Off topic: english-spanish "translation funnies"
Thread poster: Marjory Hord

Marjory Hord
Mexico
Local time: 01:50
English to Spanish
+ ...
Sep 6, 2008

My grandson, 4, was explaining something to his sister, 2 when his mother said "WAIT!" to some request of theirs. "Wait significa ahorita"! I suppose it is not only in Mexico that !ahorita" means "wait a sec" as well as (sometimes) "right now!" A funny contrast.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:50
English to German
+ ...
I love it! Sep 7, 2008

Sooo, that is comparable to the famous "ASAP"?

The Germans have a similar term: "Gleich!", which can mean anything from a harsh "Immediately!" to "shortly", "in a little while", or if used by a teenager: "never".



Direct link Reply with quote
 

JaneTranslates  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 02:50
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I have to inject a bit of German here. Sep 7, 2008

My mother could never get over the "mixed signals" we were sending our children when we wanted them to stop what they were doing. "¡No! ¡Ya!" we would yell, which to her German background was "No! Yes!"

Jane


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:50
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I remember Sep 7, 2008

Marjory Hord wrote:

I suppose it is not only in Mexico that !ahorita" means "wait a sec" as well as (sometimes) "right now!"


In a school subject roughly called "Spanish Semantics" (given in Spain), it was pointed out that only in Mexico did an adverb have a diminutive like a noun


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:50
English to Spanish
+ ...
Ahorita no... Sep 8, 2008

...más tardecito.

The Mexican language has a lot of things that the Spaniards have either forgotten or never had in the first place!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

megane_wang  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:50
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not so different in Spain Sep 8, 2008

It does not have the literal meaning of "stop, wait", but here when you ask for something you may get the answer "ya mismo", which means anything between "right now" and "never"

There's the same flexibility in catalan. I think that the concept comes printed somewhere within the 25000 human genes... !!

Ruth @ MW


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:50
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Mañana Sep 8, 2008

Here's a story:

A Spaniard asks an Arab how to say "mañana" in Arabic. The Arab ponders a while and replies "I don't think the Arabic language has a word that conveys that sense of urgency".

I know it's an old chestnut, but I like to keep them aired from time to time.
Jenny


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:50
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Common in Portuguese Sep 8, 2008

Parrot said:

In a school subject roughly called "Spanish Semantics" (given in Spain), it was pointed out that only in Mexico did an adverb have a diminutive like a noun.

Well, FYI, in Portuguese this is a very common feature, especially in Brazil:

Examples:

Estou indo agorinha mesmo. (Agora = now, agorinha = right now, in a flash)

Ele mora bem pertinho. (Perto = near, pertinho = really near, a stone's throw away)

With adjectives it is even more common:

Eu comprei a casa bem baratinho. (Barato = cheap, baratinho = dirt cheap, for a song)


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Elizabeth Joy Pitt de Morales  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:50
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Now later Sep 8, 2008

One of my favorite answers from my Andalusian husband when I ask him to get something done right away is "ahora después" (now later), as in "ahora después del partido" (now after the game)...

Luckily, we've been married longer than I care to remember, and I can proudly say that I no longer actually expect him to get it done before anytime soon, which is quite a feat for someone from Detroit, the birthplace of assembly-line time-motion efficiency.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sara Senft  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:50
Spanish to English
+ ...
This one is from my friend Sep 22, 2008

A friend of mine did student teaching in a Spanish classroom. One of his students tried to write "Tengo catorce años." (I am 14 years old) Instead, the student left out the mark on the 'n' in 'años.' That student end up referring to......a body part.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Marjory Hord
Mexico
Local time: 01:50
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
more on the lack of ñ! Sep 22, 2008

I began to discover the existence of online translators when English students of mine in Mexico began writing funny things like "I spent an anus in Canada" (año), "I need to improve my groins" (inglés), and "Maradona juice with Pelè" (jugó); once the verb "tenía" came out as "tapeworm" (tenia). Either they wrote words wrong or the trans. programs didnt pick up accents, ñ's.
You can imagine those homework assignments didnt get very good grades!


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

english-spanish "translation funnies"

Advanced search






memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »
SDL MultiTerm 2017
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2017 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2017 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs