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Baptise, Perfecto de ndicativo (Present Perfect Indicative).....

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Can anyone help me with the this. I was watching a movie last night, and as usual had the Spanish sub-titles on. The actor asked another character:
How come you have never been baptised? The Spanish text read,
¿Porqué no te han bautizado?
Am I missing something with the use of te here? I thought the han indicated Uds, ellos or ellas. The question was clearly directed at one person, not a group. I would have thought the translation should have been,
¿Porqué ne te ha bautizado? Thanks. Vance

2053 views
updated ENE 30, 2009
posted by Vance-Moore2

5 Answers

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yeah, that's what i meant

lazarus1907 said:

steve said:

I would read it as Why haven't they baptized you, where the te is an indirect object

Direct object, actually.

>

updated ENE 30, 2009
posted by The-Steve
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steve said:

I would read it as Why haven't they baptized you, where the te is an indirect object

Direct object, actually.

:

Am I missing something with the use of te here? I thought the han indicated Uds, ellos or ellas. The question was clearly directed at one person, not a group. I would have thought the translation should have been, ¿Porqué ne te ha bautizado? Thanks. Vance

It is because, although the conjugation suggests "they", it is actually an impersonal sentence, and there is no real "they"; it could have been "he", "she" or "they". This is used in Spanish when we don't know exactly who did it, or it is not important:

Llaman a la puerta = Someone's knocking at the door
Te han llamado = Someone called you
Me han robado las llaves = I got my keys stolen (it is not stated who did it)
Me han nombrado presidente = I've been appointed president (it is not stated who did it)
Me han invitado a cenar = I've been invited for a dinner (it is not stated who did it)

In all cases, it could have been one person, or many, but not necessarily "they".

updated ENE 30, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
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Just to add to the good replies you've already received...

The passive voice is not used as much in Spanish as in English, so it is common for a passive construction in English to change into the active voice, in the third-person, in Spanish. The literal translation of "How come you have never been baptized'" (we spell it with a Z in the US) would be ¿Por qué nunca has sido bautizado', but that puts emphasis on the person who actually performed the baptism, and makes the listener wonder why that person is being indirectly referred to. As a very general rule, the passive voice is used in Spanish when the agent is mentioned (...sido...por...).

Another consideration with subtitles is the length of the sentence. Brevity is often given preference over accuracy.

By the way, "por qué" (why) is written as two words, while porque (because) is one.

updated ENE 30, 2009
posted by 00bacfba
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Third person plural is often used to make impersonal statements in Spanish. Steve's back-translation is accurate.

I could be wrong, but "¿Porqué no te has bautizado'" sounds more like "Why haven't you baptized yourself'"

updated ENE 30, 2009
posted by Natasha
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I would read it as Why haven't they baptized you, where the te is an indirect object

updated ENE 30, 2009
posted by The-Steve
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