directions like go straight, turn right and turn left? | SpanishDict Answers
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Can somebody give me an example of directions like go straight, turn right and turn left? It doesn't matter if it's not spanish. Just give me an idea about the vocabularies in today!!!!

  • Please do not repeat your posts, Jan. This question is also being asnwered in your other post. - Gekkosan Nov 29, 2011 flag

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Giving (and receiving) directions in Spanish, I have discovered, is a complex art. It has very little to do with language and grammar, and a lot to do with culture, location, context, and empathy with the speaker.

When I lived in Venezuela, I was able to give and receive directions quite successfully if I was in Caracas, the capital city. It was straightforward, and not so different from, say, giving directions in NY City. Go straight - sigue derecho, turn left - gira a la izquierda, u-turn - vuelta en u, right on Arboleda ST - a la derecha en la calle Arboleda, and so forth.

I started being aware of the baffling complexity of this art when I started driving into the rural areas of Venezuela and meet such baffling statements as:

"Siga por ahí mismito, y allá por el samán métase pa'bajo, y cuando llegue al gamelote, es por ahí, más pa'l laíto". (Loosely translated as : keep goin' thataway, and there by the saman tree dig in down, and when you get to them grasses is just there, sideways a bit).

When I started driving in other countries, I discovered that people had a different set of symbols, rules, keywords and cultural references to give directions in different places.

In Puerto Rico, for example, people rely a lot on traditional reference points, even if such reference points do not exist anymore. There is a whole section in downtown San Juan when directions are given in reference to "paradas". It took me a while to learn that those "paradas" refer to the old stops of a long-extinct train system. There isn't a single marker anywhere indicating where any of these paradas are. But people just know, and the reference is still used. Never mind that it is absolutely useless if you're not a native!

Likewise Puerto Ricans refer to their roads by names: La 65 de Infantería, Expreso las Américas, La Piñero... even though if you look at a map or at the street signs (when they bother to put signs) you'll see: Rt. 3, Hwy. 22, Rt. 17 respectively. They may simply tall you: Oh, go by the expressway and get on the exit by Santander Bank. You're supposed to know which expressway by the context of more or less where' you intend to go, and you're supposed to have (apparently) a genetic imprint that allows you to recognize which Santader Bank the speaker means. Again, if you haven't lived there for a long time, you don't stand a chance.

So never mind the words that, in some places, can be used to give some directions. That's the least of your worries. Learn the culture, or hire a native guide!

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Turn right onto Highway 11, then go 2.1 miles to the first traffic light. Turn left at the light and continue until you reach the Interstate 75 intersection. Turn at the south entrance ramp and drive for 47 miles to the first exit.

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