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"El comandante habla con el coronel."

Translation:The commander speaks with the colonel.

January 28, 2013



It seems a bit strange to be learning so many terms related to the military or royalty. I don't speak about these things much in English... wouldn't it be more useful to be learning terms like 'dentist', 'barista', 'plumber', etc.? Jobs one encounters day to day instead of in fantasy novels and war films?


I don't know about you, but I don't plan on traveling to Spain/Latin America as often as I plan on watching Spanish TV/film and reading Spanish books/articles. For that, knowing such words will greatly help.


That's a good point because watching movies with Spanish subtitles turned on is a major goal of mine. Currently, all I can catch are but a few words now and then. What I hope to find is a move with simple ordinary conversations, and not much of it, so I can watch the movie a number of times so I know what the actors say in English, so I can relate it to the Spanish subtitles as they go.


Eugene - have you investigated the telenovelas? I started finding TV series on Amazon and Now TV like Isabel and Gran Hotel. They have English subtitles (and a lot of comandants and colonels - I have learnt to dismiss servants with panache!) I've just discovered Mitele.es which has tons of TV series but maybe not with subtitles. When I first started watching Spanish films it was hard to hear any words. Then some words stood out, then phrases. When I started Isabel I could understand a quarter of what they were saying. At the end of Gran Hotel I'm picking up 75%. Isabel - they speak clearly, Gran Hotel - they speak very fast or mumble.


Very interesting, Anne. Thanks for all that.


Do you know other sites where I can watch spanish series/films with/without english subtitles? Gracias!


Try Destinos. It's made for Spanish beginners, but it soon progresses, and is quite informative. It's good for practicing conversational Spanish.


Hulu also has a number of telenovelas with subtitles. And Netflix has a growing selection as well.


I love Gran Hotel.!! Going to watch it again soon!!


Clever Question , I Agree


You might not use military terms in your everyday life, but there are plenty of people using this app who do.


I question whether the number of people who do outnumber those who do not.


If you really want to learn how to speak spanish, why does it matter if you use it in everyday life or not it's useful when you need it just like English you don't use every word every day but when you need that word and it's useful


But there is a great likelihood that there are many using this app because they are in the army and gave the likelihood of being stationed in a foreign country that does not use English.


When you live in a military city (Tampa) who has a diverse mix of culture including a significant Hispanic population, it's nice to know these terms even if it's just for conversation and not formal address. I may not be a member myself, but the military and their families are deeply rooted in this community.


I was wondering the same man :). But I remember when was once trying to prepare vocabulary list for my sister according to the frequency dictionary, which was made from the words taken from subtitles website. And sometimes you wonder how can be some words used more than other, for example death, murder, die, kill, colonel etc. are very usual... So I bet they choose the vocabulary with help of frequency dictionary, possibly words from tv shows.


Yes, if you study the section "yo sé español quiero aprender ingles" , duolingo doesn't teach terms related to the military


wouldn't it be he speaks with HIS colonel?


That would be "su coronel".


Thanks! Really appreciate the help...


my thoughts exactly


If we report a problem, can the admins fix the stupid way we spell colonel in English?


Think of how awesome the sentence would be if the commander were speaking to a popcorn kernel.


From my time in the military I can tell you that most commanders spend their whole careers not speaking to their colons, but speaking from their colons. Their heads being firmly planted inside there.


that would be very funny! :-)


Yeah, I don't get that. I mean, why is that? You say the r, but it's not there. That is just weird. English is actually a very strange language.


I'm English and had to check my spelling. I only got it right because my mum is French and I said out loud the French way!


I had to look at the hint because I could not think how to spell it after being presented with the Spanish word and its spelling. Cornel? No. ...Colonel? It no longer looks like the right word...


Exactly. Got it wrong because I misspelled it.


"Comandant" is a word in English from the French.


The ten commandmants


can we not use the word commandant instead of commander? I've heard commandant spoken of, more often then commander...I guess it all depends in which english speaking country one resides?


Commander is a Navy rank, at least in Commonwealth countries it is. The Commandant is basically the head of the base: the highest ranking officer (on base) whose word is law (again, on base).


In Spanish and French they use Comandante and Commandant for Major. The only English speaking country I am aware of using Commandant as a rank is the Irish Army. In other armies it is usually the commanding officer of a base.

The naval rank Commander in Spanish is Capítan de Fragata. In naval parlance this is a Skipper (leader of unit).


I think you just reiterated my point. So, thanks, I guess.

However, as a little correction: you should not have said "in" Spanish and French, but "the" Spanish and French. Spanish- and French-speaking territories don't use Commandant as a rank besides Spain and France (and Monaco, but they're tiny and they base their ranking structure off the French); Spanish-speaking Latin American countries use "Mayor", and other French-speaking countries use "Major" (but, you know, pronounced in French).

Besides that, I knew all that, but thanks anyway. Maybe somebody else who is curious will make use of this info. ;)


Thank you sir, most interesting


In the uk, "commander" is a naval rank. I'm not too sure what a commandant is. I think it's a military officer(of any rank) in charge of a military establishment.


I'm a Navy girl myself, so one never knows which ranks and occupations can be useful to learn. Especially in times of war such as we have- although there is no colonel in the Navy, i think in every other branch except coast guard and navy. Also, i am assuming that the lessons will move to more verb tenses, although at this point i think it could have integrated the gerund (ing) and past tense by now. Also wish for a ser vs. Estar and por vs. Para by this point. Alas, i will be patient with the lessons and refresh on the vocabulary.


Yeah, we are just getting started. We'll be in over our heads soon enough.


Wow, Spanish pronunciation is amazingly simple and awesome compared to English...


When am I ever going to use this sentence? This just feels like a waste of time aha.


Simple solution. Drop out and buy a handy dandy thin paperback book with travel phrases you can easily look up.

“Where is the hospital, please?”

“I have an emergency!”

“I am bleeding.”

“Doctor, how long do I have to live?”


Lol!!!!!so funny!!!!!!


I agree with LessThanTreeLeo. Duolingo is great, but that doesn't mean it couldn't be better. Some of the vocabulary here is not very useful.


Useful vocabulary? You are on the wrong road! This is not a program which provides you with useful phrases you can use on a trip to Mexico.

Duolingo is designed to teach you Spanish where you will be able to say not remembered useful phrases but anything you need to say.

The idea of useful phrases is a really short sighted concept iin relation to what is going on here.

You need to step back and see the vastly bigger picture.


El comandante habla con el coronel y el coronel habla con los soldados


Cool that comandante is so close to kommandant in German. (The only reason I know of kommandant is because I watch Hogan's Heroes. LOL. Kommandant Klink and Colonel Hogan) Yeesh, I don't even know if I'm spelling anything right.


Immediately pops up a picture of Fidel with a cigar in his mouth.


What is Spanish for "commandant" if not "commandante"? Or should "commandant" be accepted here?


I am going to be using this phrase daily...!


:( getting it wrong because I can't spell colonel in English


I translated this to "The commander is speaking with the colonel", in English present tense is "is speaking" or "speaks". Is there a difference in Spanish?


To conjugate hablar (to speak/talk) in to the present progressive (is speaking), you have to drop the -ar and end the word in -ando (i.e. hablando). For -er and -ir verbs, you drop the respective endings and replace them with -iendo.

Source: Sophomore Spanish


Very helpful. Thank you.


yea i did the same thing. no idea why its wrong.


You should 'report a problem,' and click, 'my answer should be accepted.' We often use the present progressive in English, when in Spanish it would be more appropriate to use the regular present. They will fix this when they get enough complaints.


Absolutely, but not accepted March 10!


See Novico1's statement above. It explains just why DL is ignoring this error report.


Funny how the Spanish language has a word for colenel that actually makes sense.


Comandante che Guevara


Kinda odd to me how the spanish word for colonel looks more english than the englidh word lmao


Reminds me of a Hogan's Heroes episode, only in Spanish!


I looked up "Commandant" which is a valid English word but this wants to only allow "commander". I guess commander is probably a more common translation.


DL 's teaching method is to keep things simple as possible. If we want to fill our heads with more complexities we are free to do that.


I know how to ask for the king and his prince but I still don't know how to hail a taxi. Common duolingo


But what are they talking about???


They are probably planning their next coup d'etat. Mind you, this has fallen out of fashion in the Spanish speaking world over the last 25 years or so.


what is a colonel


i got it right, but... 1 little? what is a colonel


A colonel is an army rank. A colonel is an army officer between the rank of major and brigadier. It's a fairly senior rank.


In the U.S., we all think the spelling of "colonel" is plainly ridiculous because it is pronounced "KRN-el".

I can only spell it correctly when I sound it out in my head with a French or German accent or something from the popular tv series "Hogan's Heroes".


Do you think that a colonel would be important enough to talk in person to a commander?


Of course! If we're talking about the rank of Commander, it's actually lower than Colonel and even if we aren't, Colonel is the rank directly below the General ranks and those holding the rank are senior officers in commanding positions anyway.


oh. i don't know much about those kind of ranks


I'm supposed to be learning Spanish, bit today I learned how to spell colonel in english hahaha, anyone else here starting to think Spanish is easier than English? Lol.


how is this wrong? i typed The commander speaks with Colonel for El comandante habla con el coronel.


You forgot "the." Also, no need to capitalize here. "The commander speaks with the colonel."


Why isn't it "al corornal"? I lost a heart for doing "el príncipe oye el rey" instead of "al rey"


King was a direct object in the other sentence. This sentence has no direct object. Any time you have the word con/with, you won't have the personal a.


In this case, el comandante habla CON el coronel. The preposition 'con' means that the personal 'a' is not used.


why is "the commander is talking to the colonel" not a correct translation?


That's what I wrote and I did not ding out.


It should be; report it.


Now, how many of you guys know the difference, I wonder?


How would one say "spoke with the colonel?"


Habló con el coronel.


So this presents an interesting question. When I tapped comandante it listed Captain and Lieutenant (I think?) as alternative meanings after Commander... How does one avoid a kerfuffle in misusing the right term for a rank with those possible alternative definitions? Perhaps just using General and Capitán and Tiente? I might have to investigate this with some Spanish speaking military mates. Would a member in a unit be able to call their CO comandante as well? Interesting.

Maybe it is inherent in the conversation.. Unless you get too many in the room?


el comandante hablando con el colonel..?


I dont understand when we are ever going to say this in Spanish.....


So now we've had three military ranks already. Sure preparing us for Latin America's militaristic side!


"El comandante habla con el coronel" probably because "El coronel tiene una bomba". I would want the commander to speak with the colonel too.


He speaks with colonel mustard. lol


So I wrote That captain speaks with the colonel and was still correct......


I try to say this sentence out loud and it is such a tongue twister!!


i put talks to the colonel it says it was wrong and the correct was speak!


i put the right awnser and it said it was rong


hi anyone wondering what a yellow word means if anyone is then yellow words mean a new word being used in a sentence


Yes. Yellow words are words you have not seen before. Except that sometimes you get words that you have never seen before that are not yellow.
As far as I can tell you only see yellow words when they are words from the lesson that you are working on that you have not seen before. If it is a word that you have not seen before that is not being introduced in the lesson you are working on it will not be yellow. Yes, it is quite annoying. ;-)


This makes me nervous, what were they talking about?!


I would love to see the etymology of the word "Colonel/coronel." In English, it is pronounced like "kernel," which is actually closer to the Spanish spelling. It is the only word I can think of in English where the "L" is pronounced as "R." But yet, in Asian languages, R and L are frequently used in place of one another. Very strange.


Say that 5 times fast. What a tongue twister.

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