"caminar" is not a reflexive verb. There is no entry for "caminarse" in El Diccionario de la lengua española (DRAE).
The "me" is connected to "voy" not to "caminar". I.e. It is a form of "irse" (to leave / go out).
A clearer translation of this sentence is "I am going out to walk for a while".
Hola Amigos: The "me" is there because the verb in the sentence is "irse" which means "to leave" or "to go out". When the verb is conjugated, the "se" must match the person, so it changes to "me". So...the true translation of this sentence should be: "I am going out to walk while".
Really, I think the entire sentence should pretty much be interpreted as an idiomatic turn of phrase that basically means "I'm going for a (little) walk":
Sometimes Spanish makes things reflexive for reasons impenetrable from the standpoint of English logic: if you see "comerse", don't think "to eat oneself," for instance.
That's because you're interpreting pronominal forms as if they were reflexive. You should not interpret irse as reflexive. Rather, it's a pronominal form of the verb ir and it means to go out or leave. So, while your translation seems perfectly fine to me, I believe you're placing too much emphasis on the reflexive pronouns.
My point was that my read of some of the posts in this thread (and the one for the same sentence in the other direction) is that people are banging their heads against the wall trying to make sure they "translate" the "me" particle somehow, but that that's not really the way to go about this. Just as "me voy" is a single unit for the purposes of translation, one will likely be well served to treat "me voy a caminar" as one too and not concern oneself overmuch with trying to suss out individual meanings for "me" and "voy a caminar". "Me voy a caminar un rato" and "voy a caminar un rato" are apparently much closer in meaning than "ir" and "irse" themselves are.
As far as "pronominal" vs. "reflexive," well I think the use of the term "reflexive verbs" to encompass all pronominal verbs is sort of a longstanding language-learning standby, sort of like "tense" is used for things that are technically moods and aspects. SpanishDict's in depth introduction to the topic, for instance, doesn't mention the term "pronominal verb" at all. Nevertheless, it's probably a good term to attempt to more actively incorporate in my lexicon for discussion of Romance languages. As far as I can tell, for non-Romance languages with very similar grammatical features, the term isn't necessarily used at all.
I see what you're saying now and I agree with the point you were trying to make. I guess that's exactly why I avoid calling all pronominal forms reflexive. Otherwise, I'd find myself falling into the same trap as others who try to force "myself," "itself," "ourselves," etc. into sentences where they don't belong.
Voy a caminar un rato un rato = I am going to walk for a while. When you add "me", you are emphasizing that I, myself, am going to walk a while. In other words, All you guys are going to ride your bikes, but I (myself, emphasizing) am going to walk.
"Todos ustedes van a dar paseo por bicicleta, pero yo me voy a caminar un rato"
I second this question. Every other time I've seen caminar, it has been walking with a purpose or to a specific place, while andar has been more just moseying about, or ambling.. walking just for the sake of walking. If that's the case, perhaps if the purpose of the walk in this sentence is exercise, it would tend toward caminar.. but that's just a guess. Anyone know for sure?
as it is the future, wouldn't the correct answer be "I am going to go out to walk for a while"? taking into account that irse means going out. if so, that answer is not accepted. I hope they just miss it in the database, because if they really started using emphasizes like the me without any context that justifies it or makes it necessary, as some people suggested here, it would be quite the pain in the a..
I have finished the Spanish tree at least four times, from start to end. I've constantly practiced improving my skills, and have always paid close attention to many of the discussions.
Why is it so rare to see any official moderators involved in these discussions? If there are any at all, they'll say one thing, which usually does not sufficiently address the problem/question being discussed, and then disappear.
In contrast, the French discussion boards have several qualified moderators, who almost always weigh-in and will then follow up whenever someone doesn't quite understand or has an addition to the related topic.
*(The French moderator named Sitesurf IS the ideal and proper example of how a moderator SHOULD be involved in these boards).
I, and believe many other students of Spanish, would greatly appreciate more involvement from qualified/authoritative/native speakers. Otherwise, we are all guessing at problems and their solutions. This is not to say that discussion among just the students is meritless, but it alone could potentially create more confusion and/or improper understanding. Sometimes a question requires to be answered from a direct authority. I'm not suggesting we should ONLY have moderators, but we definitely need much more of their involvement than what is currently provided.
Perhaps I am wrong, and if so, I apologize for my faulty observations. This is just how the situation appears to me.
If I understand it correctly ir + inf. is equivalent to future tense and it is translated into English by using the verb in its future tense or with the expression I am (you are, etc.) going to + inf. However, irse + inf. simply means leave + inf. Therefore, "Me voy a caminar un rato" = "I leave (go out) to walk for a while", but "I am going to walk a while" = Yo voy a caminar un rato' = "Yo caminaré un rato" Can a Spanish native confirm PLEASE?