Her name is... Su nombre es... Ella nombre es... tiene diez años... diez años edad...

0
votes

I'm writing a small essay about myself for my spanish class and I tend to check things with your online translator. I know, being automated, it's not perfect, but I wanted to double check my understanding on this. I want to say (basically):
"We have a son. His name is Zach and he is fourteen years old. We also have a daughter. Her name is Zoe and she is ten years old."
So, from what I've learned in my class, it would be:
"Tenemos un hijo. El nombre es Zach y él tiene catorce años. También tenemos una hija. Ella nombre es Zoe y tiene diez años."
But it sounds like I'm saying "The name is Zach" and in the online translator, it comes up as "Su nombre es Zach". I thought "Su" was just formal for "Tu". And "El" and Ella" were "he/his" and "She/her". I'm a little confused. and also, the translator changed his age to read "el es catorce años edad." That makes sense "fourteen years of age" but why did it change one and not the other (My daughter's age) and it's not the way we've learned (so far, anyways, it's just Spanish 1). is one way "more correct" than the other'

15799 views
updated ABR 14, 2012
posted by SuFavoritoTek

11 Answers

0
votes

SuFavoritoTek said:

So what I'm hearing here is... Don't trust the machine translator!

When to use a machine translator? When you have a text in front of you a foreign language, you don't understand a word, and you want to get an idea of what it says without spending a whole year learning grammar and vocabulary. The translations, most likely, will have flaws, but since it has been translated into your own language, you'll be able to filter the nonsense and the in corrections, and make some sense out of the whole thing. Depending on the text to translate, some parts are more or less likely to result in an unintelligible translation, but at least you'll be qualified to make such a decision in your own language.

Use a machine translator to convert your native tongue into a foreign language? If you just want to be understood, because you either need it, or because you don't care how bad it sounds... this is definitely your best tool.

Language relies on implicit knowledge (things that "everbody knows"), context, social interaction rules, illogical rules about human understanding and feelings, common sense, and probability when it comes to deciding among several possible interpretations, connotations, implications, and many other factors. Machines can't do this, so they can't translate.

updated NOV 7, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

Just to add one more thing: su can also mean its- Mira, el pájaro ya está en su nido. (its nest). su = his/her/your/ their/ and of course its.

updated NOV 6, 2008
posted by ltigo
0
votes

In general, don't use the subject pronouns in Spanish unless you need them for clarification or emphasis (which isn't very often). This comes up frequently on the forum. Here's one thread where it's been discussed before:

[url=http://my.spanishdict.com/forum/topic/show'id=1710195%3ATopic%3A571165]http://my.spanishdict.com/forum/topic/show'id=1710195%3ATopic%3A571165[/url]

Su can mean his, hers, theirs, or yours (formal), as you suggest.

SuFavoritoTek said:

So what I'm hearing here is... Don't trust the machine translator! (and yes, I have a big smile on my face, right now). Thank you everyone!!! But you do use "Su" has a formal version of "Tu" right? Did I get that part right? and from now on, I use "Su" when i want to say "His/Her"! Don't ever use "El/Ella" for anything? Or just not for "His/Her"?

>

updated NOV 6, 2008
posted by Natasha
0
votes

Not at all. It was about someone else who evidently wrote a homework essay in English, plugged it into the translator, and posted the result for us to correct.

Your post is fine, and clearly you are making an effort to actually learn the language. We just were emphasizing (perhaps a little too strongly) that the online translator makes mistakes.

SuFavoritoTek said:

At 8:49pm on November 5th, 2008, Natasha said? P.S. I didn't mean to be overly sarcastic about the person posting a machine translation. (It gets a bit frustrating when so many people post chat-talk text messages or want us to do their homework.) Thanks for pointing out the problem.

Is this regarding my post?

>

updated NOV 6, 2008
posted by Natasha
0
votes

At 8:49pm on November 5th, 2008, Natasha said?
P.S. I didn't mean to be overly sarcastic about the person posting a machine translation. (It gets a bit frustrating when so many people post chat-talk text messages or want us to do their homework.) Thanks for pointing out the problem.

Is this regarding my post'

updated NOV 6, 2008
posted by SuFavoritoTek
0
votes

So what I'm hearing here is... Don't trust the machine translator! (and yes, I have a big smile on my face, right now). Thank you everyone!!! But you do use "Su" has a formal version of "Tu" right? Did I get that part right? and from now on, I use "Su" when i want to say "His/Her"! Don't ever use "El/Ella" for anything? Or just not for "His/Her"'

updated NOV 6, 2008
posted by SuFavoritoTek
0
votes

I thought "Su" was just formal for "Tu". And "El" and Ella" were "he/his" and "She/her".

ÿl (with the accent mark) and ella are "he" and "she". You wouldn't use them for "his" or "her". (I think they were called subject pronouns back when I was in high school... but I could be wrong). Use "su" for his/her (in this case, anyway).

p.s. Don't trust the machine translator. smile

updated NOV 5, 2008
posted by Valerie
0
votes

Using the online translator is a bad idea . . . for many reasons, but basically computers aren't smart enough to handle the job.

You're welcome to post your essay attempts on the forum, if they're not too long, in the "Proofreading" category. I think you'll find that the forum members are friendly and very helpful.

updated NOV 5, 2008
posted by Natasha
0
votes

eseana said:

Tenemos un hijo. Su nombre es Zach y él es catorce años de edad. También tenemos una hija. Su nombre es Zoe y tiene diez años. that is what it is supposed to be

No, it is not. You don't say "es catorce años", but "tiene catorce años".

And don't say "él" and "ella". It is not natural in Spanish.

updated NOV 5, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

Tenemos un hijo. Su nombre es Zach y él es catorce años de edad. También tenemos una hija. Su nombre es Zoe y tiene diez años.
that is what it is supposed to be

updated NOV 5, 2008
posted by eseana
0
votes

"Tenemos un hijo. El nombre es Zach y él tiene catorce años. También tenemos una hija. Ella nombre es Zoe y tiene diez años."

You said in English "his name", but in Spanish "the name", which not right in that sentence.
You said in English "her name", but in Spanish "she name", which is very wrong in that sentence.

Correct those two, and the sentences will be fine. Clue: "su" = "his/her".
Ah! Don't trust the machine translator, and whatever you do, don't write "él" or "ella".

:

the translator changed his age to read "el es catorce años edad." That makes sense

No, it doesn't make sense and it is horribly wrong. Don't trust the machine translator!

P.S. Don't trust the machine translator!

updated NOV 5, 2008
posted by lazarus1907