Tomas ws listening to the radio ?Tomas escuchaba la radio'.

0
votes

Okay, so I was doing a translation online for two sentences for my paper.

The first-1. Tomas ws listening to the radio, which is translated "Tomas escuchaba la radio". But how come it's not Tomas escuchaba a la radio.

The second- He wasn't asking a queston, which is translated as **"ÿl no hacía una pregunta." **Why is "hacer" used in the sentence''? I have no clue.

Thank you, any help clarifiying these two translations is deeply appreciated!!!

-Vivi

6225 views
updated JUL 12, 2009
posted by Vivi0808

19 Answers

0
votes

Thank you, Fulano. That reels this whole thing back in to what we're all getting at. As I said, I think Lazarus and you and I are saying the same thing, and this has come down to semantics.

When we take some of the definitions of "hacer", the ones you provided on post #14, and apply them to the context of "hacer una pregunta", do you agree that it here means "preguntar"? Here are the definitions again:

hacer

  1. tr. Junto con algunos nombres, significa la acción de los verbos que se forman de la misma raíz que dichos nombres; así, hacer estimación, es estimar; hacer burla, burlarse.

Real Academia Española © Todos los derechos reservados
Your question here is one of a different genus. Now you are asking me if a Spanish word within a specific context has a certain meaning in Spanish. What Lazarus was addressing was assigning a definition to a word based on an isolated contextual/idiomatic English translation.

No, I don't agree that "hacer" here means 'preguntar.? If it did, you could substitute your meaning for it in its context, and it would make sense. 'preguntar una pregunta? ? Doesn't work. "Hacer una pregunta", the entire expression, means 'preguntar.? Like Lazarus said, in Spanish, we don't 'ask? questions, we 'make? them. In English we ask/put/form/pose questions, but you wouldn't use this expression to say in Spanish, 'La palabra 'put? significa 'preguntar'.? (Would you say in Spanish, "La palabra 'ask' significa 'hacer'"')

That established, yes, here the expression means "preguntar", only because the word "hacer" meets the condition of the quoted definition: "Junto con algunos nombres, significa la acción de los verbos que se forman de la misma raíz que dichos nombres". If you'll review the DRAE entry, you will notice that NONE of the 45 transitive and intransitive definitions given give any allusion to the concept of "preguntar", and neither do any of the 13 pronominal definitions nor any of the multitudinous idiomatic expressions--I looked. (#19, which you quote above, only allows for this meaning when joined with the noun pregunta.)

As Lazarus has stated, there is no other instance where you can say, "'Hacer' means/is defined as 'to ask'." You can, however, say, "'Hacer una pregunta' means 'to ask a question'." You would probably never say, "'Hacer' means/is defined as 'to mock'," but you can say, "'Hacer burla' means 'to mock'." Nor would we say that "tener" means "to be," but we would say that "tener calor" means "to be hot."

The problem with making statements such as, "'Hacer' means 'to ask'" (especially to beginners), is that, without the accompanying noun, one can assume then that the following would be correct:
Ask me if I care. = Hazme si me importa. (wrong)
I asked him for a pen. = Le hice para un boli. (wrong)

That is the point that Lazarus was making (forgive me for speaking for him) and with which I was concurring. I don't imagine you would keep silence if you saw some American posting in some thread that "'hacer' means 'to paint'," and then quoting the Spanishdict.com bilingual dictionary entry as proof.

The broader point I'm trying to make, though, is that there's no short and sweet definition out of context, and although I see that you've tried to define your own terms on post #14 afterwards, I'm not surprised to see the lack of any authorative source corroborating the distinctions you're making. I'm still on the side of "every dictionary out there".
Agreed, there is no way to take one of the broadest verbs in the Spanish language and confine it to a short and sweet definition, excluding or encompassing all contexts. You can't do that in Spanish, much less in English. I'm still not sure what kind of "authoritative source" you are looking for me to provide, or as to what (the difference between a word's definition in its own language and all the many ways it can be translated in a certain other language in an infinite number of contexts'''). Evidently the references I gave you were not what you had in mind, since you don't acknowledge them. You speak as though "every dictionary out there" denies or tears down this distinction. I would think the fact that one Spanish word has to be translated by so many different and distinct English words (and vice versa) would corroborate that distinction. Allow me one illustration.

My paperback New Merriam-Webster Dictionary has 40 definitions for the very broad verb "go," in addition to numerous entries related to idioms, syntax, expressions, etc. In English, in all 40 of those definitions, it still means "go"--plain and simple. There are different senses, different connotations, etc., and each meaning may have its own synonyms in English, but "go" means "go"; it does not mean "rise," for example. But in my bilingual dictionary, one of the abundant contextual translations is "go up" = "subir." So does "go" mean "subir"? Does it mean "rise"?

to go cold = enfriarse
to go crazy = volverse loco
to go before = preceder
Etc., ad nauseam

"Go" does not mean "enfriarse", "volverse", or "preceder". You get the point. "Go" means the forty things the dictionary says it does--in English. It does not mean anything in Spanish. It is translated according to its context. Its approximate counterpart in Spanish is "ir", but again, it does not always equate to that. We need to get away from the idea that words have exact equivalents across language lines. Words are expressions of concepts and ideas, which are based on culture, among other things. Aside from some very basic or very technical terms, the translation of most words between English and Spanish varies according to the context.

updated JUL 10, 2009
posted by hhmdirocco
0
votes

You make our point exactly, Fulano!! That is why I quoted definitions for the word hacer from RAE and gave contextual and idiomatic translations from Harrap's Spanish - English/English-Spanish.

I'm glad that you call the entries in the RAE dictionary definitions, because that's what they are. And I'm sure you also see that the definitions are multiple, and that they depend on context. I really hope we agree on that now, and that I'm not wasting my time here. OK. When we take some of the definitions of "hacer", the ones you provided on post #14, and apply them to the context of "hacer una pregunta", do you agree that it here means "preguntar"? Here are the definitions again:

hacer

  1. tr. Junto con algunos nombres, significa la acción de los verbos que se forman de la misma raíz que dichos nombres; así, hacer estimación, es estimar; hacer burla, burlarse.

Real Academia Española © Todos los derechos reservados
The broader point I'm trying to make, though, is that there's no short and sweet definition out of context, and although I see that you've tried to define your own terms on post #14 afterwards, I'm not surprised to see the lack of any authorative source corroborating the distinctions you're making. I'm still on the side of "every dictionary out there".

Have a nice day. smile

updated JUL 10, 2009
posted by FulanoMcDuck
0
votes

Moe,

I think you are missing the difference between the word's definition, and its translation when coupled with the object pregunta.

I'm sorry, both you and Lazarus have veered completely off course on this one, crashed into a tree, gotten out of the car, and continued knocking your heads against all the other trees in the surrounding area.

There's no such thing as DEFINING a word - in another language, to boot - out of context, and then trying to differentiate that from a translation. If you believe that there is, please provide some kind of reference.

If there were, you'd get absurd results, and Lazarus ironically gave a good example of that when he made "make" mean "unmake".

Lazarus: your own trusty Collins translates "hacer" as both ask, tie, write, build, pay, work and several others. And yes, of course it's based on what context we're in. I'm sure you must have seen that before? No te hagas el payaso. wink

You make our point exactly, Fulano!! That is why I quoted definitions for the word hacer from RAE and gave contextual and idiomatic translations from Harrap's Spanish - English/English-Spanish.

My point is that you can't take an idiomatic expression, or what is so in the translation, and form a definition from that. You wouldn't say that because "to flip out" means "to go crazy" that the definition of "flip" is "to go"!

No puedes decir que, debido a que "to be ten years old" significa "tener diez años", ahora la definición de "tener" es "to be"!

This semantics is deteriorating rapidly, Fulano, and you're not helping!

If you want an expample of a dictionary "defining" words in another language, look no further than the one on this site. Look up anything, say "insinuar" http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/insinuar
or "topar" http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/topar

There you have it ... in addition to translations, English definitions/explanations of Spanish words.

Así que ...

¡No te hagas el PATO! tongue wink

updated JUL 9, 2009
posted by hhmdirocco
0
votes

Lazarus1907:

I hope that I understood what you wrote in your entry above at 8:38PM. In my own defence, I explained to Vivi0808, that our own SpanishDict.com on-line dictionary gave "to ask? as one definition of 'hacer'. I've reproduced the definition below.

You've been emphatic in defending the concept that 'hacer? does not mean 'to ask'. For example, you wrote;

'please, don't say that 'hacer? means 'to ask? only because 'to ask? in English means so many things: 'hacer? does not mean 'to ask'.you also wrote

'hacer? is not defined as 'to ask? ANYWHERE!

Where are errors in our on-line dictionary to be reported? Here is what to me is the offending entry:

**hacer

transitive verb

  1. to do (realizar) (estudios, experimento, favor); to make (viaje, sacrificio, promesa); to take (comunión); to ask (pregunta)**

Copyright © 2006 Chambers Harrap Publishers Limited**

Moe,

I think you are missing the difference between the word's definition, and its translation when coupled with the object pregunta.

See my Post # 8 above, the last part.

This site's bilingual dictionary, and all bilingual dictionaries, give you a way to translate the word to the target language in given contexts, which are sometimes idiosyncratic to that target language. That is the case here. It is correct English to say "make/put/form a question" (definition of hacer), but it is much more common to say "ask a question," and thus the contextual translation "to ask."

Another example is in this same entry that you quoted from this site's bilingual dictionary: "to take (comunión)". I would imagine that no dictionary would define hacer as "to take," but that is the way it is translated into English in this context/with this object. Further down it says "to paint (retrato)", etc.

There are other examples in my bilingual dictionary:

hacer una fiesta = to have a party

hacer un poema = to write a poem

hacer la carne = to cook the meat

hacer un edificio nuevo = to put up a new building

hacer sombra = to give shade

hacer guardia = to be on duty

estoy haciendo segundo = I'm in my second year

hacer pedazos = to tear into pieces

hacer el tonto = to act the fool

hacer del malo de la película = to play the villain of the movie

hacer el papel = to play the part

hacer frío = to be cold

hacer tic-tac = to go tick-tock

hace diez semanas = ten weeks ago

You see, this is how the word is translated, not how it is defined. Who would say that hacer is defined as "to tear" or "to be" or "to give" or "to ~ago~"? It is idiomatic.

Here's an interesting note for all:

hacer

  1. tr. Junto con algunos nombres, significa la acción de los verbos que se forman de la misma raíz que dichos nombres; así, hacer estimación, es estimar; hacer burla, burlarse.

Real Academia Española © Todos los derechos reservados

This is the case with "hacer pregunta" ... = "preguntar" = "to ask a question".

Another example: hacer daño = dañar = "to cause damage"

There are countless other expressions in Spanish with which we could distinguish between the definition of the verb and the translation of the expression into English:

Tener hambre = "to be hungry"

Cumplir años = "to turn (a certain number of) years"

Poner nervioso = "to make nervous"

Tocar(te) = "to be (your) turn"

Who would say that "tener" means "to be"? Yet we don't say, "I have hunger."

Who would say that "cumplir" is defined as "to turn"? Yet we don't say, "I'm completing ten years (old)."

Et cetera.

A definition is an (usually at length, multi-word) explanation of the meaning and usage of a word, sometimes to include synonyms.

Example:

hacer - 3. tr. Ejecutar, poner por obra una acción o trabajo. Hacer prodigios. U. a veces sin determinar la acción. No sabe qué hacer. U. t. c. prnl. No sabe qué hacerse

Real Academia Española © Todos los derechos reservados

A translation is an (usually short, one- or two-word) equivalent or rendering of a word in its context, into the target language.

Example:

hacer - to make; to do

© hhmdirocco y todo los demás del mundo, Ninguno de los derechos reservados

updated JUL 9, 2009
posted by hhmdirocco
0
votes

Now, if "ask" means "to put a question", why do you have to "put a question a question" in "ask a question"? It is completely redundant.

You are welcome to point out any of the countless illogical things you can find in Spanish, but "hacer" is not defined as "to ask" ANYWHERE! It does not mean to ask: it means "to make/do".

Very good point, Lazarus. There are logical inconsistencies in every language I have studied, but the more I learn of other languages, the more I feel that English has the most logical inconsistencies of any of the languages with which I am familiar.

I guess one possible explanation/justification for why we "ask a question" would be that we use the same verb for the two different concepts we know in Spanish as "pedir" and "preguntar." Although it is redundant, it does serve somewhat to clarify (even though it may be argued, and correctly, that the context would clarify that).

As you know, in English we use both "Ask him," and "Ask him your question." What is the difference? I don't know, any more than I know the difference between "Pregúntale," and "Hazle tu pregunta," (in the same context, of course, e.g., the above sentences had been preceeded by "I would like to ask him a question/Quisiera hacerle una pregunta.") Maybe that "Pregúntale" would imply that there was a specific question to ask, I'm not sure.

For a while I had a hard time understanding why Spansish was redundant in this area: "Heme aquí. Envíame a mí" or "Llévanos a nosotros". But later I grew to understand and appreciate the emphatic function that the redundancy adds, which is many times, in this context, supplied by tonal changes in English.

..."hacer" is not defined as "to ask" ANYWHERE! It does not mean to ask: it means "to make/do".

Precisely!

"Hacer" is defined as "to make/do."
"Hacer" is translated "to ask" when its object is "pregunta."

Bilingual dictionaries give translations based on various definitions and applications.

updated JUL 9, 2009
posted by hhmdirocco
0
votes

Ahhh...I see, Thanks guys for all of your help!!!

updated JUL 9, 2009
posted by Vivi0808
0
votes

Okay, so I was doing a translation online for two sentences for my paper.

The first-1. Tomas ws listening to the radio, which is translated "Tomas escuchaba la radio". But how come it's not Tomas escuchaba a la radio.

The second- He wasn't asking a queston, which is translated as **"ÿl no hacía una pregunta." **Why is "hacer" used in the sentence''? I have no clue.

Thank you, any help clarifiying these two translations is deeply appreciated!!!

-Vivi

If you look at the definition of escuchar from the dictionary here you will see that the <> is not needed.

escuchar-to listen to

To answer the second question you have to understand the error in trying to translate a language word for word.
In English we use the verb to ask a question. In Spanish they say hacer a question. That is not saying that Spanish speakers say make or do a question, but that hacer means to ask in this context. The choice of verbs will vary from language to language to express the same action. It would be incorrect to say pedir una pregunta or preguntar una pregunta just because those verbs mean to ask for or to question in other contexts.

updated JUL 9, 2009
posted by 0074b507
0
votes

Moe,

I think you are missing the difference between the word's definition, and its translation when coupled with the object pregunta.

I'm sorry, both you and Lazarus have veered completely off course on this one, crashed into a tree, gotten out of the car, and continued knocking your heads against all the other trees in the surrounding area.

There's no such thing as DEFINING a word - in another language, to boot - out of context, and then trying to differentiate that from a translation. If you believe that there is, please provide some kind of reference.

If there were, you'd get absurd results, and Lazarus ironically gave a good example of that when he made "make" mean "unmake".

Lazarus: your own trusty Collins translates "hacer" as both ask, tie, write, build, pay, work and several others. And yes, of course it's based on what context we're in. I'm sure you must have seen that before? No te hagas el payaso. wink

updated JUL 9, 2009
posted by FulanoMcDuck
0
votes

Oops! A who' lotta editin' 'n' postin' went on while I was a writin'!

(Ignora esto si estás aprendiendo inglés.)

updated JUL 9, 2009
posted by hhmdirocco
0
votes

Don't take me seriously, Moe. I've just had a rough day, and I'm a bit grumpy, but I challenge those guys from the Chambers to come up with a question where "hacer" means "to ask" without adding the word "question" ("pregunta"). If they can't provide an example, I will argue that "to make" in English also means "to unmake", since you could say "make a destruction", so "make" means "unmake". Nonsense!

updated JUL 9, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

Lazarus1907:

I hope that I understood what you wrote in your entry above at 8:38PM. In my own defence, I explained to Vivi0808, that our own SpanishDict.com on-line dictionary gave "to ask? as one definition of 'hacer'. I've reproduced the definition below.

You've been emphatic in defending the concept that 'hacer? does not mean 'to ask'. For example, you wrote;

'please, don't say that 'hacer? means 'to ask? only because 'to ask? in English means so many things: 'hacer? does not mean 'to ask'.you also wrote

'hacer? is not defined as 'to ask? ANYWHERE!

Where are errors in our on-line dictionary to be reported? Here is what to me is the offending entry:

**hacer
transitive verb

  1. to do (realizar) (estudios, experimento, favor); to make (viaje, sacrificio, promesa); to take (comunión); to ask (pregunta)**

Copyright © 2006 Chambers Harrap Publishers Limited**

updated JUL 9, 2009
posted by Moe
0
votes

I guess one possible explanation/justification for why we "ask a question" would be that we use the same verb for the two different concepts we know in Spanish as "pedir" and "preguntar."

That's why I said that "to ask" also means "to request" (pedir), and since you can request anything, "to ask a question" clarifies that you are making a question, and not requesting anything else.

"Hacer" is translated "to ask" when its object is "pregunta."

Let's translate this into Spanish: "Hacer" significa "preguntar" si el complemento directo es "pregunta". Si la palabra "pregunta" no aparece, "hacer" nunca significa "preguntar", pero por supuesto, la presencia o ausencia de la palabra "pregunta" es pura coincidencia, ya que "hacer" también significa "preguntar"... si la palalabra "pregunta" también se usa, y singifica "trabajar" si decimos "hacer un trabajo", y significa "tontear" si decimos "hacer el tonto"... ¡"Hacer" debe de tener más de 1000 significados! cheese

updated JUL 9, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

I guess one possible explanation/justification for why we "ask a question" would be that we use the same verb for the two different concepts we know in Spanish as "pedir" and "preguntar."

That's why I said that "to ask" also means "to request" (pedir).

Got it. Sorry. You edited your post after I quoted it and was writing my response.

updated JUL 9, 2009
posted by hhmdirocco
0
votes

That is not saying that Spanish speakers say make or do a question, but that hacer means to ask in this context.

To answer your 2nd question, "hacer is used because it means "to ask".

Sorry guys, but "hacer" does not mean "to ask": it means "to make/do".

English "appears to be" quite illogical here (as Spanish is in other situations), so don't make bad generalizations. Look at the definitions:

ask (QUESTION)
to put a question to someone, or to request an answer from someone:
© Cambridge University Press 2009.

Now, if "ask" means "to put a question", why do you have to "put a question a question" in "ask a question"? It is completely redundant. In Spanish we say "to make a question", or simply "to ask", but not both, because it sounds like "to question a question" or "to ask an ask". Of course, the meaning stated above is the main one in Spanish, and in English you have some extra ones, but the above meaning requires no extra "question" word to make sense, and that's what happen in Spanish: we don't put questions questions; we just "make" questions.

Let's re-cap:

To ask = to put a question
To ask a question = '''? = to put a question a question''''''''?

This apparent redundancy is mainstream because "to ask" also means "to request", and you can request things other than questions, so the word "question" is necessary, but in languages where "preguntar" and similar verbs only mean "to put a question", but not "to request", it is pointless and illogical to say "to put a question a question". So, please, don't say that "hacer" means "to ask" only because "to ask" in English means so many things: "hacer" does not mean "to ask".

You are welcome to point out any of the countless illogical things you can find in Spanish, but "hacer" is not defined as "to ask" ANYWHERE! It does not mean to ask: it means "to make/do". As soon as you remove the word "question", there is no way "hacer" means "to ask", because it doesn't. A sentence like "ask you a favour" you cannot use "hacer", because "hacer" does not mean "to ask". The sentence "hacer un favor" means "to make a favour", not "to ask a favour". Their meanings are opposite. "Hacer" does not mean "ask" or anything remotely close.

updated JUL 9, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

ah yes, ID not DO - thanks!

updated JUL 9, 2009
posted by Inc├│gnito