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"Los personajes viven en los libros."

Translation:The characters live in the books.

4 years ago

31 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Dormouse

Could "characters live in books" also be accepted? I'm not sure if this is an instance where you can drop the article in English.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/clyde_the_camel

I'd say that it's a better translation, actually. Including the article "the" makes for a clunky translation that wouldn't ring true with a native speaker of English.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dormouse

Thanks very much! I'll see if I can report it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/scottann

I agree, although in some context it could be acceptable: say you are talking about a specific author's books.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GrnpcFTMarkRMOwl
GrnpcFTMarkRMOwl
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Yes, that would be the way we'd say that in formal/common English usage, "The characters of Leon Uris live in the books he wrote."

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CKris7

Yes but adding a name of an actual person makes the sentence structure correct to native English. Alone, not so much.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CynDaVaz

I don't see why it shouldn't be accepted. Articles aren't always needed in translation, so I don't understand why it was 'required' here. Especially since "Characters live in books," sounds better than "The characters live in the books."

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/slee22015
slee22015
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I would agree with you, but dropping the articles in English changes the meaning.

The characters live in the books more often means the specific characters survive in the specific books/series.

Characters live in books specifically means characters in general live in books in general.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eric0629

That's true in English, but in Spanish the use of the definite article (lo, la, los, las) is required when referring to a general category. Without context this sentence is reasonably interpreted to mean "Characters (in general) live in books." Similarly, if you want to say "I like beer." You say "Me gusta la cerveza." The ambiguity of this, due to lack of context, means CynDaVaz, and all the rest of us who have been marked wrong should be accepted as one of the correct possible answers. You can read more at http://www.spanishdict.com/topics/show/5

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/slee22015
slee22015
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I wasn't disagreeing with his saying that it should be accepted, because both are valid translations; I was just objecting to saying one is better than the other, especially when there is no other context. In this case, there's no environmental context, so either is acceptable, but if there were context, there would be a clear preference for one over the other, and the alternate translation would be incorrect.

To be specific, we could consider:

  1. Alicia: ¿Viven Harry y Hermione en los libros?

Roberto: Sí, los personajes viven en los libros. (Sounds a bit stilted, but still correct)

  1. Alicia: ¿Dónde viven los personajes como un concepto?

Roberto: Los personajes (se) viven en los libros.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Linda_from_NJ

Lingot to you for 1) emphasizing that Spanish does it a different way and 2) providing an excellent link.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Melita2

Sounds better in English than their translation.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Perriguez
Perriguez
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When do you know if you have to drop the article or not?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Linda_from_NJ

See Eric0629's link.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/M33tba77

I agree, that is what I went for since sometimes it doesn't accept your answer when you needlessly say 'the.'

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Eric0629

Just got this in my inbox today-

Hi Eric0629,

You suggested “Characters live in books” as a translation for “Los personajes viven en los libros.” We now accept this translation. :)

Thanks for the contribution, please keep it up!

  • sainio from Duolingo
2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SGuthrie0

I translated with the articles. The sentences made more sense, to me, that way. "The characters live in the books" could be a metaphorical statement, referring to how lively the writing of a given author is.

In contrast, "characters live in books" is clearly a false as a statement in general. In some books, charters may seem to "live" (metaphorically). But other books can/are be written poorly enough that the characters don't "live."

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AbigailGin

Agreed. Still not accepting that, December 10th, 2014

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rayhunter
Rayhunter
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You should really accept PERSONAGES as well as CHARACTERS.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Margulya
Margulya
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agreed

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/99butcher99

It is translations like this one with the extraneous "the" that would never be used in English that make me wonder if non native English speakers are used for a lot of these. I understand that people need to be reminded it is required in spanish but it is just clumsy english.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rogercchristie
rogercchristie
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I think it has been adequately argued above that both translations, with and without "the", are valid translations of the Spanish example sentence. But I'm wondering: how do we differentiate between the specific and the general in Spanish?

As Eric0629 says, unlike English "los" is needed in Spanish for the general case. For the specific case I would suggest using those and these ... ie "Estos personajes viven en esos libros". What do you think?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Linda_from_NJ

I support what you said. When I write in English, I frequently use the words "this," "these," "that," and "those" because they are brief and specific at the same time.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Stephen-Edison
Stephen-Edison
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And my heart. quietly sobs

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LukeTracy

"The personages live in the books" should be accepted as a translation. Although, it is not conversational English. Personages means characters in English. This is a slightly antiquated term but should be acceptable.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Max_Thruster

why can't personage be used as a translation of personaje?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rogercchristie
rogercchristie
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Personage is a word you might see in an antique book, but nowadays it is almost obsolete.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/theUg
theUg
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Wrong. Neither OED’s nor Webster’s definitions mark this word as obsolete or archaic. Moreover, it’s one of the options right here in the hints.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zekecoma

So I take it that "personaje" means a fictious character, while "carácter" is more like moral-wise, eh?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rogercchristie
rogercchristie
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Not exactly, zekecoma.

Personaje can mean both a fictional character (eg in a book) and a type of person in real life … a personality or celebrity ... SEE HERE.

The English character can be an informal or colloquial term for personaje or tipo, but it has lots other meanings including the moral force or integrity that you mention ... SEE HERE and HERE.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/butcher99

Why when I unfollow discussions does Duolingo keep sending the thread. I have unfollowed and unfollowed and unfollowed countless threads and it continues to send them out. Writing to Duolingo seems to do not good. Maybe they will see this.

I got this message at 9:01 and unfollowed it. Again at 4:43 and now again at 9:00.

2 years ago