There seems to be quite a bit of confusion over this, so as a native speaker of Spanish, allow me to try and clear things up a bit:
Some people are saying that this is closer to a figure of speech, and that is true for the most part, though that has to deal mostly with the Que at the start. This Que serves mostly as a way to add emphasis to one's statement, and because of the way these kinds of statements are constructed, they appear more like colloquialisms than grammatically sound statements.
A few more examples of this would be, for instance:
"¡Que venga la comida!" would mean to convey "Bring the food!", but if you translate it word for word, the literal meaning would be closer to "Let the food come!" or "That the food may come!" as someone has already pointed out.
Similarly, "¡Que salga el acusado!" would mean "Bring out the accused!", but the literal meaning is closer to "That the accused may come out!"
As I said before, people mostly use statements like these to add emphasis to their voice. The two examples I provided could also be correctly said as "Traiga(n) la comida" or "Traiga(n) al acusado", for instance. Hope that helped clear things up a bit.
Perhaps you are asking your question backwards.
By turning the question in the opposite direction, we might ask why Alejandro responded with "What...?" instead of "How...?" Readers who can speak English fluently already know the answer to this question.
¿Cómo tú dijiste?
HowWhat did you say?
English is different than Spanish. In the English language, we prefer to use the word, "What..."
You neglected to add the accent to the idiom, qué, in your interjections. I added the accent in the illustrations below.
Interjections authored by Securinega_:
¡Qué bonito es ese coche!
― How pretty that car is!
Interjections modified by Phillip:
― What a mansion!
― Quite a mansion!
You don't seem to realize that you are not comparing apples versus apples! You don't seem to realize that you are actually comparing interjections (which sometimes begin with the idiom, qué) versus que + subjunctive mood constructions. The Duolingo exercise that everyone is discussing on this web page is a que + subjunctive mood construction.
Perhaps you extrapolated a misunderstanding after reading the brief post by SpotXSpot in reply to da.big.fella.
I'm sorry; but I don't understand your point. What was your point?
The following Spanish phrase has no verb. This is okay. I am just pointing out the difference between the Duolingo exercise (same as the Latin America version in the video) and the second phrase that JackMcslay has presented.
larga vida al rey!
― long life to the king!
similar structures that are also a bit variable when you translate: Que no! Que chulo! Que tonto! Que fuerte! Que feo! Que asco! All are used as little two word standalone sentences/exclamations. these are quite popular too (at least in Spain) and worth knowing/using. And worth realising that these structures are pretty bendable when translating into English.
You forgot to add the accent to the word, qué. This was a significant mistake because you were trying to make a critical point... and you failed to correctly explain the point because it is critical to make the distinction between que and qué.
You didn't seem to realize that you were not comparing apples versus apples! You didn't seem to realize that you were actually comparing interjections (which sometimes begin with the word, qué) versus que + subjunctive mood constructions. The Duolingo exercise that everyone is discussing on this web page is a que + subjunctive mood construction.
I have a bit of a problem with language teaching matching up sayings that appear the have different literal meanings.
For instance, in several cultures they say "Salud!" before drinking while in english (and probably never every english speaking country) we say "Cheers". That doesn't mean that Cheers = Salud. Although they are used the same often. To me it would be like traveling to a different english speaking country and being told "when you drink to toast you say 'To health'". I'd understand that they toast differently but wouldn't say it means the same as "cheers".
In this instance, I'd rather it be said: Instead of saying "long live the king in < este país>, we say Let the King live or That the King may live". And I'd still understand that the sentiment is the same even if the meaning is different. But if you tell me "Que viva el rey" means "Long live the King", they I'm not sure if Que sometimes means long depending on context or if it is a coloquialism. And it might hinder me on other translations.
Exactly. "Que viva el rey" does not mean "Long live the King"; it 's a cultural equivalent of what the English would say in a similar situation, but in meaning is something more like ("We pray) That the King may live." Like saying "Mucho gusto" means "Pleased to meet you, (it does not), to present it as a "translation" without the perspective of substitution can foster confusion later on. Anyway, that's my opinion.
I am perfectly fluent in English. There is no link between the Spanish word, que, and the English word, long. The English word, long, was added merely for the purpose of making the English translation conform with (& match) a well established (and idiomatic) English expression.
"Hooray for the king!" unquote
No, this English translation is incorrect because you neglected to include the word, live.
And you should not include the word, hooray. Add extra words only if sufficient justification exists.
Why is it not right? Is it not the same kind of syntax as the phrase, "¡Que tengas un buen día!" where there is the understood ¡(Ojalá/Espero, etc.) before the actual spoken phrase, meaning "(I hope/wish) that you (may/might) have a good day?" So then, wouldn't " ¡(Deseamos/Rogamos/Suplicamos or Ojalá)... que viva el Rey!" be properly rendered as "(We wish/we pray/we beg [understood])... that the King [may/might] live," where may or might is implied by the subjunctive?
The comments of SpotXSpot and da.big.fella are especially on-target here, and I hope it won't be too offensive to note that, in SpotXSpot, you've emphatically dismissed the observations of a native speaker. ¡Que tengas un Feliz Año Nuevo! ;-)
@gernt: Fair enough. If we were working in the immersion section, translating for an English readership, then yes, the British phrase would be the appropriate rendering. Working off the tree, though, I think the goal (mine, anyway) is to internalize how the Spanish language works, so I want to know and understand what is actually being said, the often repeated admonition against word-for-word translation notwithstanding.
I think both of your options above are correct and apparently Duo agrees.
And despite the undoubted peril of dealing with "Happy Hump Day," I'm not sure the idea, sense and feeling of those two phrases is that much different.
Instead of worrying about a "literal" translation, people need to realize that "Long live....,'" is a very standard hail, or solute in English.
"Long life to the king" is not necessarily a bad translation. It just fails to grasp the normal, standard, English phrase
Just accept the Duo translation as a good, and standard, English phrase.
I had the same question.... In fact it not the same sentence. (I wish a ) Long life TO the King, with life as a noun. And on the other part Long live the King, with live as a verb, The words' order is emphatic, to insist on long, the ordinary order would be the king (is expected to) live long. Wich could also be said (in a maybe weird English, but it works in French) May the King be given to live long.
"Long live the King." This is a GREAT example of the English subjunctive.
Good job, Duo!
Notice that this subjunctive uses the "base form" of the verb. The "base form" is the infinitive without the "to."
Thus, "live" is the base form.
"Long may the King live" is another English subjunctive. The words "may, might, let" are indicators of (often used as part of) an English subjunctive.
Go, Duo! (Notice that this imperative uses the "base form of the verb "to go." This imperative is using a subjunctive. Just as Spanish uses the subjunctive for imperatives.)
Why not? Well, although it's close, the proper – subjunctive – way to express it in English is to say "That the King live", not "lives," which is indicative voice. After all, it's to be assumed that, yes, the King "lives" at the moment of utterance, but the plea is that he (is hoped to) live into the future. And Skye07 is right that another way to say it is "that the king may live," where the "may" also adds subjunctive flavor.
This is a really bizarre sentence. I knew that the english equivalent was "Long live the king", but it's asking for a translation. Since this form has an implied "Quiero (que)...", I put "I want the king to live!". Not something you'd say in english, but the most direct translation. They said the correct translation should be "That the king live!", which doesn't make sense in English.
Being that in almost every other example DL is very literal I put: "Would that the king lives!" While that is not common in English, is it not a correct use of the subjunctive and a correct translation of the sentence? "Long live the king" while a good translation it's not actually what the sentence says in Spanish and not an example of the subjunctive.
That's an interesting and plausible alternative rendering, and at least prior to the past 50 years or so, the "would that..." construct to express wishes or hopes was not so uncommon. But using the English subjunctive equivalent, I believe, it would be "Would that the king live," dropping the 's' from the active verb.
Here is where everyone can read the RAE's 22nd edition of the Dictionary of the Spanish Language. In particular, I am referring everyone to sense number 18 and sense number 20. The Spanish term that I am researching is que.
quote from the dictionary:
18: Precede a oraciones no enlazadas con otras.
Que vengas pronto.
20: Después de expresiones de aseveración o juramento sin verbo alguno expreso, precede asimismo al verbo con que empieza a manifestarse aquello que se asevera o jura.
Por Dios, señora, que el autobús ya está completo.
Phillip's translation of the latter illustrated sentence:
― For God's sake, ma'am, the bus is already full.
I was warned in an earlier discussion in this lesson not to go for idioms, but looks like they do require that. Since DL rejected "That the king live!" -- which is actually a more correct translation than "That the king lives!" -- I've reported it. "Long live" expresses a wish, and so does "That the king live." "That the king lives" expresses astonishment that he does at all.
¡Que viva el rey! is the Duolingo exercise. The Duolingo exercise expresses a similar meaning to the phrase, larga vida al rey. These two are merely similar in meaning. They are not perfectly equal in other ways.
How can a phrase without a verb be equal to a sentence containing a verb? A phrase without a verb cannot be defined as the subjunctive mood. The phrase without a verb can only be compared to a sentence in the subjunctive mood.
I understand why somebody might feel the need to downvote the post by gustavoa6 because gustavoa6 used an equals sign (symbol). And the writer (gustavoa6) fails to explain that the equals sign might be overstating the point because proper translations should not turn a blind eye to grammatical differences.
¡larga vida al rey!
― long life to the king!
an incorrect answer to the Duolingo exercise:
— long life to the king!
I upvoted your post in order to neutralize one of the downvotes. Your solution doesn't deserve the downvotes. Your solution is close enough to provoke me to make a closer inspection.
The people who voted your post down probably have no clue about the fact that the Spanish word, que, can sometimes be (colloquially) translated as "Let..."
¡Que venga pronto!
Let's hope he comes soon!