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.
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?! ;-)
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~!!!
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.
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.
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.
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 :-)
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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."
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."
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.
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.