974 reputation
413
bio website utahbrian.com
location Salt Lake City, UT
age 40
visits member for 2 years, 9 months
seen 10 hours ago

I like to write computer programs. I also like backpacking, bike riding, math, natural languages, books, and learning new things.

Utah is the most beautiful place on Earth.

I have ascended characters from every race and class in Nethack.

brian@utahbrian.com


Dec
3
comment How to avoid the lexical redundancy in the literal Spanish translation of “to ask a question”?
I'm just here to add that "question" doesn't always translate as «pregunta»; when you want to discuss an issue or controversy rather than just an interrogative, you need «cuestión». The next time you're discussing the Schleswig-Holstein Question, it's what you want. And Spanish for "ask" is usually «pedir», unless all you want is the answer to a question, so the English equivalent for «preguntar» really requires both "ask" and "question." Oh, and "to question" is «interrogar». It's like a tar pit for anybody who wants to translate word-by-word.
Dec
3
comment Why is Usted sometimes abbreviated as Vd. instead of Ud.? Is there any difference in usage between the two?
"Castellano" describes Spanish contrasted with Portugese, Catalan, Arabic, and Aragonese, the most common tongues in Iberia before dictators Fred and Isabel got hitched, united Spain, and started the Inquisition 1469. "Cristiano" describes Spanish in contrast to Arabic. "Mexica" describes the Nahuatl language spoken by Aztecs that originates in Utah and New Mexico and has 5 million+ speakers in Mexico; it is unrelated to Spanish. Most Mexicans do like Spanish culture and most Americans do like English culture. Mexicans use both "Ud." and "Vd." "Vd." never follows "nosotros" in conjugation.
Nov
30
comment ¿Por qué es la palabra «mano» femenina?
@CesarGon The Oxford Spanish Dictionary says: dinamo m or (Esp) f so apparently feminine dynamos are a usage peculiar to Spain. Nevertheless, Spanish in Spain is natural so it does constitute a natural example beyond mano.
Nov
29
comment ¿Por qué es la palabra «mano» femenina?
@CesarGon Odd, in Mexico we say, "los dinamos."
Nov
28
comment Why is “Enrique” pronunced as though it has a double “r”?
Also when followed by l, m, n, and s the ere becomes erre.
Nov
27
comment Internet Chat laughter in Spanish
I get a lot of these in text messages: xD. It means laughing in Spanish SMS. (The surprise is that the x doesn't mean "por.")
Nov
25
comment “Fall in love with” (non-romantic)
"Cute" can be hard to translate here because English happens to have a rich and subtle vocabulary of diminutive adjectives like cute, precious, tiny, silly, pretty, little, and so on. Spanish often uses common diminutive suffixes (-ito, -cito) and a few words (see Kiko_L's answer) to accomplish the same thing but those won't be exact one-to-one matches.
Nov
25
comment “xq” in Internet slang/abbreviations
«xk» means the same as «xq», just as «k» means the same as «q» and both mean «que» (or «qué»). But «xD» has nothing to do with «por». Texting is hard.
Nov
23
comment Why are certain words ending in “a” masculine?
Actually, they were neuter in Latin and Greek, but Spanish doesn't observe neuterness.
Nov
23
comment What is the difference between different ways of expressing desire and intention?
Mexico is where I hear me toca and me late to express desire.
Nov
22
comment Why should we use estar over ser for being old or fat?
I have a skinny friend who sits in the plaza with me and points to ladies, «¿Qué adivinas -- está gorda o embarazada?» and it's always estar.
Nov
22
comment “Ser” and “Estar”: Spanish vs. Portuguese
Ser in both languages (and Catalan) comes from Latin sum, esse, fui, futurus and estar comes from sto, stare, steti, status. (That status is good for memorizing the difference, if you already speak Latin.) They can diverge any time speakers choose, of course, but they're coming from the same roots.
Nov
22
comment Best translation of “just wanted to”
Quisiera sounds really polite and gives a lot of softening. Me gustaría is a little less so and less formal sounding. One of those is probably what you want.
Nov
20
comment Question words: “qué” versus “cuál”
«¿Cuál es el numero de tu cel?» (Not qué) Because there are only 10,000,000,000 possible numbers, I guess. -- Most usages are simply by convention and you have to memorize them.
Nov
20
comment Use of “Que” in “Que todo te vaya bien”
Ojalá works the same as que here.
Nov
19
comment Do “alborada”, “amanecer”, and “madrugada” refer to the same thing?
Don't forget la salida del sol and el crepúsculo.
Nov
19
comment Is/Was there a Basic Spanish?
@vartec The missionaries in New Spain invested enormous resources in didactic religious artwork and wrote the largest and most extensive set of dictionaries and grammars ever seen for native languages in the Sixteenth through Eighteenth centuries. It wasn't entirely altruistic but it was a serious effort at education.
Nov
19
comment How to pronounce the consonants “y” and “ll”?
@hippietrail Dictionaries don't have a special section for rr because it never begins a word. Any word that starts with r has the rr pronunciation anyway. Whether it counts as a separate letter (sometimes sí, sometimes no, but the RAE now says it doesn't) is a separate issue.
Nov
19
comment How should I translate “table” (as in a data table)?
This is especially natural usage for any Spanish speaker with a doctorate in Algebra, Statistics, or Physics. (Note: Algebra comes to English from Arabic by way of Spanish.)
Nov
19
comment 'vos' vs 'tú' usage by country
I've never heard voseo in southeast Guatemala. By reputation, there's at least one belt where it is common between Huehuetenango, Guatemala and Ciudad Cuauhtémoc, Chiapas, México. That's an isolated mountain region that could maintain its own historic diction among the minority that are native Spanish speakers.