Wrong use of Spanish language in the media: Don’t get me wrong – Periódico Página100 – Noticias de popayán y el Cauca

Wrong use of Spanish language in the media: Don’t get me wrong

We all make mistakes when we’re learning, but some common Spanish mistakes frequently appear in the press too.

It’s natural for second language learners to rely on the media to help them learn and/or reinforce their new language. We take it for granted that we’re going to find the best use of language in media, and that should be the case. Sadly, there are times when a few sneaky mistakes slip through. In this Spanish language column, we’ll analyse four examples of this.

The case of en donde and cuando

Make no mistake. En donde in Spanish means where, and cuando means when. Explaining why native speakers, and particularly reporters, confuse them is a little difficult, but it might well be connected to the pressure of reporting last minute news. Whenever you are referring to a place in Spanish, dondeen la que or en el queare used. Cuando is used in sentences that require a time reference.

For example:

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Esta es la tienda cuando se reunieron los delincuentes para repartir el botín. 
–> Esta es la tienda en donde/en la que se reunieron los delincuentes para repartir el botín. 

Thisis the store where the criminals met to divvy up the booty.

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La semana pasada, donde se tomó la decisión en la Corte Suprema, los ciudadanos salieron a la calle a protestar. 
–> La semana pasada, cuando se tomó la decisión en la Corte Suprema, los ciudadanos salieron a la calle a protestar. 

Last week, when the Supreme Court made the decision, citizens went out to the streets to protest.

Había, not “habían

We Spanish speakers certainly like to complicate our lives with this one! It is straightforward in English: there WAS a book on the table, but there WERE five books on the shelf. Spanish does not pluralise this, and it should not be treated like some other impersonal verbs.

For example:

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Hubieron muchos problemas con la implementación de la paz. 
–> Hubo muchos problemas con la implementación de la paz. 

There were many problems during the implementation of the peace process

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Habían muchas personas haciendo fila para entrar a Rock al Parque. 
–> Había muchas personas haciendo fila para entrar a Rock al Parque. 

There were many people standing in line to get in Rock al Parque.

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Pueden haber graves consecuencias para los delincuentes. 
–> Puede haber graves consecuencias para los delincuentes. 

There may be dire consequences for the criminals.

Cuyo/Cuya

This is how to say whose in Spanish, but unfortunately very few people seem to care or to know about its use. It’s a real pity to see cuyo omitted in many reports and interviews on television and radio.

For example:

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El terreno, el que su valor es exorbitante, fue adquirido por los familiares de un renombrado funcionario público. 
–> El terreno, cuyo valor es exorbitante, fue adquirido por los familiares de un renombrado funcionario público. 

The land, whose value is excessive, was acquired by a famous public officer

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La página web, la que su audiencia supera los diez millones de seguidores, planea adquirir una importante cadena de televisión. 
–> La página web, cuya audiencia supera los diez millones de seguidores, planea adquirir una importante cadena de televisión. 

The web page, whose audience is over 10 million followers, is planning to buy out a very important TV broadcasting company.

The rumour conditional

A favourite of journalists, reporters, and presenters alike. According to a note issued 2007 by fundeu.es, or Fundación del Español Urgente, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the correct use of Spanish, “The use of the rumour conditional is not grammatically incorrect, but style manuals consider it inappropriate.” 

In Spanish, there are many uses for the conditional. One of these is to refer to uncertainty, most often in terms of an approximation, as in the example: “Habría en este momento unas 2.000 personas en la manifestación en contra del maltrato infantil.” At the moment, there are some 2,000 people present at the protests against child abuse.

However, some journalists have resorted to this “conditional” way of speaking to report news which is not entirely confirmed. It’s safe to say that many journalists use this to save their necks when the news hasn’t been validated. On this note, fundeu.es comes to the rescue, and suggests expressions such as según fuentes consultadas, posiblemente, cabe la posibilidad de que, es posible que, se cree que…

For example:

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El Frente Nororiental del ELN sería el responsable del ataque. 

The Northeastern Bloc of the ELN would be accountable for the attack…

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–> Según fuentes consultadas, el Frente Nororiental del ELN es el responsable del ataque. 

According to consulted sources, the Northeastern Bloc of the ELN is responsible for the attack.

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–> Posiblemente, el Frente Nororiental del ELN es el responsable del ataque. 

The Northeastern Bloc of the ELN is possibly accountable for the attack.

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–> Cabe la posibilidad de que el Frente Nororiental del ELN sea el responsable del ataque. 

There is a chance that the Northeastern Bloc of the ELN is responsible for the attack.

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–> Es posible que el Frente Nororiental del ELN sea el responsable del ataque. 

It is possible that the Northeastern Bloc of the ELN is responsible for the attack.

From Popayan Colombia  https://www.pagina100.com WhatsApp +57 323 292 6034

Source:  thebogotapost.com

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