"The girl drinks neither water nor milk."
Translation:La niña no bebe agua ni leche.
Why would "la nina bebe ni agua ni leche' be wrong? I don't get why you translate the 'doesn't' when it's not there in the first place.
In English, it is acceptable to put a negative AFTER the verb it refers to, as in "drinks NEITHER..." . In Spanish, the negative (no) must come BEFORE the verb it refers to, as in "NO bebe". It is therefore incorrect to say "La nina bebe ni", but must be translated as "La nina no bebe". I gathered this much from the lessons in DL so far, so there may be more to it than I have yet learned...
I'm a spanish native speaker but i better speak Italian. I can tell you that in Spanish, in Italian and maybe in french we use double negative and it causes a lot of trouble to English speakers. But in this case it is not a double negative. It's only one negation for each object.
There's a lot of frustration on this thread. And I wish another native speaker would chime in, but from what I understand when there is a verb negation in Spanish the "No" would go in front of the verb "bebe". "Ni" is used as a conjunction between the two objects being negated. The girl does not drink neither water nor milk. But from what I've read online "ni" may be used as well.
La niña no bebe ni agua ni leche. But it would translate in English as "The girl does not drink either water nor milk."
And as an English speaker I've been taught that double negatives are wrong, but as it turns out, the English language is not your algebra class. From what I understand an English mathematician one day found it grammatically incorrect. And it carried on through the English cannon ever since which is funny. You never see a linguist correcting the grammar of an algebraic equation. Regardless a vast majority of languages (not to mention dialects of English) use double negatives as intensifiers. They do not cancel each other out.
For example in Russian "'Ya ne mogu skazat nikomu'
' I can’t tell nobody' = 'I can’t tell anybody'"
Often times with languages you have to throw out what you know. Other times you incorporate it. But that doesn't mean that just because it's not right here that it isn't right out in the real world. Double check.
I used this site as a reference for use of double "ni". Just because I don't think it's wrong doesn't make it right.