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Translating a simple paragraph (Exercise 12-10)

 

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Old August 20, 2010, 08:53 AM
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Red face Translating a simple paragraph (Exercise 12-10)

I am continuing to work through a book of basic Spanish grammar exercises, in an attempt to fill in some of the "holes" in the learning that I've done so far. It has been (I believe) very fruitful so far.

One of the exercises in the chapter covering the "passive voice and passive constructions" asks me to translate a simple paragraph from English to Spanish.

I want to ask some questions. So I'm going to include here (1) the original English paragraph, (2) my original translation, and (3) the "corrected" translation. I will indicate my questions at the bottom of this post.


 Original English Paragraph  My First Attempt at Translation  The "Corrected" Translation 
 "One gets information, prepares oneself, and looks for lost treasures at the bottom of the sea. It is known that in the waters of the Caribbean Sea many sunken treasures are found. The Spanish ship Santa Margarita was discovered by divers looking for treasure. More than two million dollars in gold and jewels were recovered from that ship! And from the ship Atocha almost fifty tons of silver and thousands of emeralds the size of a walnut! But you have to prepare yourself. You buy yourself the best diving equipment, you find an ideal spot for your adventure, and you go find your treasure." These words were said by an expert treasure hunter. You believe these words, you buy your equipment with your credit card, you go looking for treasure, you forget about reality, you spend your life under the ocean, and you go bankrupt before you find your sunken treasure at the bottom of the sea.  "Uno obtiene información, se prepara, y busca tesoros perdidos al fondo del mar. Es sabido que en las aguas del Mar Caribe tesoros hundidos son encontrados. El barco español Santa Margarita fue descubierto por buzos buscando tesoro. ¡Más que dos millón dólares de oro y joyas fueron recuperados de ese barco! ¡Y del barco Atocha casi cincuenta toneladas de plata y miles de esmeraldas el tamaño de una nuez! Pero tienes que prepararte. Te compras el mejor equipo de buceo, encontras un lugar ideal para tu aventura, y vas a encontrar tu tesoro." Estas palabras fueron dicho por unexperto cazador de tesoro. Crees estas palabras, compras tu equipo con tu tarjeta de crédito, andas buscar tesoro, olvidas sobre realidad, pasas tu vida bajo del mar, y te arruinas antes de encontrar tu tesoros hundidos al fondo del mar.  "Uno (1a) obtiene información se informa, se prepara, y busca tesoros perdidos al en el fondo del mar. (1b) Es sabido Se sabe que en las aguas del Mar Caribe tesoros hundidos son encontrados (1c) se descubren muchos tesoros (2) enterrados. El (3) barco buque español Santa Margarita fue descubierto por unos buzos buscando que buscaban tesoros (4). ¡Más (5) que de dos millónes de dólares de en oro y joyas (1d) fueron recuperados se recuperaron de ese (3) barco! ¡Y del (3) barco buque Atocha casi cincuenta toneladas de plata y miles de esmeraldas del tamaño de una nuez! Pero (6) te tienes que prepararte. Te compras el mejor equipo de buceo,(7) encontras te buscas un lugar ideal para tu aventura, y te vas a (7) encontrar buscar tu tesoro." (8) Estas Esas palabras fueron dicho dichas por unexperto cazador de tesoros. Te crees (8) estas esas palabras, te compras tu equipo con tu tarjeta de crédito, (9) andas te vas a buscar tesoros, olvidas sobre de la realidad, te pasas tu la vida (10) debajo del mar océano, y te arruinas antes de encontrar tu tesoros <-(4) (2)-> hundidos al en el fondo del mar. 

My Questions:
(1) In four places, I wonder if my use of passive voice is acceptable, simply different than the way the book chose to translate. Please help me with these... (I labeled them 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d.)
(2) Are hundido and enterrado interchangeable? The English says "sunken" twice, and the book uses enterrado the first time and hundido the second.
(3) Is there a significant difference between buque and barco in this context? They call the Santa Margarita a buque in one place and a barco in another.
(4) This happens several times. So, is "treasure" (which is typically singular in this context in English) usually going to be plural in Spanish? Then WHY is it singular in the last sentence (where I made it plural)? Grrrr...
(5) When do you use "más que" and when do you use "más de"?
(6) In this one, I used the pronombre enclítico with the "te" on the infinitive verb. Is it okay there, or does it have to precede "tener que"?
(7) This also happens a couple of times. The English version says "find". I used encontrar, the book used buscar. I thought that encontrar was more like "to find" and buscar more like "to look for". I understand that buscar makes sense in context, but it doesn't seem to me to accurately represent the original English. One can look for something (buscar) without finding (encontrar). Help!
(8) This one also happens twice, and it has me quite stumped. The English clearly says "these". I thought estas palabras meant "these words". Why "esas"? I thought that was "those"???
(9) Is my use of "andar" (instead of "ir") here okay?
(10) What is the difference between bajo and debajo?

I know there are a lot of questions this time. Thank you SO much for all of your help!!
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  #2  
Old August 20, 2010, 02:03 PM
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Hola, Lou Ann.
Instead of quoting you, I copied your questions in a word document, answered and pasted it back here (so hope the trick works and this is readable.) Let me know if what I say makes sense. (There may be a couple of points where I am not that certain myself... as noted.)
My Questions:
(1) In four places, I wonder if my use of passive voice is acceptable, simply different than the way the book chose to translate. Please help me with these... (I labeled them 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d.) If I were to read your translation without any reference to English or the “corrected” version, I would not object to 1a, 1b, 1d. As far as 1c is concerned, I consider that one not acceptable.
(2) Are hundido and enterrado interchangeable? The English says "sunken" twice, and the book uses enterrado the first time and hundido the second. I would use “hundido” i both cases. It seems an error in the “corrected” version, as “enterrado” is “buried” in “tierra” ie., ‘land’ ‘ground’... so to me, “enterrado en el mar” is the wrong collocation in Spanish. (It could be used in a “figurative” manner, and is not “incorrect”, but it is not my first choice by a long shot.)
(3) Is there a significant difference between buque and barco in this context? They call the Santa Margarita a buque in one place and a barco in another. Not really. Both are fine. I would use “buque” in both cases, but “barco, buque, embarcación...” (Maybe “galeón” [galleon] would be the best.)
(4) This happens several times. So, is "treasure" (which is typically singular in this context in English) usually going to be plural in Spanish? Then WHY is it singular in the last sentence (where I made it plural)? Grrrr... Grrrrrrrr” is right! Sorry, no, wait a minute, just duplicate the plural/singular as in the English original. Let’s keep our calmness and ‘sangfroid’! (Ah, there is one, where “buscar tesoro*” in Spanish has to be “buscar tesoros” because it is like the general activity, not one specific treasure.)
(5) When do you use "más que" and when do you use "más de"?
Good question! I give some examples below. I believe when you use “countables” (specific figures) you use “de” and when it is “not countable” you use “que”. (I am just saying that, based on the examples I give you here from Oxford... not 100% sure if there is a “rule”... as the first two examples with “de” are not quite per what I say.)
aún más que el año pasado = even more than last year;
ahora más que nunca = now more than ever;
me gusta más el vino seco que el dulce = I prefer dry wine to sweet, I like dry wine better than sweet;
es cuestión de paciencia más que de inteligencia = it’s more a question of patience than intelligence, it’s a question of patience rather than intelligence;
más (…) DE: pesa más de lo que parece = it’s heavier than it looks;
es más complicado de lo que tú crees = it’s more complicated than you think;
¡no pueden ser más de las cinco! = it can’t be after five!;
pesa más de 80 kilos = he weighs over 80 kilos;
éramos más de 30 = there were more than o over 30 of us;
tiene más de 60 años = she’s over 60

(6) In this one, I used the pronombre enclítico with the "te" on the infinitive verb. Is it okay there, or does it have to precede "tener que"? Okay both ways.
(7) This also happens a couple of times. The English version says "find". I used encontrar, the book used buscar. I thought that encontrar was more like "to find" and buscar more like "to look for". I understand that buscar makes sense in context, but it doesn't seem to me to accurately represent the original English. One can look for something (buscar) without finding (encontrar). Help! Your insight and explanation is right. It seems a bit of a “grey” area. “El que busca encuentra” ie., if you look for [something] you find [something]. So, to one degree or another, in Spanish you could use both, buscar/encontrar pretty interchangeably. In Yucatán, México, they make fun of the “costeños” who say, “Lo busco, lo busco, pero no lo busco”. (I search for it, [look for it] and search for it, [look for it], but I don’t search for it, [look for it])
Actually meaning, “Lo busco, lo busco, pero no lo ENCUENTRO”. (I search for it, [look for it] and search for it, [look for it], but I don’t FIND it.)
(8) This one also happens twice, and it has me quite stumped. The English clearly says "these". I thought estas palabras meant "these words". Why "esas"? I thought that was "those"??? Again, you are right. What happens here is a matter of “Spanish” style. It ‘sounds’ more natural to say “those” words, as these words are already “past” for you or the reader. I.e., “estas” palabras would not be incorrect at all, but it would be slightly “literal”... while the ‘concept’ is “these words that were said”, so “those” [esas] fits better in Spanish... )
(9) Is my use of "andar" (instead of "ir") here okay? Andas buscar tesoro... Doesn’t ring right. You could say, “andas en busca del tesoro” or “andas buscando tesoros”, and that would be fine. Seems more natural “te vas a buscar tesoros”.
(10) What is the difference between bajo and debajo? These are rather synonyms “bajo = under” “debajo = under/underneath”
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Last edited by JPablo; August 20, 2010 at 02:06 PM.
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Old August 20, 2010, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPablo View Post
(1) In four places, I wonder if my use of passive voice is acceptable, simply different than the way the book chose to translate. Please help me with these... (I labeled them 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d.) If I were to read your translation without any reference to English or the “corrected” version, I would not object to 1a, 1b, 1d. As far as 1c is concerned, I consider that one not acceptable.
Was it my use of the impersonal (ser + verb instead of se + verb) or was it my use of encontrar vs. descubrir?

(5) When do you use "más que" and when do you use "más de"?
Good question! I give some examples below. I believe when you use “countables” (specific figures) you use “de” and when it is “not countable” you use “que”. (I am just saying that, based on the examples I give you here from Oxford... not 100% sure if there is a “rule”... as the first two examples with “de” are not quite per what I say.)
aún más que el año pasado = even more than last year;
ahora más que nunca = now more than ever;
me gusta más el vino seco que el dulce = I prefer dry wine to sweet, I like dry wine better than sweet;
es cuestión de paciencia más que de inteligencia = it’s more a question of patience than intelligence, it’s a question of patience rather than intelligence;
más (…) DE: pesa más de lo que parece = it’s heavier than it looks;
es más complicado de lo que tú crees = it’s more complicated than you think;
¡no pueden ser más de las cinco! = it can’t be after five!;
pesa más de 80 kilos = he weighs over 80 kilos;
éramos más de 30 = there were more than o over 30 of us;
tiene más de 60 años = she’s over 60
I'm not totally clear on this one ... but I'll keep working on it... THANKS!!
Wow!! Thanks, JPablo! I can't tell you how much I appreciate your details and thorough answers! You make me feel better - I was a bit horrified at how many things I had so different from the book. Thanks!!

I have just a couple of questions to clarify....

Muchísimas gracias!!
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Old August 20, 2010, 02:57 PM
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Was it my use of the impersonal (ser + verb instead of se + verb) or was it my use of encontrar vs. descubrir?
The impersonal part. (encontrar vs descubrir, as gone over, even native speakers mix these with no much problem resulting...)

I'm not totally clear on this one ... but I'll keep working on it... THANKS!!
You're welcome. There may be some specific rule I personally don't know... maybe Angélica. Check the examples and pay attention when you read and listen...
Me gusta practicar más que teorizar.
Hago
más de una hora de ejercicio físico cada día.
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Old August 20, 2010, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPablo View Post

I'm not totally clear on this one ... but I'll keep working on it... THANKS!!
You're welcome. There may be some specific rule I personally don't know... maybe Angélica. Check the examples and pay attention when you read and listen...
Me gusta practicar más que teorizar.
Hago
más de una hora de ejercicio físico cada día.
Right - I understand the explanation (de=countables vs. que=uncountables), but the first two of your examples for "de" are uncountable.... I'll keep looking into this one.

I VERY MUCH appreciate it!!
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Old August 20, 2010, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPablo View Post

I'm not totally clear on this one ... but I'll keep working on it... THANKS!!
You're welcome. There may be some specific rule I personally don't know... maybe Angélica. Check the examples and pay attention when you read and listen...
Me gusta practicar más que teorizar.
Hago
más de una hora de ejercicio físico cada día.
@Pablo: Chapeau!! These exercises are rather demanding (even though they're much fun).

@Lou Ann: Pablo has proposed fine examples and I have never been able to answer this question , but there's a discussion on it that might make things clearer for you here.
So, after you go through it, all I can recommend is that you write (many more) examples on your own. Then we can make corrections for those examples and explanations on the meanings, before you leap to another topic.
Practice is the only way to remember and make automatic sentences, in order to develop a feeling for what is right or wrong.

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Old August 20, 2010, 05:29 PM
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Cool - I will do that. Thanks, Malila!
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Old August 20, 2010, 06:01 PM
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¡Gracias por el sombrero!
El thread que mencionas está muy bien.
También he encontrado esto en el Panhispánico de Dudas, que puede ser de gran ayuda (bajo que):

2.2. Introduce el segundo término de una comparación propia, es decir, aquella en la que se comparan dos entidades diferentes en relación con una determinada noción o magnitud. La conjunción que va siempre precedida, inmediatamente o no, de un adjetivo o adverbio de sentido comparativo (mejor, peor, mayor, menor, igual, más, menos, antes, después, etc.) o de un sustantivo multiplicativo o fraccionario (doble, triple, mitad, etc.): Tu automóvil es mejor que el mío; Su hermano pequeño es más alto que él; Mi maleta llegó después que yo; Ahora gano el doble que hace un año. En cambio, se emplea la preposición de, y no la conjunción que, para introducir oraciones de relativo sin antecedente expreso que denotan, no una entidad distinta, sino grado o cantidad en relación con la magnitud que se compara: «Le pagaré el doble de lo que marque el taxímetro» (Ribera Sangre [Esp. 1988]); «El Viejo sabe del testigo más de lo que aparenta» (Pozo Noche [Esp. 1995]); «Me despierto varias horas antes de lo que solía» (Téllez Trastornos [Méx. 1995]). Obsérvese, a este respecto, la diferencia entre estos dos enunciados: Eso importa más que lo que tú dices [=A importa más que B], frente a Eso importa más de lo que tú dices [=A importa más de lo que tú dices que importa].

2.19. no... más que. Seguido de una expresión cuantitativa, esta construcción significa ‘solamente’: «No tiene más que 28 años» (Tiempo [Col.] 1.12.91). No debe confundirse con no... más de, que expresa límite máximo, no cantidad exacta: «En esa época Buenos Aires no tenía más de 25 cuadras» (Zaefferer Navegación [Arg. 1987]).

Espero que sea útil.
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Old August 20, 2010, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPablo View Post
En cambio, se emplea la preposición de, y no la conjunción que, para introducir oraciones de relativo sin antecedente expreso que denotan, no una entidad distinta, sino grado o cantidad en relación con la magnitud que se compara:
Thank you! (Both of you!) I'm working on this. But it would help to have the above quoted phrase explained ... the Spanish gets a bit complicated for my brain........ :-/
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Old August 20, 2010, 06:39 PM
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I understand!
I give you my 'rough' translation. Hopefully that clarifies the matter. Otherwise, let me know.

Instead, the preposition de is used, and not the conjuntion que [the preposition de is used instead the conjunction que], to introduce relative sentences without a explicit [specific] antecedent that denote [show, indicate], not a different entity, but a degree or quantity in relation with the magnitude that is compared to:
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