Apparently, there are several Spanish verbs that require a redundant indirect object pronoun even when the indirect object is also in the sentence. I'm still looking for a complete list but verbs of communication like hablar and decir are included.
The Thoughtco article includes the indirect object pronouns with hablar and decir because in the example sentences the explicit indirect object is not included. It just says "spoke to him", "called him", instead of "spoke to the teacher" or "called mother".
Verbs that do require an indirect object are gustar-like verbs, as well as verbs where the indirect object it's a "receiver" of something. That includes verbs that indicate how the IO feels about a situation (molestar, divertir...), and verbs that talk about how the IO perceives something (parecer, resultar...). But in some situation, even these verbs can drop the IOPs.
Long story short, just saying "Hablo a la mesera" is good as well.
Elizadeux, I don't think it is a question of certain verbs requiring redundancy and others not. My understanding is that if there is an indirect object (to whom or for whom an action was done) in a sentence, there must be an indirect object pronoun used, not just for specific verbs, even with redundancy. As per http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/100017/indirect-object-pronouns#.W37Z8dJKi01 : "When to Use the Indirect Object Pronoun: If there is an indirect object in a sentence, there MUST be an indirect object pronoun! You can also have the prepositional phrase "para nosotros" or "a Miguel" to add emphasis, but you can NOT only have the prepositional phrase."
That said, to expand on what kennypi shares, communication verbs provide a grey area as there can be an ASSUMED direct object (what is being communicated) and in that case you CAN use an indirect object pronoun to refer to the person the "thing" is being communicated to (as in the example sentence), but it isn't required.
Forgive me if I'm oversimplifying, but just to wrap my head around it: this sentence can roughly be translated to "I speak french to the waitress," which would make the waitress the indirect object. As such, we would use the indirect object pronoun "le" in Spanish. However, if I just wanted to say "I speak to the waitress," I could say "Yo hablo con la mesera" without any pronoun. Is this correct?
You can either say "(Le) hablo a la mesera" to mean "I speak/talk to the waitress", meaning that you do most of the talking. (The le is not necessary.) Or you can say "Hablo con la mesera", "I speak/talk with the waitress", meaning that you both exchange words. Since con-objects are not indirect objects, using le here would be incorrect.
OK I'll have a go, though I'm not an expert. "Le" is the (third person singular) indirect object of the verb "hablar". As RyagonIV says, it can be omitted. "Se" is the (third person singular or plural) reflexive object. So If you said "Él se habla" it would mean "He talks to himself" (Though I think perhaps Spanish speakers are more likely to say "Habla consigo mismo": a better example might be "se lava", meaning "he/she washes himself/herself").
Paul, that's correct. I'm not entirely sure what Rick is referring to, so I'd also like to add that when you have two object pronouns with your verb, and the direct object happens to be a 3rd-person object (lo, la, los, las), then any le or les will become se. Compare:
Le escribo la carta a mi amigo. - I am writing the letter to my friend.
Se la escribo a mi amigo. - I am writing it to my friend.
In other words, you cannot have "le la" or "les los" or similar with a verb.
RyagonIV, i have a question about one of your examples, please. "Le escribo la carta a mi amigo. I am writing the letter to my friend."
Wouldn't " Escribo la carta a mi amigo" mean the same? So, what does adding "Le" at the beginning add? When must we use it please?
I'm not challenging your reply I'm trying to better understand for myself. Thank you!
Since the waitress is the indirect object in this sentence (she is the one who receives your French), the indirect-object pronoun le is used to describe her. This type of pronoun is invariant for gender, meaning it will be le, no matter whether you're talking to a guy or a girl.
La is a direct-object pronoun, which wouldn't be appropriate here.
Yes, the masculine singular indirect object pronoun is also "le". "Lo" is the masculine singular direct object pronoun (though not everywhere, as this explains: https://www.brighthubeducation.com/learning-spanish/11065-when-to-use-le-and-lo-in-spanish/ ). You may want to search on 'Spanish pronouns' to read up a bit more about this.
I think RyagonIV has already answered this in CKS997635's thread. I think she/he is referring to paragraph 5.2a of the long section of the DPD (Diccionario panhispánico de dudas) of the Real Academia Española to which he/she refers. "En el caso del complemento indirecto, la coaparición del pronombre átono es normalmente opcional y suele ser lo más frecuente, especialmente en la lengua oral". I suspect RyagonIV may be along to confirm or correct this...
Sorry, but in the US "waitress" is absolutely not obsolete- it's in widespread use. True, it is becoming somewhat common to use the word "server", or "waiter" for either gender, but it is very common - maybe more so - to refer to a female server as waitress. Use that term at any establishment in the country without concern.
You are incorrect. A waitress refers to a female "server", and waiter refers to a male "server". These terms are not obsolete, they're just politically incorrect for a Communist to use. Hope that helps.
P.S. -- The states of California and New York are trying to make this sort of speech "hate speech", punishable by torture and imprisonment, up to but not more than, the life of the offender (sarcasm).
Many people died, and many more suffered, so that Americans could have freedom of speech. It's very valuable, don't throw it away.