HomeQ&AHow far is it to Babylon?

How far is it to Babylon?

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Hi all, I'm Mark (44). Lived in Spain/S. Am for a few years in my youth.

Here´s a teaser.

As far as I can tell you can´t translate the question in the subject line. You can say: "¿Babylon está lejos? ANS Sí/No

Or you can say ¿A cuántos km está Babylon? ANS a number.

But you can´t ask a question to which the answer is "a long way", "quite far", "bloody miles", etc.

In Latin America I´ve heard the construction ¿Cómo tan grande es el autobús? from a passenger anxious to know whether he would be able to get on the next one. But I feel that this is translated from English, and I´ve never heard it in Spain.

1941 views
updated ABR 9, 2009
posted by mdepps

6 Answers

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How about "¿Cuán lejos queda Babilonia'" and "¿Qué tan grande es el autobús'"

updated ABR 9, 2009
posted by LadyDi
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¿En tu país tampoco se dice Babilonia, como en el resto del mundo hispanohablante'

updated ABR 9, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
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Hi mdepps, 'qué tan lejos? or 'cómo tan grande? sound too odd to me. You'll never hear anyone say both sentences, at least in Spain.
However, I've always heard ¿Cómo de grande es el autobús? instead ¿Cómo tan grande es el autobús'

updated ABR 9, 2009
posted by iker
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No sé cómo lo digan en España pero en mi país es de uso común, otro ejemplo:

¿Qué tanto me falta para llegar'

updated ABR 9, 2009
posted by AntMexico
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Hmm that´s similar to my bus example.

I think this is a Spain v Latin America split. I have never heard "qué tan lejos" or "cómo tan grande" in Spain.

My theory is that Mexicans have been more influenced by their English speaking neighbours than Spaniards and have imported this construction to fill a gap.

As a Mexican are you aware of this use in the "peninsula"'

updated ABR 9, 2009
posted by mdepps
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Q. ¿Qué tan lejos queda Babylon?

R. Muy lejos, faltan como 2 horas.
R2. No mucho, ya casi llega.

updated ABR 9, 2009
posted by AntMexico
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