"Un libro de español."

Translation:A Spanish book.

June 8, 2018

70 Comments

Sorted by top post

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kajowi1
  1. A Spanish book
  2. A book in Spanish
  3. A book about Spanish
  4. A book with Spanish [thing] -How do I separate them in Spanish?
July 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thylacaleo

Kajowi1: SpanishDict offers the following translations:

  1. A Spanish book. Un libro de español.
  2. A book in Spanish. Un libro en español.
  3. A book about Spanish. Un libro sobre el español.
  4. A book with Spanish [thing]. Un libro con el español [cosa].
July 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luna_Tik

Thank you, Kajowi1 for asking the question, and Thylacaleo for your answer, this is the same thing I came here to find out!

October 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fnoigy

Exactly. I think the "of" should carry over between the two languages. "Spanish book" and "book of Spanish" do have subtly different meanings.

January 19, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lesaken

In English we can directly use a noun to function as a adjective:

"A rag doll", where the noun "rag" is used as an adjective describing "doll".

Spanish cannot do this directly. Instead it uses the construction noun + de + noun to give the second NOUN an adjectival function:

Una muñeca de trapo (muñeca = doll, trapo = rag), "A rag doll".

This is what is happening with libro de español, noun + de + noun, "Spanish book".

Español as a NOUN means either the language or a person's nationality: so language in this context.

So it could be any sort of book written in the Spanish language: "A Spanish book".

Exactly what type of book in the Spanish language it happens to be we don't know, but that is fine. It is just a sentence fragment so, yes, it is a little vague.

I believe Duo's intent here is to show us how to use the "rag doll" construction in Spanish, as nc.chelle and mathchoo explain further below.

June 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TONY9999AM

Podria ser

A Spanish book . un libro español

January 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KaJo862128

I put a book in spanish but it was wrong but surely it could have been written in spanish so i'm muy confuso

October 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RoryAttabe

Borrringgg

January 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tedee15

The last one is: A book with Spanish [thing] --- Un libro con (una cosa) español/a

December 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Justine357216

YES!!

September 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Donald798622

The same situation happens in English, doesn't it?

July 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David593594

I see that a majority of people's problems are that they always try to direct translate word for word. That is not how it works. You read the sentence, understand the sentences meaning and then Translate the meaning of the sentence. "Un libro de español" means a book of Spanish. And a book of Spanish would simply be a Spanish book.

August 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vetyr_Cylni

I agree. Many languages have very different grammatical structures, even then, every language has its own quirks and idioms.

April 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jdabell

There is a world of difference (in English, at least) between 'a Spanish book', and 'a book of Spanish.

July 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yusiayusia

Right. Hence my confusion with Un libro de espanol and it's translation as A Spanish book. Not sure the English translation is very accurate.

July 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VaclavKlic

I found this simple explanation of the problem:

En unos libros, dicen que la diferencia entre "un libro de español" y "un libro en español" es eso:

Un libro de español = Un libro que nos habla de la gramática en el idioma de español.

Un libro en español = Un libro de cualquier tema sólo que está escrito en español.

If your dictionary says: Un libro de español - a Spanish book, notice, there is this little mark: (educ.) What they suggest is that a Spanish book is used here to mean a Spanish textbook or a book about Spanish language. The problem with DL insisting that un libro de español = a Spanish book... is that a Spanish book could just mean a book in Spanish, not necessarily a textbook. I would strongly suggest they should either accept all possible translations of a Spanish book or change the English part into a Spanish textbook.

January 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PaulBarrette

un libro espanol? = a Spanish book. Un libro de espanol? = ? a book about Spanish.

January 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elojo1

What is wrong with "a book of spanish"

June 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David593594

Would you say a book of English? Or would you say an English book?

August 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Me_Llamo_Emma

Honestly, I'd say "A book in spanish", but "A spanish book" works too.

September 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ilanni1

It just dose not make Sceance

June 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Holsen4

"Thank you for having come" doesn't make sense either (that's later on), yet here we are.

July 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Donald798622

what about a book that teaches Spanish?

June 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WaluigiTheThird

Uh, i think you need to learn English before learning Spanish-

September 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dan542529

un libro en espanol is translated as A Spanish Book; duolingo translates Un libro de espanol to mean the same. Un libro de espanol means A book of Spanish - de is of; en is "in" - hence Spanish is the adjective to the book; with de it is the object of "de." Did you get that???

June 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/matt469116

I agree

July 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/duolingo.hc

Thumbs up!

August 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/um6661138

YES- "a spanish book" is the best translation but "a book of spanish" should also be accepted.

September 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Terri720898

"Español" can be used as an adjective or a noun. Why is it treated as a noun in this example, "Un libro de español", hence the "de" is necessary, but as an adjective for "Un hombre español" (no "de")? Can anyone explain please?

September 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nc.chelle

"Español" as an adjective means "of Spanish origin". "Un libro español" would be a book that originated in Spain, say Don Quixote. "Español" needs to be a noun to refer specifically to the Spanish language.

Español http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/español

FULL DISCLOSURE: Native English speaker - US, Southern Appalachian dialect. Other uses of English may vary. Advice about Spanish should be taken with a grain of salt.

October 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tishgab

This translates as "A book of spanish" why was I marked as wrong?

September 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nc.chelle

DL is trying to teach us a particular use of 'de' (which I find to be one of the most challenging prepositions in Spanish outside of por and para).

In English, we can use a noun to describe another noun (cheese sandwich, horror film, etc.). Spanish does not allow this. Instead they use the word "de" to 'connect' one noun to the other (sándwich de queso, película de terror, etc.), and when that is translated into English, you drop "de" entirely and move the second noun in front of the first.

sándwich de queso = cheese sandwich

película de terror = horror film

With this particular sentence, it gets tricky because español is both a noun and an adjective. However, it means something different depending on what part of speech it is. When it's an adjective, it means "of Spanish origin". When it's a noun, it means either the Spanish language or a person of Spanish nationality. So ...

un libro de español = A Spanish book (a book of the Spanish language)

Un libro español = A Spanish book (a book of Spanish origin like Don Quixote)

Using the Preposition 'De' (see Using De With Characteristics) https://www.thoughtco.com/using-the-preposition-de-3079327

Español http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/español

Introduction to Spanish Prepositions (You may find this link useful down the road. The article has an overview on prepositions with links to more detailed articles on each one. I reference this page repeatedly because prepositions are hard.) https://www.thoughtco.com/introduction-to-prepositions-3079329

FULL DISCLOSURE: Native English speaker - US, Southern Appalachian dialect. Other uses of English may vary. Advice about Spanish should be taken with a grain of salt.

October 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lesaken

Very well explained nc.chelle. We are studying another language and it is wrong to apply to it the same rules that English uses.

I'm sure Duo in these early lessons has chosen examples where Spanish and English structures are similar. Starting with similarities makes it easier to learn a new language.

But you cannot assume you just need to learn a new vocabulary and you then put those words together in the same way that English does. While there are similarities between the two languages in word structure there are also a great many differences. Some of these differences will come in later lessons.

What we have here in this example is one of the easier differences to handle.

May 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ndesouza123

its dumb

September 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ted543918

"Spanish book " has meaning of possisivness. Your translation is wrong

September 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JHWilliams1

Since libro ends with o it is masculine so the is el because masculine endings are always el not la which is feminine.

April 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stewart115426

AS ABOVE

September 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zee694785

I think the translation stipulated is not really accurate. A Spanish book may mean a book written in Spanish whereas a book of Spanish means a book about Spanish language. Pls advise.

May 20, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lesaken

Context is usually crucial to understanding meaning, especially as here where it is just a phrase. There is nothing wrong with this phrase being ambiguous with the meaning only being clear in a specific context.

That is the nature of language, we don't always spell things out but let context show the meaning. That is not to say context is something "bad", it's just that most things are said or written in a specific context.

The issue here is more with the way we say things in English. If I said "It's an English book", what do I mean?

It could be an English grammar book (if you're talking about educational subjects) or a book from England or written by an English person, or just a book written in the English language (if you have in front of you books in various languages). They are all valid meanings - with the specific context indicating which one is meant.

I am not sure that the translation to "a book of English" or a "book of Spanish" would be any more meaningful. This word structure - "of English/Spanish" - is generally used with a following noun. So it sounds incomplete to me: a book of English or Spanish 'what'? - poems, stories, grammar?

May 20, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Learpholla

Lesaken — It sounds incomplete to me - a book of English 'what'? - poems, stories, grammar?

I made that very point several months ago. My comment was downvoted and I eventually removed it.

May 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CaoimheMcA3

I did say a spanish book!!!

June 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tech274

Are there liasons in Spanish?

At regular speed the women says " despanol" . (short E sound)

At slow speed she says " Day espanol" ( Long A sound + short E sound)

Merci d'avance

January 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Learpholla

I don't think liaison is the appropriate term here. In the context of speech, liaison is:

the sounding of a consonant that is normally silent at the end of a word, because the next word begins with a vowel. — Oxford Dictionaries

I think what is at play in "de español" is synalepha or synaloepha (Sp.: sinalefa), defined by the RAE as :

Unión en una única sílaba de dos o más vocales contiguas pertenecientes a palabras distintas; p. ej., mu-tuoin-te-rés por mu-tuo-in-te-rés.

The similar phenomenon within a word is called synaeresis or syneresis (Sp.: sinéresis).

January 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Devyn360573

How come "a spanish restaurant" is translated "un restaurante español" whereas "a spanish book is translated as "un libro de español?" That seems kind of silly to me.

February 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdityaKama19

Owl

July 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ValerieSan593681

What was de for

July 13, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kalli361132

I typed "A Spanish book", and it said I was wrong, then gave me "A Spanish book." why

August 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paul340648

A book of Spanish should be accepted.

August 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StuartWals1

Crikey, she says that fast!

September 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gabby944215

that page what means a spanish book what was it ...

January 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PaulStalla

Rwong

February 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yessi430560

Inglés

May 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bob380198

See nc.chelle below. Perfect explanation

May 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SparkitEle

pointless speaking test, I learned nothing.

June 11, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rosamund81829

A book about spanish marked as wrong. Hmf.

June 19, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lesaken

"A book about Spanish" = Un libro sobre español

June 20, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DocDan2

Why can't it be translated "A book in Spanish?" Isn't the meaning the same?

June 20, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Howard_Kao

The guy clearly says livro though

June 24, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lesaken

You have to remember you are learning a new language and a lot of things won't be the same as in English, including the pronunciation of many letters.

'B' and 'v' are pronounced the same in Spanish and are slightly different from the English pronunciation of either of these letters.

June 25, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DebbieDrum

A book of Spanish marked wrong. If this translates as a Spanish book, how would you say a book of Spanish? These are two totally different things!

November 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/so_oo

Mi de spanish libro

May 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yusiayusia

What is wrong with A book in Spanish? In fact, it is more correct because a Spanish book literally means a book printed or bought in Spain.

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mathchoo

Duolingo is trying to show us how Spanish does not use nouns as adjectives. Instead they use the "(noun) de (noun)" construction.
While English sometimes also uses this construction, usually we just use the noun as an adjective and call it a day.

You will find that Duolingo is consistent in translating this way (one of the few things it is consistent in). So, it is one of the many things you will need to just get used to on DL.

Also:
A book from Spain - Un libro de España

July 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ReyGirl2

Oh!!!! That makes so much sense! I had the same problem as yusiayusi. Thank you so much, mathchoo!

August 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JHWilliams1

Mathchoo stinks

April 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Learpholla

I don't think we can tell or infer from the bare sentence what language the book is written in.
To my mind, as nc.chelle has said, above, the book is a book "on" Spanish (the language), a text book, just as "un libro de geografía" would be "a Geography (text) book".
As such, it can be referred to as "a Spanish book", without having to be from Spain or in Spanish.

November 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RoryAttabe

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January 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JHWilliams1

Nope

April 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/um6661138

settle down, beavis

May 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/um6661138

what a spaz... hahaha

May 2, 2019
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