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I was watching a Spanish speaking movie yesterday called, "Con Ganas de Triunfar". When I looked up the translation of this phrase, I got "Wanting to Succeed". I do not understand this translation since literally it would mean with win of triumph. Is this considered a collocation, or is there something that I am missing? How would I as a student of Spanish figure out how to say this phrase - wanting to succeed?

  • Posted May 27, 2012
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3 Vote

Literally it does not mean "with win of triumph," but rather "With [the] desire to win/triumph." The word "Gana" (plural "ganas) refers to "desire" or wanting to do something. For example, the idiomatic expression "Tengo ganas de...(insert infinitive of a verb)" Means something like "I feel like..." or "I want to...". I believe you are confusing this noun with the "tú" form of the verb "ganar"; "ganas", which does indeed mean "you win." However, in this context that makes no sense, as you said in your question.

In this case, I would say that the best translation for the title of this show would be something like: "With the desire to succeed", if you're looking for something more literal, or, as you found, "Wanting to succeed/triumph."

1 Vote

I was thinking of it being related to Tener+ganas too.

I find myself making this sort of mistake a lot. Since I don't know many forms yet, I'm not always able to recognize two different forms that happen to be spelled the same.

In the last week, I got confused by sueño (sleepy vs dream or some such) and at the end of class, mixed up just this same one, ganas. It was supposed to be ´you win´ but I only tengo ganas, and so misunderstood.

This is tricky. Guess I just have to keep putting the time in. I don´t see any rule for this.

  • This is tricky. - JoyceM May 27, 2012 flag
  • Thanks. Fixed. My fat fingers and-or brain are making my English weaker too. - rogspax May 27, 2012 flag
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