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  5. "Las palabras se las lleva el…

"Las palabras se las lleva el viento."

Translation:Actions speak louder than words.

December 19, 2013



Fortunately I only had to type what I heard. It only took me about a dozen replays in the tortoise mode to figure out "lleva". Once I saw what I'd written, I still couldn't figure out what it meant. Before I started Duolingo, I thought I knew a little bit, but each day I find I know less and less. Soon I will know nothing.


To my suprise, "Words get carried away by the wind" is right aswell!!! Kaboom! Mind blown!!!


That's an accurate literal translation of the saying. On a more abstract, figurative level it corresponds to the English proverb: Actions speak louder than words. Good job!


aumbria, I'm sorry. i actually did "words get carried out the window" at the time. so yes; your mind is blown and so is mine. ;)


You can "edit" your own posts. I'm not saying you should edit them, but it appears you're using the "reply" function in lieu of editing. Just an FYI.


Well done, I weeks later whilst DL correct was mystified by the Spanish, llevar is so over loaded with many possible meanings


Wisdom is accepting that you know nothing


Even Jon Snow knows that.


Words are wind, my friend.


(Dem book references, doe)


Seems this user used up all knowledge and deactivated at "nada" ;-)


The verb sounds like "chiva".


She is probably Argentinian or Uruguayan. Ah, regional variation, another challenge for us beginners.


Hi David! There is a problem with the voice of the robot, it sound like double in the word " lleva", no es una variación regional. Saludos:)


Hmm, this is definitely not how it sounded 4 months ago. Then, it sounded like "cheva". That's why I suggested regional variation. Now, it seems like they have tried to fix it. It sounds like "lleva" but as if there are two recordings a little out of phase, as you suggest. Is that the "duo" in Duolingo?! ;-)


I played it over and over and over on slow mode and I still could not figure it out.

My best guess ended up being " tiuga", but I knew that wasn't going to be correct.


They say, "shjo soy", ay-shj-a, te shjamo, "cómo te shjamas", la shjama & so on to.


In Argentina (and maybe some other countries) "ll" is pronounced as an english "j" but in Spain its pronounced "y"


Wow....that was actually pretty deep, amigo.


All beginners get perplexed at one point by how little they know or even if they do have some basics by how much more is left for them to learn. Don't back down.


you know, my friend, that sounds good and all, but all beginners actually get perplexed by how ridiculous some of DL really is; for example, the title sentence is so out of whack with the alleged English translation that no one could possible make sense of it, especially since there is also a Spanish saying that much more accurately matches the English saying, actions speak louder than words, that being "las acciones hablan mas de las palabras". The above (subject) sentence translates nicely to "words are like dust in the wind", but that saying isn't offered as a fair translation; this is a point of frustration, not being ignorant~!!!


It's an idiom, try explaining raining cats & dogs. Learn the proverb equivalent proverbs, not translate word for word! That's the real lesson


Yes, and something to ignore unless you're into proverbs. I personally do not find any value in these so-called idioms, but I happily play along. I just provide a more word-for-word translation and Duo is generally very forgiving. So, we remain friends.

I doubt Duo will accept a partial lyric from Kansas as a "saying," but you never know. It was a Billboard top 10 hit after all.


the Tortoise Mode? Lol !! You're hilarious


I feel your pain!


Well, once you get to knowing nothing, perhaps you can find employment with DL ! lol


The answer, my friend...is blowin' in the wind.


I went for Bob Dylan too!


You must have missed because he hit Simon's guitar.


Is this, what it literally translates into?


I went for "You are like a hurricane"


can anyone explain this one?


Literally, this means something akin to 'Words are carried away by the wind." So, it's kind of like words carry no weight unless they are backed up by action. I hope that helps.


I wanted to try: <Words are but wind> but I don't think DL would have accepted it...


I did try that. It didn't. But I think it should, if this is the literal translation


where was the "by"?


Well, technically, it doesn't actually exist in the sentence. 'The wind carries away words' is probably a little more accurate in terms of sentence structure.


Now I get it. Thank you


I tried: "The words are blown to the wind." Too literal.


I put 'Words are taken away by the wind.' and it was accepted. 2017/6/20


There is no "blown" in the sentence. Only "taken" or "carried"


Nor is there any "actions" nor "louder" if we are into literalism. They choose to allow idiomatic translations which, in the English speaking world, are many and various. They should be equally valid.


Have you ever said or heard anyone actually say "my words are/get taken away by the wind"?


I am a native Spanish speaker, and the right meaning of this proverb is that words are not valid for the law, because they "fly up by the wind", only written agreements are valid for that purpose. So the Duolingo translation is not the right meaning of it, there is nothing to see with actions, but that you cannot trust on agreements which are only promised.


Thanks for the insight about how the phrase is used in Spanish. I'm guessing that your meaning would be "Put it down in writing" or something similar.

Still, I can see what Duolingo is trying to say with "Actions speak louder than words." That would translate as "Words are cheap" in American English.


Thank you, I did not know how it could be in American English. I appreciate it.


Sort of like: talk is cheap.


Why isn't the words are taken by the wind acceptable?


"Words are carried away by the wind" is accepted now.


Great, I guess. It's a more literal translation. ... The problem is that if you went around saying "Words are carried away by the wind" most English speakers would want to know what you've been smoking. :)


I'm a native English speaker, and "Words go up in smoke," my connotative translation," didn't get accepted. My first idea, however, was "Words ... wind."


I have no idea that's what I tried to. :l


I have dreaded completing the first idiom lesson for two reasons:

(1) while it's was fun to try to figure out the idioms, I've read very little commentary about how widespread and acurrate these idioms are. Appropriate in Spain, Latin America, Mexico, all Spanish speaking cultures? Do native speakers actually use these idioms or are they contrived by DL's bot?

(2) Practice Weak Skills is now dominated by idioms rather than allowing me to practice more fundamental Spanish. Sure, I can memorize the idioms, but see #1.

(3) wouldn't it be more helpful if DL would program the bot to create more sentences for Practice Weak Skills, rather than ad nauseum repetition of the same sentences (slightly altered at times)?

(4) OK, while I'm at it: DL has gone to sleep at the switch for personal pronunciation on iPads (true for tablets?). Two things are happening for me (maybe not you?) (a) DL doesn't recognize anything I say in Spanish, no matter how simple, so I just press "not now" after repeatedly getting "Hmm, that's doesn't sound quite right" OR (b)...this is funny. It works like a charm and marks me correct before I finish speaking. A few days ago, I answered "Thank goodness it's Friday" to some unrelated sentence I was supposed to speak in Spanish. I was marked "correct!" Gotta love that.

OK, I know the price is right for DL and I've learned a lot, but....


I am willing to bet there is no "bot" creating the sentences. I suspect the sentences are "human generated" and they are fed to a bot that parses the sentences and then puts together words taken from a sound library. As for idioms, I am surprised at the number of English speakers that are not familiar with common English idioms, I am sure it is the same with Spanish speakers. The only time I encounter ad nauseum repetition is when I make ad nauseum errors. Also repetition is necessary because you can have the spoken question, the english to spanish translation, the spanish to english translation and the multiple choice version. Given the Spanish written question is usually the easiest because it is a passive test, all the words are given to you and you don't need to search your memory. English to Spanish is more difficult as the onus is on you to select from any number of ways to translate the sentence. And you have to rely on a Spanish memory bank that is not as well developed as your native language. Multiple choice works another part of your brain in that you are given similar competing translations and you are being tested on how well you discriminate between similar choices and recognize the same sentence with just a gender difference. Actually DL's strength is it's mathematical basis for comparing user progress with differing testing techniques. DL is more or less a permanent work in progress because there are an almost infinite number of ways to intensify and speed the learning process. Testing infinite methods, as you might guess is a long and drawn out process so don't expect an ultimate version any time soon. However, if you are learning faster than DL is evolving it is time to travel to Spain, or download Spanish movies, or cultivate Spanish friends to supplement DL.


Roger, you're preaching to the choir and I respectfully submit that you missed my point almost entirely (especially the first one). I live in Ecuador and I swim in Spanish all day. I've run a couple of the idioms past natives here; they've never heard them; Ecuadorians are a small sample admittedly. I also love DL and have been one of its staunchest advocates. I also don't need the cognitive psychology "lecture" about learning theory. That was my profession, the way I put food on the table for decades.


I don't think I missed the point. I live in the US and have made a reasonable living from words and images. I know many native English speakers who don't recognize the English versions of these idioms. It is not that they are idiots, but they are are inordinately proud of how many books they have not read. As for being a "professional," they are the worst to discuss anything with as they know everything.


Roger, the chip on your shoulder must be a heavy one. As a professional, I learned something every day, or most every day. True professionals are open to discussion and continue to read more books to stay abreast of changes, nuances, et. al. That said, some professionals are stodgy and arrogant; most aren't. Methinks you are young and can defy gravity :-) One day wisdom will come if you're open to this sort of thing, I wish you the best...sincerely.


dude, if he says you missed HIS point, you did! he had an idea to say something, and you thought about it differently. I'm glad your being respectful to each other but just ask what herb means then.


Very good point, Alex! I don't intend to miss it. :)


Hey. Roger, I think you're right on! I' ve found DL a lot of fun, despite my mistakes and theirs. i'm not quite ready for News in Slow [Spanish] yet, but i think i've gained more confidence about trying to converse a bit with the bilingual gal who works for my cellphone provider when i next go in to pay my bill.


I excitedly got the idioms with my first lingots and

  • Totally agree on your point 1,2 and 3 , and about

  • your point 4: Everything I spoke into the microphone was alway right, even if I accidentally hit the record button twice, so that nothing was recorded. So I turned of the record function and maybe because of that I get asked more questions, which then brings up another point:

  • it is way to advanced for a beginner like me to have to translate an entire sentence into an entire other sentence with different vocabulary without even having been taught the single words before. So alltogether:

In my opinion idioms should grow on you - one lesson is enough to get to take a look into the evolution and culture of the spanish language.


And, as it turns out, Ecuadorians rarely use the idioms generated by DL; Argentinians and Colombians don't either based on conversations with a small sample of them. They have cool alternatives...refrascas is the word I was taught for idioms. Mark Twain and Ben Franklin would have been proud :-)


Argentina here. I can't speak for the whole country but at least in Buenos Aires, most of these idioms ("refranes" for us) are common place.


Jorge, muchas gracias por tu aclaración.. As I said, my sample size for Argentina was small. Two Argentinians who still live here in Cuenca. I play music with both of them at local clubs. My comment is so old that I cannot remember some idioms they told me were common in Córdoba.


Yes! the IPad practice goes the same random approval or rejection for me. So I just skip it after trying yelling or whispering. I didn't try nonsense phrases, but might as well have. I will pay for an upgrade if it works well enough, so it is in the best interests for even the freebee to work well. Also, some of the English is not grammatically correct. I have not corrected, but would like to do so.


I suspect that this is part of the overall Duo program. It's probably some sort of logarithm collecting a sufficient number of objections. When that number is reached, staff probably looks at the issue. With millions of people contributing, it probably takes a while for all of the relevant feedback to get addressed.


Maybe someone find this useful:

"SE" in this sentence are using as a reflexive pronoun (himself, herself, itself, themselves) which change verb ''llevar- carry'' to reflexive ''llevarse - carry by itself''.

''LAS'' after the ''SE'' is a direct object pronoun which change the object ''Las palabras'' to direct object. Without ''LAS" the sentence "Las palabras se lleva el viento" would mean: ''The words by themselves carry the wind'' instead of ''The wind by itself carry the words''.


While your effort to help is laudable and should be encouraged, I do not agree with your explanations.

First, llevarse is not a reflexive verb. There is no himself, herself, etc. implied. It is what is called a pronominal verb and has a different meaning than the non-pronominal form, llevar. In this sentence, it means the wind takes/carries the words wherever it happens to be blowing. Duo translates it as the words being taken or carried away.

Second, "las" is the direct object complement to "las palabras," which I believe is what you were trying to say and that is correct. However, you can't just omit it. Removing "las" would not switch the role of subject and object. It would simply render the sentence ungrammatical. "las palabras" still cannot be the subject because "se lleva" is singular. If "el viento" is not the subject, then some unidentified he/she/it must be. If you assume the latter, then the whole sentence starts to sound like gibberish (not that the proverb is all that great.)

I apologize if I sound curt. I don't mean to be rude, but my comment is already too long for most people reading the discussions.


Muchas gracias por la explicación.


Many thanks, this was very confusing!


This may be helpful. "Llevarse" means "to transport." So the sentence is "the wind transports the words."


In case someone should be interested, an equivalent idiom for "actions speak louder than words" is, "obras son amores" or "obras son amores y no buenas razones" (full version).


Thank you for this, Conchita!


Why is lleva pronounced chiva


Sometimes Spanish-speakers add a bit more oomph to the sounds that are comparable with the English Y-sound. They'll do this in many words like "yo", "ayer", "llaves", etc. Another pronunciation nuance is the way that the letter V is often pronounced like a soft B, and the actual letter B is often pronounced softly as well, almost like a V. Regional accents do affect these things as well.


Because the "las" is run together with the "lleva" and it comes out sounding like "la sheva." Here is where it would be good to have a number of different voices run through a randomizer. At least one male voice would be helpful.


Yes I think alternative voices/regional pronunciations would be really helpful.


Sounds good on paper. However, how are the listeners supposed to know which pronunciation is from which region? If the listeners learn different pronunciations from different regions, they might sound ridiculous, like drunkards or ignorant, pretentious people.


If you use more than one source to learn Spanish you probably would anyway.


i think the ''sheva'' accent is from Argentina,in castellano(spain) as i know is ''yeva'' .i think duolingo's accent is latino no castellano


I'm pretty sure it's a regional thing


On normal speed she sounds drunk. I had to slow this one down


Should be pronounced 'yeva' the "ll" is a 'y' sound. Like in tortilla


"Words are wind."


All my book nerds say, "SNOW, SNOW, SNOW!"


Why is "away" necessary? ¨Words are carried by the wind" was rejected. Is it because lleva is reflexive here?


I am so confused. Please help


It helps me to think about translating it almost word for word: "The words itself them carries the wind," while the syntax in English would make more sense if it was "El viento se las lleva las palabras."


Note that llevarse is not reflexive in the sense you have tried to use it. The pronominal form merely changes the meaning of llevar from take/carry something to take/carry something away (with the subject).

I like that you rewrote the sentence to something a little more accessible to English speakers, though others may not realize that in subject-verb-object order you would actually omit "las." In any case, this word order would read something like, "wind carries away words" (the definite articles are optional, depending on how you apply the sentence).


Is this also correct? "El viento se las lleva las palabras."


"El viento se lleva las palabras", las has no sense in this sentence, it's right but sounds a bit strange


How is it actions speak louder than words?


It is very similar to our Turkish idiom "Lafla peynir gemisi yürümez " which means "u can say many things and give promises but if u do nothing then you wont reach anywhere.. you must do something "


Its more like, words are just dust in the wind. The spanish and english translation have no corralation.


I gave you a lingot because I love Kansas.


"Words are leaves, deeds are fruits." This is also a similar adage in English.


umm, it was EXTREMELY hard to know what it was saying...


Maybe you could consider it poetic language, like "Neither a borrower or a lender be." It would be a lot easier if the Spanish saying was something like "The wind blows words away."


Poor pnounciation of word "lleva"


Or someone from Argentina speaking "Porteño" Spanish where the ll and y sound like sh or in our example almost ch.


the audio voice pronounces lleva as CHEEVA. I listened to it 5 times and never got lleva. Is this really how lleva is pronounced??


Action speaks louder than words was not accepted and I think should be.


Maybe their database only compares entire idioms and no single words, which is why they probably were looking for "Actions speak..."

However, I think this should not be the case and Duolingo should find a way to handle idioms more flexible to accommodate cases like yours.


Could someone explain the meaning of "se" in this sentence?


I too wanted to understand it grammatically. (I know it is just an idiom.) What parts of speech are the "se" and especially the "las". How can one tell which is the subject and which is the direct object? Who can map it out for me?


A large number of Spanish verbs have these "pseudo reflexive" forms that change their meanings.

Llevarse is to steal, make off with, etc. "Words? The wind makes off with them" might be the best way to translate this.


The words are gone with the wind ☺


How do they get "action speaks louder than words" out of "the words are taken away by the wind?"


herb 13 - Totally agree with your comment re-sentences "ad nauseam" in the Strengthen Skills section. I feel as if I'm getting nowhere at present.


I'd like to see the literal translation of these proverbs, as it's hard to learn what the words mean if we're just given an English version of the saying.


Just try to give your own "literal translation" and Duo will grade you accordingly (i.e., it will correct the literal translation rather than how close you got to the proverb). One problem with so-called literal translations is that they may make absolutely no sense. It's one way to test your command of grammar I suppose, since sensibleness won't be much of a guide.


We used to use that to provoke a fight amongst two people that were arguing. In a situation like that action does a lot more than words


Literal translation is so much more poetic than the equivalent in English. Had to Google it to find out.


Gracias now am really confused


Why not accept the common saying "words are cheap". After all, there is no literal reference to actions as such.


¡Estoy de acuerdo, absolutamente!


I said "Talk is cheap," and it was accepted.


It told me that this means "actions speak louder then words." But the literal translation is something like words are taken the wind. I love spaniah but sometimes it makes no sense.


Doesn't the literal translation say " taken TO the wind", meaning blown away to nothing?


No, it's closer to "carried away by the wind."


"A las palabras se las lleva el viento"


Okay. So I think I finally understand this one, and why Duolingo translates it as "actions speak louder than words". So, the sentence means "words are carried away by the wind." This means that words don't have much weight and are easily carried away. It is implying that while words are easily carried away, actions aren't as easily carried away.


What is wrong with the translation "The wind steals the words" as a direct translation?


Probably because it is in the active form and the sentence in Spanish is in the passive? I have come to the firm conclusion that all these idioms are to be avoided.


To be clear, what you're saying is that, although llevarse is a common reflexive verb meaning "to carry off" or "to steal", in this case, we're using the non-reflexive form llevar in a passive (using se) way. However, note that llevar is conjugated as "lleva" which must be for the singular noun "el viento" and the direct object pronoun las matches the gender and plurality of "las palabras". Therefore, we can assume that "el viento" is the subject (hence induces the verb conjugation) and "las palabras" are the (direct) object. If this were in passive voice (using llevar with a passive se), it would need to be translated to something like: The wind is taken (by/to) the words. Though this can't be quite right since the appearance of the "las" as a direct object pronoun preceding the verb. Basically, trying to coerce this into passive voice doesn't make nearly as much sense as the active voice (using llevarse), which could be translated as I have above.

A sentence that would make sense in passive voice, which is not exactly this idiom is: Las palabras se llevan por el viento. This translates to "The words are taken by the wind."


Sounds as good as any valid alternative to me. Perhaps the problem is the word order. Did you try "words are stolen by the wind"?


regional pronunciation of lleva . . .really?


I don't quite understand why the answer first given when I got this wrong was " the words get takne away by the wind" but above is the idiom "actions speak louder than words". In the first instance I also fail to understand the role of "las" in the sentence when "las palabras" is clearly the subject of the sentence. Why the addition of a pronoun?


You should read through the comments (or do a search if you want to save time). I can't speak for Duo, so it's anybody's guess as to how they landed on "actions speak louder than words." According to one native Spanish speaker, it's a poor translation of the Spanish proverb.

As for "las," it's the complement to the object "las palabras." The subject of the sentence is "el viento." I think you got tripped up by the change in word order. There are a couple of clues that should have tipped you off.

First, the verb conjugation matches "el viento" not "las palabras" (i.e., lleva is singular).

Second, "las" is a clitic (unstressed object pronoun) that complements the direct object, which in this case is "las palabras." It is only necessary because "las palabras" is a direct object that precedes the verb. In other words, because the word order was switched, placing the object before the verb, we must include "las."


Is it grammatically incorrect or is it such a big difference in meaning if I wrote "the words are taken by the wind" instead of taken away..?:)


Well, kinda. The difference is in the use of llevarse rather than llevar. The "se" basically changes the meaning from "taken" to "taken away." The difference is actually not quite that subtle, but merely adding "away" is Duo's attempt to recognize the shift in meaning. The idea is that the wind is not just taking/carrying the words from one place to another (that's llevar). Rather, the wind is taking the words along with it wherever it's going. There's no implied destination. The words are just being taken away.


Love this, if correct...


Why isn't it "words lead the wind"?


A couple of reasons:

las palabras is the direct object, not the subject
llevarse doesn't mean lead, it means steal, take away, carry off


llava sounded like juega?


Anyone know why it's telling me a possible translation of "viento" is "guy rope"?


Yes. It's one of the definitions. It has nothing to do with the sentence here, however. So, you can file that definition away for a rainy day, especially if you're a sailor and expect to be working with guy lines.


This is alot harder than i thought it would be. Even checking the words meaning to come up with a sentence, its still wrong. Im feeling uneasy on these idioms.


Don't bother trying to make sense from the individual words. Just memorize the phrase and do a Google search to learn the meaning. The English proverb that Duo suggests is generally not too bad, but this is an inexact approach at best.

In any case, do not rely on native English speakers' interpretations. That's just the blind leading the blind.


What has the, "words take the wind" got to do with, "actions speak louder than words"???????


Absolutely nothing. Of course, "words take the wind" has absolutely nothing to do with the Spanish saying either. So, that's understandable.

You should read through at least some of the comments.


If only Duolingo will put the literal translation, so that we can understand the sentences. They really expect us to memorize them, and it is a shame.


I put llevo instead of lleva so i got the whole thing wrong :/

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