inglés rimbombante

By 25 junio, 2009Exercises, Grammar, Varios, Vocabulario

Muchos hispanohablantes se ponen hidalgos a la hora de hablar inglés.


Un alumno mío quería decir que su chaqueta de moto era muy apretada, y lo expresó así:

The space inside my motorcyle jacket is very reduced.

Yo lo hubiera dicho de una forma mucho más sencilla:

My motorcylce jacket is very tight.

A continuación me habló de Galicia, donde había pasado el fin de semana:

In Galicia it is possible to eat for a small amount of money.

Mi versión:

In Galicia the food is cheap.

Ya sea por una cuestión lingüística o psicológica, muchos hispanohablantes complican su lenguaje muchísimo cuando hablan en inglés, construyendo unas frases rebuscadas que no se le hubieran ocurrido ni a los mismísimos Cervantes o Shakespeare. Tu inglés será más correcto a la vez que más natural si sigues este consejo: KEEP IT SIMPLE.

A veces es sólo una cuestión del vocabulario que usas. Por ejemplo, ningún adolescente angloparlante diría

My parents don’t permit me to go out on weeknights.

porque lo más natural es decir

My parents don’t let me go out on weeknights.

Este es uno de los numerosos casos en los que hay dos palabras inglesas que significan más o menos lo mismo, una con una raíz latina (permit) y otra con una raíz germánica, nórdica, o anglosajona (let). En general, la palabra con una raíz no-latina suele quedar más natural en la mayoría de las situaciones, mientras que la palabra de raíz latina se reserva para situaciones formales o técnicas.

Aquí tienes unas frases que suenan de forma más natural si en lugar de usar una palabra de raíz latina eliges la versión «de andar por casa»:

You can’t oblige them to come. –> You can’t force them to come/make them come.

How did you discover she was here? –> How did you find out she was here?

It’s not possible to pay by credit card. –> You can’t pay by credit card.

Is it necessary to have a visa to travel to Brazil? –> Do you have to have a visa to travel to Brazil?

I introduced my card into the machine. –> I put my card in the machine.

He suffered a heart attack. –> He had a heart attack.

My mother was robbed and nobody helped her recover her bag. –>My mother was robbed and nobody helped her get back her bag.

What are you referring to? –> What are you talking about?/What do you mean?

La estructura de tu frase también puede tomar un aire demasiado rebuscado. Por ejemplo, tus frases serán más naturales (y más fáciles de construir) si evitas construcciones pasivas cuando no son necesarias, es decir, cuando existe un sujeto claro:

In my house dinner is eaten at 8:00. –> In my house we eat dinner at 8:00.

He was called by the police. –> The police called him.

Otra tendencia común es la de usar sujetos abstractos cuando no es necesario. Intenta hablar de una manera directa con sujetos, verbos y objetos sencillos. Por ejemplo,

The frequency of the trains is high. –> The trains come often.

The behaviour of those people is strange. –> Those people act strange.

Algunos de los adverbios que se pueden usar para enlazar dos frases quedan demasiado formales en muchos contextos. Muchas veces hay otra opción que queda mejor en el uso cotidiano:

Her English is good, but she had trouble with the test nevertheless.–> Her English is good, but she still had trouble with the test.

The food was good, and moreover, it was cheap. –> The food was good, and plus, it was cheap./The food was good. . . an cheap, too!

I was late due to traffic. –> I was late because of traffic.

It was raining. As a result, we stayed home. –> It was raining, so we stayed home.

We went out despite the rain. –> We went out even though it was raining./It was raining but we went out anyway.


Traduce este texto a un inglés más apto para uso diario. Cuanto más sencillo sea, mejor. Antes de daros mi versión simplificada, os invito a colgar las vuestras en la sección de comentarios abajo.

My friend Manolo is employed as an urban sanitation technician. The commencement of his employment activities usually occurs at a relatively late hour (approximately 10:00 p.m.) and his return to his place of residence occurs early in the morning. As a result, the frequency of his contact with his marital partner, Conchita–as well as the duration of said contact–is minimal. Moreover, Conchita is obliged by her employment conditions to get up early in order to arrive at the local market, where she is a vendor of both salt- and fresh-water animal species for use in culinary activities.

Fortunately, Manolo and Conchita are able to arrange shared time on non-work days, and within this context the hour at which they get up is greatly postponed. Breakfast consists of a simple cup of coffee which is prepared and enjoyed at approximately 1:00. Lunch is had at 4:00, and is followed by a rest period whose time of termination is determined by the level of fatigue of both members of the conjugal unit.

In the evening, Manolo and Conchita enjoy pedestrian excursions in their urban zone, and the patronizing of culinary establishments with members of their social network. With some frequency, the participants’ behaviour and/or mental states are altered by the consumption of alcoholic beverages, but recovery normally takes place before the return of employment obligations the following week.

Join the discussion 20 Comments

  • Marisa dice:

    My friend Manolo works in the Health System and his partner, Conchita, as seller in the market.The working days they have trouble to be together because of their timetable, He starts working about 10pm and get home early in the morning and she gets up early for getting her job.
    The days off all is different. They get up really late about 1pm, have lunch at four and rest for a while. In the evening they walk and go to pubs where they meet acquaitances and drink alcohol.
    Next day they are ready to start a new week.

    To everybody: To many «get»? Is the translation too short? Please, give your opinions about this in your messages (and correct me too) Thanks a lot.

    To Zac: I’,m really happy to follow you.You have a different way to teach English and your explanations are great. Very thanks

  • Zac dice:

    Hi Marisa,

    I’m glad to know you’re enjoying the site!

    You don’t have too many «gets», but remember that «llegar al trabajo» is «to get TO work».

    And your version is not too short; in fact, mine is much shorter!

    One more thing: «sanitation» in English does not mean «sanidad». «Sanitation» is about keeping things clean (Manolo is a «basurero».)

    Saludos. Zac

  • loro dice:

    My firend Manolo works as an dustman. He starts to work relatively late (approximalely 10 p.m) and he gets home early in the morning.
    Thereforce, he and his partner Conchita, can’t see them a lot, because Conchita, gets up early, she works in a market as fishmonger.
    When they not work , they get up late, have a light breackfast and have lunch around 4:00 and after they rest.
    In the evening Manolo and Conchita make excursions and go out for dinner with friends. Sometimes they and their friends drink a lot alcohol, but they always recover before to start to work.

  • Daniel dice:

    My friend Manolo is a dustman. He usually starts working late, around 10.00 PM and goes back home early in the morning. He doesn´t spent much time with his wife, Conchita. Besides, she has to get up early to get to work in her fish shop. In weekends they get up later and enjoy some time together. For the breakfast just a cup of coffee around 1:00. They eat at 4:00 and have a nap, as longer as the need they have.
    In the evening, Manolo and Conchita go for an urban walk and sometimes they dinner with friends when oftenly alcohol helps them to talk and laugh. The price is a small hangover that always let them go back to work on Monday.

    Aunque mi mente es retorcida y mi inglés demasiado oficial he hecho lo que he podido. Espero tu versión.

    Saludos desde Bélgica

  • Jose Ignacio dice:

    My friend Manolo works as a dustman. He usually starts working late, around 10:00 PM and he comes back home early in the morning. So he doesn´t spend much time with her wife, Conchita.
    Besides she has to get up early because of her work in a fishmonger´s at the market.
    Fortunately they get up late and spend a lot of time together on week-ends. They have a cup of coffe around 1:00 and they have lunch at 4:00. After that they have a rest deppending on their tiredness.
    In the evenings they enjoy walking and going to some restaurants with their friends. Sometimes they get drunk but it wear off before next Monday .

  • Dani dice:

    Corrijo mi version anterior («doesn´t spend» con d y «as long as» sin er). He preparado también la version autenticamente española que cristaliza nuestra complicada forma de pensar:

    My friend Manolo deals with non hazardous urban materials as a waste management operator. According to his framework contract he starts his duties at 10 PM and finalise them in the very beginning of the morning. Due to this fact he is not able to get a contact with his significant person (Conchita) on a daily basis. The abovementioned contact has been made more difficult as a result of Conchita’s entrepreneurship since she has invested in a SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) which sells sea assets in fresh conditions. Furthermore, this market is very lively and the economic exchange occurs during the sunny hours in order to get the maximum benefit.
    The couple promotes their meetings on annual leaves and other non-working periods whereas possible. In such moments, the wakefulness starts later than usual due to a non-written deal. Given that fact, the first intake in the morning involves a cup of an infusion of coffee ground beans which is drunk according to a non-fixed schedule, at 1 PM at the latest. The second intake takes place not before than 4 PM and a subsequent extraordinary recovery period is held with a duration determined by the tiredness of one/or both members of the marital team.
    In the period of time before the sunset, the unit implements a walk without any pre-established target and/or goal when, without a clearly pre-fixed period of time, they meet other significant people for the unit for the last (but not least) intake of the day. This might imply an extraordinary intake of liquids with partial alcohol content which cause an unexpected distortion of the usual behaviour of the dinner’s members. As a consequence, a period of recovery is needed and it must take place beforehand their return to their respective commercial duties.

  • Zac dice:

    Hola Dani,

    Me parece excelente tu versión, sobre todo lo de «sea assets»! Se nota que tienes mucha experiencia con este tipo de lenguaje ; )

    un saludo. Zach

  • Carlos dice:

    My friend Manolo works as a dustman. He starts to work relatively late (approximately 10:00 p.m.) and comes back to home early in the morning. So he can’t see his wife very often because she has to get up early to go to work at the market.
    At weekends they can get up late and spend a lot of time together. Besides, they have a light breakfast and have lunch around 4:00, after that they rest.
    In the evening, they go out for a walk and go out for dinner with some friends, although sometimes we drink like a fish. In spite of their hangover they can go to work the next day.

  • David dice:

    Aqui va mi version!

    My friend Manolo works as a dustman. He starts to work quite late, around 10:00 p.m. and he usually goes back home early in the morning. Due to his schedule, he doesn’t spend much time with her wife Conchita. Beside, Conchita has to get up early in the morning because of her job (she sells both salt and fresh water fish in the market).

    Fortunately they spend time together in the days off, they get up later. They have a cup of coffee around 1.00, lunch at 4.00 and then they rest depending on how tired they both are.

    In the evening, they like walking in the city and going for dinner with friends. They often get drunk but they spend the hang over before going to work the next week.

  • Juan dice:

    Hi, here’s my text

    My friend Manolo is a garbage man. He starts working quite late, at 10:00 p.m.and he comes back home in the morning, so he can’t spend much time with her wife, Conchita. Besides, Conchita has to get up early to go to the market, where she is a fish-seller.
    Fortunately, Manolo and Conchita can spend time together on weekends, and they can get up late. They have a cup of coffee at 1:00, more or less. They have lunch at 4:00, and then, they relax until they have a nap.
    In the evening, They go for a walk trough the city, and have dinner with some friends at a restaurant. Sometimes they get drunk, but they get better when they go to work again.

    Quite horrible, huh?, haha.

    Great web, cheers!

  • Liz dice:

    ja ja ja!!!este articulo me ha causado mucha gracia…me encanta esta pagina, recien acabo de descubrirla hace unos dias, y me parece muy interesante y muy util para aquellos que llevamos siglos tratando de aprender el ingles. Muchas gracias por tomarte tu valioso tiempo para hacerlo. Luego te envio mi version mas simplificada de la carta arriba je je …

    Liz Medina
    Tegucigalpa, Honduras

  • palaman dice:

    Hola, acabo de descubrir a través de google reader este blog y la verdad es que me encanta. A ver si no llego muy tarde y me puedes sacar de dudas sobre lo siquiente:

    «My mother was robbed and nobody helped her get back her bag»… sería posible decirla de la siguiente forma?

    «My mother was robbed and nobody helped her to get her bag back.»

  • liloman dice:

    My friend Manolo is a «barrendero». He works between 10:00 pm and early in the morning. He doesn’t neither see nor talks to his wife too much because Conchita gets up early for selling salt and seafood at the local market too.
    Fortunately, they get up latter on the weekends, have a coffee at 1:00 for breakfast. Before they have a luch at 4:00 and have a time for relax themselves. In the weeknigths, they are use to walking in the neighborhood and advertising theirs local shops with theirs colleagues. They often drink alcoholic drinks, but without a later hangover.

  • Elvis dice:

    My Friend Manolo is dustman, he work on night and see his wife Conchita short time in the morning when she go to her job, on the day off they forget time , in the evening she like to walk in the city and some time drink few cup,the next day we comeback to work.

  • Fibo dice:

    My friend Manolo is working as sanitary tech. He starts to work at middle morning (estimated at 10:00 am) going back at home early next morning. Of course not enough time he has to share with his wife Conchita. Furthermore Conchita must get up early to stay at the local market. She works as fish clerk.

    Fortunately, they find time to spend together and waking up late. Breakfast is takes at 1:00 drinking only coffee. They take supper at 4:00 then relaxing depending how tired they both are.
    In the evening they walk around his neighborhood and then visit sponsored restaurant with club’s members. Sometime most of them are going drunk but not enough. They must be fine to work next week.

  • Yo dice:

    la complejidad y barroquismo del Castellano, version Ingles Rimbombante
    muy divertido

  • Marian dice:

    My friend Manolo is an urban sanitation technician. He usually starts to work about 10 p.m. and he comes back home in the morning. Because of work, he and his wife have little time to be together. She’s a fishmonger and works in a supermarket.

    Fortunatelly, Manolo and Conchita are together on non-work days.
    In the evening, They go out to enjoy their free time, at the end of day, they come back home.
    Finally, they’re going to rest to be fit the next day and to begin a new workday.

  • Fabian dice:

    Lo de Hidalgo me hizo reír muchisimo

  • Alberto dice:

    Keep it Simple!

    My friend Manolo works as an dustman. His job usually began at a late hour more or less (approximately 10:00 p.m.) and get home in the early morning. So he has a minimal contact with Conchita, his marital partner. Moreover, Conchita has to get up early for arriving to the local market, where she is a vendor of both salt- and fresh-water animal species for use in culinary activities.
    Fortunately, Manolo and Conchita can share time together on non-work days, so they usually like getting up later. They have breakfast a cup of coffe at 1:00 more or less. They have lunch at 4:00, and later they take a rest time depending by the level of fatigue of the couple.
    In the evening, Manolo and Conchita go to excursions around the city and resturants with their friends.
    The partipants often alter themselves because of alcohol consumption but the usually recover before the following work week.

    Kind Regards Zac!

  • quique dice:

    my friend manolo works as urban sanitation technician.
    he starts working full capacity around 10 pm and go back home early morning. so he hardly sees her girl friend conchita. because of her job, conchita gets up early to open her salt and fresh local market for animals.

    both of them have share time at weekends. they have coffee around 1:00 and have lunch at 4:00 . later on, they get some rest.

    they like going for a walk and visit culinary shops and collegues like them , around the city all evenings. sometimes the participants get drunk and act rare , but they rest enough to be fine for the following week.

Leave a Reply