Lost in Translation

  Last week, there was a definite theme during my tutoring sessions.  Early in the week, one student was working on a Spanish project “El anuario del futuro”, where she found pictures of various students and created a life and profession for them in the future. 

English is not Spanish Lesson 1:
I know I have said this before (and years ago my teachers told this to me)…translators cannot directly translate Spanish into English, or vice versa.  I don’t believe that you can directly translate into any language.  In this lesson we learned that the sentence in English, “He will be a teacher” is simply, “Será maestro” in Spanish.

   Another student found an article in a Delta magazine that was both in English and in Spanish and we did a little exercise….reading the Spanish article (to hear how it sounds and see how its written) to see how it compares to English.  I believe that this is an excellent exercise for language learners at any level.  It is great for pronunciation, structure, and expanding vocabulary!   But we also learned another valuable lesson….

English is not Spanish Lesson 2:
This was a simple revelation….generally Spanish may use more words that English to describe the same concept.  We could see that the Spanish article was about a paragraph and a half longer than its English counterpart!

   Lastly, in my group class we learned how to write sentences with adjectives in Spanish.

English is not Spanish Lesson 3:
Traditionally in English, adjectives are placed before nouns in a sentence.
i.e. The black car.
In Spanish the reverse is true, most commonly, adjectives are placed after nouns.
i.e. El carro negro.

I guess the biggest lesson learned is learning a language is a challenge and in learning a new language your are not just acquiring a skill, but expanding your horizons–creating a new way of thinking and seeing the world with new eyes.

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