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Simple Spanish Translation

colinPeter

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SDC (2009) Somport-Jaca, Burgos-SDC, Cee-Muxia (2012) Le Puy - Aumont-Aubrac (2014) SJPP-SDC (Oct 2015)
Don't mean to turn this into an "online translation service", but was wondering if someone might help me with a generic translation for "I'd like", which would be OK to use across the various regions of the Camino Frances.

For example:

I'd like two coffees with milk please.

Some online translators very between:
1) Quisiera dos cafés con leche, por favor.
2) Me gustarían dos coffees con la leche por favor.

Most Camino guide books & lonely planet go with "Quisiera"
My spanish speaking (South American) friend insists "Me gustarían"

Any old hands know what is best? Bearing in mind, I'm still practicing my "counting"
veinte, veintiuno, veintidós, veintitrés, veinticuatro .....

Thanks
Col
 

colinPeter

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SDC (2009) Somport-Jaca, Burgos-SDC, Cee-Muxia (2012) Le Puy - Aumont-Aubrac (2014) SJPP-SDC (Oct 2015)
Un momento

colinPeter said:
My spanish speaking (South American) friend insists "Me gustarían"

My South American friend actually suggested.

Quiero dos cafés con leche, por favor.

Col
 

Deirdre

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2007), Camino Francés (2008), Camino Portugués (2010), Camino Aragonés - from Lourdes (2012)
Hi Col,
Both are acceptable and correct.

To quote my grammar text: "Spanish uses the imperfect subjunctive (which is what 'quisiera' is) as well as the conditional (gustarían) to soften a request or suggestion. The imperfect, (quisiera) is more courteous than the conditional, which is used with any verb. "

'Me gustarian...'is "I would like"... or more literally ... "[those things] would be pleasing to me"
'Quisiera' is also "I would like" or possibly more politely in English, "may I have..."

Buen Camino,
 

colinPeter

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SDC (2009) Somport-Jaca, Burgos-SDC, Cee-Muxia (2012) Le Puy - Aumont-Aubrac (2014) SJPP-SDC (Oct 2015)
Thank you Deirdrè, much appreciated.
 

Deirdre

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2007), Camino Francés (2008), Camino Portugués (2010), Camino Aragonés - from Lourdes (2012)
You're welcome!

Just to clarify, your South American friend was completely correct as well 'Quiero...... " would suffice nicely and everyone would understand what you were asking. But now you have three different phrases to use to ask for things.... and have expanded your vocabulary exponentially !!! :D
Buen Camino,
 

Bridget and Peter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Home to Reims 2007
Reims to Limoges 2008
Camino Ingles 2009
Limoges to Gernica 2009
Gernica to San Vicente de la Barquera 2010
San Vicente to La Isla 2012
La Isla to Santiago Sept/Oct 2014
My South American spanish speaker is under the impression that S A spanish is politer and would say 'Quisiera' and 'por favor' but that in european spanish 'Quiero' would suffice.

Any comments?
 

Deirdre

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2007), Camino Francés (2008), Camino Portugués (2010), Camino Aragonés - from Lourdes (2012)
That's a debate that no one will win.

Within the 26 Spanish speaking countries there are a variety of dialects and within Spain there are even three other separate and distinct languages! Factor in the cultural, historical and social individualities, and as they say in beautiful American english... fageddaboudit!!! (translation: forget about it)

Language and culture are inextricably intertwined: you cannot talk about one without including the other. So a debate on which form is "better", "more polite" or "more correct" is dependent on myriad factors. And cannot be undertaken by any native speaker ( IMHO) without including a certain amount of 'national pride" and hence subjectivity. Consider a similar debate by speakers of English from shall we say, the UK, Ireland, the USA, Australia and New Zealand. (those whom I left out, please don't take it personally)

The Spanish are warm and friendly people who are anxious to help (linguistically and in any other way). They are pleased when people speak their language and although will note that the speaker is not a native, will not react negatively to an error in semantics.

It is customary in Spain to say, "Deme ..... " as in a café, la cuenta, or whatever else you want. As an English speaker, I cringe every time I hear the phrase used that way, as I would consider it the height of rudeness to say to a camarero, "give me.... " even if it were followed by a string of 'pleases'.

So, to end a post that became much longer than intended, politeness is more in tone and body language than simply in words, and any of those phrases would be completely acceptable.

Buen Camino,
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Deirdre - I just love it when you walk into a shop and they say "Diga me" (tell me).
For me its easier to point at something and say "dos por favor".
 

Deirdre

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2007), Camino Francés (2008), Camino Portugués (2010), Camino Aragonés - from Lourdes (2012)
You are right, Sil,
The Spaniards are very direct. My students always laugh when I tell them that "Dígame" is also a customary way of answering the phone... haha.

Again, it's a matter of culture. Americans tend to "beat around the bush", if you will, trying hard to be polite and not too demanding. So the use of the formal command, Deme (give me) or Dígame (tell me) can be disarming. Just a perfect example of what is acceptable in one language/culture is not necessarily so in another! :)
Buen Camino,
 

Arn

Veteran Member
I'm American with an Italian father and a German mother. My dad's parents wouldn't speak English and my mom's parents couldn't speak German. Being born in 1945, and of mixed parents...my first day in grammar school I was already a loser and soundly thrashed by the "real" Americans...the Irish and the newly conquered Polish. My best friend was a Jew and we both looked with awe upon the 'numbers' who came into love's grocery. The "numbers" being Jews from the concentration camps. They spoke broken English but fluent Russian, German and Yiddish.

Is there a point here Arn?

Why yes there is!

I spent many $$ taking Spanish lessons, both on disc and with Spanish speaking friends...mostly Mexicans (who charges a lot of Negra Modello). And, here's what I found out on my Camino.

Spanish changes from region to region and country to country (South and Central America) for example. So, whether they're speaking Galician or Castillian and Catalan or Basque there's a good chance you'll not go hungry or without a bed for the night if you just try to be understood. Getting directions is a bit dicey but, if you have a good guide book and can point...you'll get there.

Here's a few combinations you can use...spelling is not an issue when you speak.

Una cana Estella cerveza por favor

dos cerveza grande por favor

un bottle Vinotinto por favor

mixed ensalade por favor

amblatoria por favor

farmica por favor

albergue municipal for favor

supermercado por favor

menu del dia/ peregrino por favor

Jamon en quesa bocadillo por favor

Pizza por favor

muches gracis...

da nada

and my all time favorite...said with a quizzical look and a shoulder shrug:

CAMINO??? (Just in case you miss a yellow arrow)

Notice..I don't give the translation...you should be able to figure what each means, oh...the Jamon en quesa is a ham and cheese sandwich... wouldn't want you to go hungry.

Both Deirdre, Sil and others are right. If you want to speak like a native...you need the temperament and focus to really study the language. Where that doesn't work..pointing and asking how much will work. But most of all...try...try...try to speak as much as you can...the folks on the Camino will appreciate you trying. And...always be polite...por favor!

Except for Rebekah' s neighbors...whom after four years in Spain still can't understand her.

Buen Vinoblanco Camino

Arn
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
...and I speak perfectly good Spanish. I think they are just being obtuse.

("Hablo Castellano perfectamente, pero ellos estan pillipollas!") (pero mi corazon esta todavia rompiendo. :cry: )
 

Arn

Veteran Member
Rebekah wined; ("Hablo Castellano perfectamente, pero ellos estan pillipollas!") (pero mi corazon esta todavia rompiendo.

exactamundo mi amigo...or is it mia amigo

Heck...Rebekah...you're one of a kind in any language!

If you folks that are traveling along the CF don't stop in and see the great place Rebekah is now abiding in...you're missing a treat. A treat I missed in 2008 and regret.

Buen dos cerveza grande por favor Camino

Arn
 

Deirdre

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2007), Camino Francés (2008), Camino Portugués (2010), Camino Aragonés - from Lourdes (2012)
Arn,
I think you just put all the words that you know in Spanish together in one posting!

¡Jolín! :lol:

Buen Camino,
 

colinPeter

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SDC (2009) Somport-Jaca, Burgos-SDC, Cee-Muxia (2012) Le Puy - Aumont-Aubrac (2014) SJPP-SDC (Oct 2015)
I think I'll throw my Spanish cds away and just study this post.

My first Spanish lessons I listened to insisted on "Yo Quiero".
The second set emphasized that "Yo" before "Quiero" was like a raised voice "I" and the "o" in "Quiero" indicated "I".
Lonely Planet Spanish & South American use "Quisiera".
An online forum discussed in length the difference between "Quiero" & "Quisiera", and came to the conclusion that "Quiero" was the
Equivalent of "I want a red Ferrari" (Like, I really want that), where as "Quisiera" was more like "I'd like a coffee".

Now I was getting the hang of it. Until, the online European translators threw in "Me gustarían". Man, I so don't want to go there.

Then this post has rescued me in several ways:

1) I now realize why my Spanish friend was so bemused by me tryning to find the "politest" way to say something. Different cultures say things differently.
2) 'Quisiera','Quiero' would suffice. Even good old 'Me gustarian' would be OK.
3) I don't have to use the most polite phrase on the planet. Just be polite. Why I might even stroll in and say “Deme ..... ". With a smile of course.
4) I have been taught by a master on the art of survival. "Una cerveza grande por favor" & "Jamon en quesa bocadillo por favor".

Now to perfect the shoulder shrug, I've already got the quizzical look down pat.

Actually, what I haven't got is Rebekah's address. Should Helen & I just rock up and say "Arn sent us" or ring ahead.

Thanks everyone. As with most things I ask on this forum, you usually get flooded with kind responses.

Col
8)
 

Deirdre

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2007), Camino Francés (2008), Camino Portugués (2010), Camino Aragonés - from Lourdes (2012)
Hi again, Col,
Since it is the wee hours of the madrugada in Moratinos, I'll take the liberty of answering as to the location of Rebekah and Paddy's abode.

Upon arriving in Moratinos, one of the first places you'll see on the left is a red (they're all red!) buiding with a bright blue door and shutters. It is for sale "se vende". It is 'fondly' known as the Alamo and on that illustrious site you will find the directions to Reb and Paddy's house a short walk down past the main square (plaza mayor).

There are really only a few key phrases you need to get by. One might be "aseos" or "servicios" which you might find to be a necesity after a couple of cervezas or botellas de vino. "caballeros" is 'gentlemen" (not horses!) and usually has either a torero or just a gent pictured on the door. 'damas' or 'mujeres' usually has a little flamenco dancer for the ladies. :lol:

And when total strangers look at you and say "Buen Camino", just smile and say ¡Muchas gracias!

Buen Camino,
 
Col, the problem is that 'like' in English can mean, like, several different things, depending on the context. The problem with online/machine translators is they don't understand context, and so often get the wrong meaning. So, if it's any help:

'Gustar' is 'to taste', like French 'gouter' (there's another use of 'like'). The English equivalent, 'gust', is now archaic, though the opposite, 'disgust', is still going strong. 'Me gusta' means 'it is tasty to me', so 'I like'; 'no me gusta' = 'I don't like'. It does not normally mean 'I would like', which is a polite way of saying 'I want'.

'Quiero' is from 'querer' - etymologically 'to quest', so 'quiero un cafe' means 'I'm looking for a coffee'; 'request/require' is from the same root, so if you think of 'quiero un cafe' as 'I request a coffee', you're not too far wrong. 'Querer' is widely used in Spanish as a general-purpose 'want/wish' sort of word, so this is the 'I would like' sense of 'like': 'si quieres', 'if you like'; 'quieras o no', 'whether you like it (would wish it) or not'; 'quiere ser medico', 's/he wants/would like to be a doctor'.

As for the personal pronoun, 'yo', 'I', this is rarely used in Spanish, normally only for emphasis or to distinguish 'me' from someone else: '¿quien es? ¡Soy yo!', 'who's there? Me!'; 'yo soy el culpable', 'I'm the culpable one' = 'my fault'.

In Spanish, as in English, you can come up with all sorts of flowery phrases, like 'I wonder if I could possibly trouble you to be so kind as to bring me a coffee'. Spaniards are a courteous people, and some might enjoy this sort of thing, but unless your Spanish is good enough to carry on a conversation in the same vein, learning phrases like this is a waste of time, as you won't understand the response. Language is primarily about communication not about producing beautifully turned phrases, so, as others have said, 'a coffee, please' or 'un cafe, por favor', will do the trick just as well. And if the waiter says '¿Como quiere el cafe?' that means 'how would you like your coffee?'
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
Here in Costa Rica, to ask for something we say "me regala...una cerveza...una copa de vino... un cafe con leche, etc.(always include "por favor" at the end !)
The problem is that "regalar" means to give or donate!
This all sounds strange to an unaccustomed ear, as I quickly found out when I tried this phrase out the first time in Spain!
The same expression is also used here when asking to use the bathroom "me regala el baño, por favor!! With this, the mind boggles!
On one of our first days on the Camiono, arriving at an albergue, I asked if they had "campo" (meaning is there still space, said Costarrican style), only to be told that, No, they didn't have camping facilities!
There are so many different ways to say things, depending where you live - and this includes the English language too, as we all know. My British English has become totally archaic after living more than 40 years abroad.
Obviously, for someone who already speaks Spanish, it's very easy to tune in listening as how things are said and adjust ones expressions.
Pura vida! (Costarrican expression for saying everything is fine)!
Anne
 

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