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Help with Vicente Fernandez line?

 

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Old July 08, 2017, 10:41 PM
Henry Gale Henry Gale is offline
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Help with Vicente Fernandez line?

Hi! I'm new to this forum, but I would sincerely appreciate any help. I'm trying to translate this song, "Qué Pregunta Muchacho," by Vicente Fernandez, and in there, there's this set of lines I don't understand the grammar of, basically. I'll put in bold the part I'm struggling with, but include previous and following lines for context.

Here are the lines:

Usted, señor
De acuerdo a su experiencia
Digame si en la ausencia
Lo han dejado de amar.


1. What is the implication of saying la ausencia? Is the young man (who is speaking to his father) saying something like, "Dad, since you're going to be dead one day, I would appreciate your telling me about XYZ"?

Why would it not be "su ausencia" if the absence he's talking about is his father's? Am I totally misreading this line? Is the absence referring to the absence of love in the lines below?


2. I understand that the phrase "lo han dejado" means something like, "They have left it, they have quit it, they have stopped it, they have ceased it, they have made XYZ," but if the verb han refers to his father, why is it han and not ha? What does the "lo" refer to? Who or what is doing the action in this sentence?

3. Why "amar" and not "amor"?

Thank you so much for any help you can give me!
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  #2  
Old July 09, 2017, 10:20 AM
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pjt33 pjt33 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry Gale View Post
1. What is the implication of saying la ausencia? Is the young man (who is speaking to his father) saying something like, "Dad, since you're going to be dead one day, I would appreciate your telling me about XYZ"?

Why would it not be "su ausencia" if the absence he's talking about is his father's? Am I totally misreading this line? Is the absence referring to the absence of love in the lines below?
Translation isn't a case of word-for-word replacement. English and Spanish sometimes differ in whether or not you use an article (e.g. I like apples but me gustan las manzanas). Here they differ in whether to use a pronoun or an article. See also: my head hurts vs me duele la cabeza (literally the head hurts me).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry Gale View Post
2. I understand that the phrase "lo han dejado" means something like, "They have left it, they have quit it, they have stopped it, they have ceased it, they have made XYZ," but if the verb han refers to his father, why is it han and not ha? What does the "lo" refer to? Who or what is doing the action in this sentence?
Firstly, I'm not convinced that it's his father. But for the sake of argument, I'll grant that. han refers to unnamed other people, and lo refers to the father. Spanish often prefers (unspecified) they did something where English prefers a passive. E.g. I was robbed vs me han robado.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry Gale View Post
3. Why "amar" and not "amor"?
dejar de + infinitive. It needs the verb, not the noun.

Putting it all together:

Sir,
In your experience
Tell me whether in your absence
People have ceased to love you
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Old July 10, 2017, 08:05 AM
Henry Gale Henry Gale is offline
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Quote:
Firstly, I'm not convinced that it's his father. But for the sake of argument, I'll grant that. han refers to unnamed other people, and lo refers to the father. Spanish often prefers (unspecified) they did something where English prefers a passive. E.g. I was robbed vs me han robado.
***On reflection, I think you're right -- My guess is that it refers to unnamed other people, as you said, or possibly women/people with whom he had a romantic relationship.

Quote:
dejar de + infinitive. It needs the verb, not the noun.

Putting it all together:

Sir,
In your experience
Tell me whether in your absence
People have ceased to love you
***Thank you so much for your insight -- finding those "bridges" between ideas is sometimes so tricky. I don't want to leave out anything important or give the wrong interpretation. I really appreciate your clear explanation!

Last edited by Rusty; July 10, 2017 at 08:46 AM. Reason: fixed formatting
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