A Spanish student's best friend!

Translation from one language to another always poses a problem. Dictionaries alone aren’t enough. They never have the latest technological terms. New products aren’t in there either. For new products, I looked at the sales inserts of our local Spanish papers and most of the time I found the term I needed.

Now, with the Internet, there are all kinds of translators available. Sometimes students use them for their Spanish compositions. They write the composition in English first and then have the translator translate it for them. I can always tell when they use the translator because the composition looks as if it’s written in Spanish. However, the text is unintelligible. Yes, every word is in Spanish, but the wrong words were chosen and the syntax is all wrong. The students write a better composition if they write entirely in Spanish. Even when they make mistakes, I can still decipher their intended meaning.

Occasionally, when I need to translate a word that’s not in one of my many dictionaries, I go to the internet and use an online translator for a word or two. Not all the translations are satisfactory. I’ve discovered that makes a great translator. A student needed to translate jigsaw puzzle and none of my dictionaries had it. So I looked up jigsaw puzzle on Wikipedia and then I chose to read the article in Spanish got rompecabezas. For years, I’ve meaning to translate Daylight Saving Time into Spanish unsuccessfully. Today I looked it up on wikipedia and got el horario de verano. This method would work for many languages because most of the Wikipedia articles are translated into many languages.

Published by

David Diego Rodríguez, Ph.D.

I write about whatever comes to mind. También enseño español y escribo acerca de los mexicanos y la enseñanza del español.