I often double check my translations regardless of what the drop-downs say. If DL does not agree with my Spanish dictionary or the Royal Academy of Spain http://www.rae.es/ then I report it.
DL is fantastic for practice, but outside sources of study are VERY useful. I really appreciate these discussions - I learn a lot from them.
This just requires a little common sense. Translated word-for-word this is "We have agreements of long time". But that's not how you'd say it in English. If something, like an agreement, is in effect for a long period of time, we refer to it as "long term".
The best the hints can do, in most cases, is to provide the common word for word translation. It is then up to the person translating to make sense of the context, and of word order and grammatical differences to come up with the appropriate translation.
I guess my response to that is that the whole purpose of the hints is to give us clues about these terms, especially when the word (or in this case a particular definition of the word) is new.
To that I'll add that dictionary.reverso.net had no sense of "term" in it's two screens of examples for "tiempo" and at least two other translators returned "acuerdo a largo plazo" for "long term agreement." Finally, a google search for the whole sentence returned exactly one result: this page. Stripping it down to just "acuerdos de largo tiempo" increased the results to eight pages, versus about 150,000 for "acuerdos a largo plazo."
Obviously I'm not a native speaker, so I have no idea if this phrase is commonly used in the Spanish-speaking world, but if DL is going to throw something like this at us, I don't think it's too much to ask to drop it into the hover hints.
DL is - again - giving us a standard phrase here that should not be translated literally. "Long-term" is an adjective to describe the duration of agreements, relationships, etc.. In correct English, there is no such thing as a "long time agreement," though the phrase would be understood by an English-speaking person.
You are right. The right translation is "a largo plazo" (http://www.wordreference.com/es/translation.asp?tranword=long%20term)
Just going off the literal words, it seems like this could mean two things: We have agreements that will be in effect for a long time (as the accepted translation suggests), or we've had agreements in place for a long time. Can someone who knows Spanish better than me tell me if the latter translation is possible or if that couldn't be what a Spanish speaker would mean by this? Would you have to say something like, "Habemos tenido acuerdos de largo tiempo"?
"de largo tiempo" can only be describing the nature of the agreements, not how long we have had them. All we can know from the statement is that the agreements are long-term. They may have been around for a long-time, but they might also have just been signed.
If you wanted to say "We have had agreements for a long time"it would be "Hemos tenido acuerdos durante mucho tiempo". You could also say "Hemos tenido acuerdos durante un largo tiempo".
It's close but not quite the same thing. The original sentence is saying that we have agreements, and those agreements are long-term. Your sentence implies that we have agreements for a long time - but in theory at least each agreement could be short-term.
On a side note, it is much more common to say "largo tiempo" than "tiempo largo". I still struggle a bit with when to put the adjective in front. Here are some discussions on this...