HomeQ&A'What's the point?? and ?the meaning of life?

'What's the point?? and ?the meaning of life?

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What is the best translation in spanish for 'the point'?
For example:

'what's the point in learning spanish'' 'there's no point'
'what's your point'' 'I don't see the point' etc.

Also I'm having trouble talking about 'meaning' - not what words mean (significar), but conveying intention - 'I mean'. I have heard 'quiero decir' for I mean, but does this mean (!) simply 'I want to say' or is it nearer to the English 'I mean'?

Sorry if this is confusing, it might be easier if I just asked for a translation of the following phrases:

'I didn't mean you, I meant him'
and
'I meant to say come tomorrow, not today'
and
'the meaning of life'

Many thanks

Great website by the way

15339 views
updated AGO 3, 2009
posted by Melocoton

6 Answers

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Muchas gracias a todos

updated AGO 3, 2009
posted by Melocoton
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Melocoton:

Having regard to "the point", take a peek at SpanishDict's Dictionary listing at:
http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/point

In particular, see item 3. of that definition where we find:
3. punto (m) (of argument, discussion)
the point is,? -> la cuestión es que?
I take your point -> estoy de acuerdo con lo que dices
she has a point -> no le falta razón
he made several interesting points -> hizo varias observaciones or puntualizaciones muy interesantes
to get to the point -> ir al grano
that's beside the point -> eso no viene al caso
that's not the point -> no es esa la cuestión
what's the point? -> ¿para qué?
to make a point of doing something -> preocuparse de or procurar hacer algo
there is no point in waiting any longer -> no vale la pena seguir esperando
in point of fact -> en realidad
her remarks were very much to the point -> sus comentarios fueron muy pertinentes
it has its good points -> tiene sus cosas buenas
up to a point -> hasta cierto punto
not to put too fine a point on it? -> hablando en plata?
a point of grammar/law -> una cuestión gramatical/legal
point of order -> cuestión (f) de procedimiento or de forma

There seem to be many choices depending on circumstances. How I would have liked to see one easy way so as to reduce the memory work.

Recuerdos/Regards,
Moe

updated JUL 30, 2009
posted by Moe
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"There's no point." I would say, "No hay para qué" or "No tiene caso," if the context is dealing with purpose. I would say, "No hay por qué," if the context is dealing with motive. I would say, "No tiene caso," if the context is dealing with a speech or discussion.

HMMM, in which context have you heard this "no tiene caso"?

"What's your point'" I would say, "¿Cuál es tu punto'

gulp Have you actually heard that? sounds very much like a direct translation from English, We certainly do not use that in Spain.

or "¿Qué quieres decir'" or "¿Qué estás diciendo'" That's more like it wink

"I don't see the point." I would say, "No veo el punto" I would not understandd that. We do say: No veo tu punto de vista.

"I didn't mean you, I meant him." I would say, "No quise decir tú, sino él" or "No quise decir tú, quise decir él."

All the other sentences are correct, Rocco, however, this needs a special translation:

**No me refería a ti sino a él. **

updated JUL 30, 2009
posted by 00494d19
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No, your question is fine, Melo. You need to ask specific questions to get specific answers. Like English words, Spanish words vary in meaning/sense depending on how/in what context they are used.

The point of a statement would be "el punto."

The point of an arugment or discussion would be "el asunto," "la cuestión," or "el grano," or in some cases "el caso."

"What is the point in learning Spanish'" I would say, "¿Para qué aprender español'"

"There's no point." I would say, "No hay para qué" or "No tiene caso," if the context is dealing with purpose. I would say, "No hay por qué," if the context is dealing with motive. I would say, "No tiene caso," if the context is dealing with a speech or discussion.

"What's your point'" I would say, "¿Cuál es tu punto'" or "¿Qué quieres decir'" or "¿Qué estás diciendo'"

"I don't see the point." I would say, "No veo el punto" or "No pillo lo que quieres decir" (many other ways to say the same thing), if referring to a statement, argument, etc. I would say, "No veo la razón/la causa/el motivo" or "No entiendo el proposito/el por qué" (many others), if referring to the reason for doing something.

Querer decir = to mean

"I didn't mean you, I meant him." I would say, "No quise decir tú, sino él" or "No quise decir tú, quise decir él."

"I meant to say come tomorrow, not today." I would say, "Quería decir 'Ven [singular] mañana', y no hoy" or "Tenía la intención de decir 'Vengan [plural] mañana', y no hoy."

"the meaning of life" = el sentido de la vida (or, significado or propósito de la vida, depending on what you "mean")

updated JUL 30, 2009
posted by hhmdirocco
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Janice, that is excellent help indeed, very colloquial all of the expressions.

Have a look at the dictionary on "mean" you will find all you need.

Welcome to the forum, Melocotón smile

updated JUL 30, 2009
posted by 00494d19
0
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For "point", my *Gran Diccionario Oxford *lists a number of different meanings, because, of course, the English word "point" has various meanings, for each of which there may be a different Spanish word.

It seemed to me that meaning number 3, "purpose", may be what you are looking for. Here is what is given:

  1. (mass noun) (purpose):
    What's the point of going on? ¿Qué sentido tiene seguir', ¿Para qué vamos a seguir';

The whole point of my trip was to see you. Justamente iba a viajar
(or he viajado etc) nadamás que para verte, or El único propósito de mi viaje era verte a ti;

There's no point or there isn't any point(in) feeling sorry for
yourself. No sirve de nada compadecerse.

Do any of those ideas help'

updated JUL 30, 2009
posted by Janice
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