms available in this country, means that renting rooms by the hour is confined to slums.



Such conditions don't exist in Mexico, yet the hotels under discussion are largely found in the worse parts of town, too. Mostly they cater to prostitution. In small towns, it's not unusual for all hotels to charge hourly rates, too.
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Wizard
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October 9th, 2011 at 8:02:49 AM permalink
In Macau some of the hotels that cater to the prostitution business offer rooms by both the day and the hour. The Rio is a good example. New review, by the way, check it out.

I have only vaguely heard of some motels in the US doing this, as in Mexico, in parts of town that cater to prostitution. There are a number of dilapidated motels between the El Cortez and the Western that I suspect are used for this purpose.

In contrast, I find the concept of the telo rather romantic, where loving couples go.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.

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