Author Topic: A little help with Spanish, please.  (Read 160 times)

antares

A little help with Spanish, please.
« on: March 15, 2019, 11:04:26 PM »
"Find the little grandmother and bring her to me."

My first inclination is to use 'Encuentra a la abuelita y trŠemela.' But I am uneasy with 'encuentra'.

Can anyone with better Spanish suggest a better alternative?
 

123mlh

Re: A little help with Spanish, please.
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2019, 04:30:51 AM »
It's been ages since I did anything with Spanish, but that seems off for me, too, although it is what Google translate suggests. I was thinking the verb buscar instead but I am not a native speaker and those ten years of Spanish from school are long behind me.

Edited to add that it looks like another option is the verb hallar, but I've never run across that one before.
 
The following users thanked this post: antares

spin52

Re: A little help with Spanish, please.
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2019, 04:47:49 AM »
Looks like 'buscar' is another possibility, with the translation given as 'go and find'. I'm not sure what the correct form would be, since my Spanish classes were probably a lot longer ago than yours!


Traditional mysteries with a dash of humor -- no cats, no cupcakes.
 
The following users thanked this post: antares

bardsandsages

Re: A little help with Spanish, please.
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2019, 06:27:18 AM »
Can't you just say, "'Find the little grandmother and bring her to me,' he ordered in Spanish."?

I tend to dislike foreign phrases used in fiction. I just went through this with a book I am editing. The author originally included a lot of Spanish, but even I, with my crappy memory of Spanish (I had three years of it in High School, but damn if I remember most of it) recognized that it read like Google Translate.

Particularly because the literal meaning of a word and the understood meaning of a word by native speakers can be hilariously different. Unless you have a native speaker translating for you, you can end up with something that is grammatically correct, but woefully wrong stylistically.

I have seen this with submissions that are sent to me. For some reason, I get a lot of submissions that are English translations of stories, and it is obvious that the English translation was done literally and not in relation to the actual story. The end result are some fantastically bad sentences that, while grammatically correct, make no actual sense.
Writer. Editor. Publisher. Game Designer. Resident Sith.
 

antares

Re: A little help with Spanish, please.
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2019, 08:14:48 AM »
Well, whaddaya know? There is a Spanish thesaurus online!

After sleeping on it, I arrived at the conclusion that 'buscar' is better than 'encontrar'. Before, I rejected it because the flavor of buscar is to search, not to find. But after sleep, I recognize that finding is implied, so it fits.

My thanks to 123mlh and spin52.

@bardsandsages,

Jose is ordering his dog to find a cow, the 'abuelita'. Immediately after he says this, his companion -- who does not speak Spanish -- asks what he said and Jose interprets for him. And puts context to the order, too.

FWIW Jose speaks English perfectly. Everybody does in this world. But he tries to keep Spanish alive. That is why it is important that he use as much Spanish as he can.
 

OfficialEthanJ

Re: A little help with Spanish, please.
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2019, 10:56:03 AM »
I tend to dislike foreign phrases used in fiction.

Yes, but: I am gearing up to write some Victorian-era shenanigans, and apparently for the sort of story I am to tell a few characters *must* sprinkle Latin phrases in their dialogue to give off the scent of the era. And it's not enough to say "QED," for example, but the whole phrase long-form. I'm too lazy/busy to Google it and paste. (So, not, QED, then?)

The whole case boils down to missing underpants... semper ubi, sub ubi!
 

bardsandsages

Re: A little help with Spanish, please.
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2019, 05:13:33 AM »
Yes, but: I am gearing up to write some Victorian-era shenanigans, and apparently for the sort of story I am to tell a few characters *must* sprinkle Latin phrases in their dialogue to give off the scent of the era.

Victorian era speakers being pretentious and throwing around Latin phrases isn't quite the same thing lol
Writer. Editor. Publisher. Game Designer. Resident Sith.