20 September 2008

Dialog - The Neighbor

In our last dialog entitled “The Neighbor's Dog” we left our favorite couple settling down to watch television because their neighbor's dog had kept them awake with his barking. Now it is the following morning and they spot the neighbor coming to see them. Let's listen in and see what happens:

Mira. Ahí viene el vecino.
Look. Here comes the neighbor.

Vas a quejar de su perro ladrando toda la noche?
Are you going to complain about his dog barking all night?

No. Dile que ahora no estoy.
No. Tell him that I'm not here right now.

¿Por qué?

Porque yo no quiero nada que ver con él.
Because I want nothing to do with him.

Pero ¿por qué?
But why?

Porque él siempre me pide un préstamo.
Because he is always asking me for a loan.

Mira, cariño. No es para tanto. Es nuestro vecino y en todas maneras necesitamos ser sociables.
Look dear. It's not that bad. He is our neighbor and no matter what we need to be polite.

(Sonó el timbre de la puerta y el hombre abrió.)
(The doorbell rings and the man opens the door.)

¡Que milagro! Mira mi amor. Es nuestro vecino. Pásale vecino.
What a miracle! Look my love. It's our neighbor. Come in, neighbor.

Buenos días, amigo. Disculpe las molestias.
Good morning friend. Excuse the bother.

¡Noooombre! No hay nigún problema. ¿Que hay de nuevo?
What are you talking about! There is no bother. What's up?

Nada. Solo vine a saludarte y pedir un pequeño favor.
Nothing. I just came to say hello and ask a little favor.

A poco no, vecino. ¿En qúe te puedo servir?
Of course, neighbor. How can I be of service.

Espérame cariño. ¿No vas a ofrecer algo a nuestro huésped?
Just a minute dear. Aren't you going to offer something to our guest?

Tienes razón mi amor. Siéntese vecino y vamos tomar un cafecito.
You're right my love. Sit down, neighbor and let's have a little coffee.

No gracias. Ya almorzé hace un rato.
No thanks. I just ate a little while ago.

Bueno, ¿entonces en qúe te puedo ayudar?
Okay. Then how can I help you?

Quiero construir una casita para mi perrito porque mi esposa no le permite dormir en la casa y el se siente incómodo dormir afuera. Tengo la madera pero me falta una sierra eléctrica. ¿Me puedes prestar la de tuya?
I want to build a little dog house for my little dog because my wife won't let him sleep in the house and he feels uncomfortable outside. I have the wood but I lack an electric saw. Can you lend me yours?

Si, mi amigo pero ¿sabes qúe? Te presté mi sierra eléctrica hace tres o cuatro semanas y todavía no me la devuelves. Si mal no recuerdo está en la repisa en lado izquierdo de tu cochera. ¿Recuerdas?
Yes my friend but you know what? I lent you my electric saw three or four weeks ago and you haven't returned it yet. If my memory serves me it is on the shelf on the left side of your garage. Remember?

Ay, vecino. Tienes mucha razón. ¡Qúe vergüenza!Tengo mucha pena contigo. Perdóneme por favor. Me retiro y voy a devolverlo tan pronto como termino mi proyecto. Nos vemos entonces. Muchísimas gracias.
Ooops, neighbor. You're are right. How embarrassing! I feel very sheepish. Please forgive me. I'll go now and I will return it as soon as I finish my project. I'll see you later. Thanks a lot.

No hay de que, vecino. Cuida tus dedos, eh.
You're welcome neighbor. Be careful of your fingers, eh?

(El vecino salió y el hombre cerró la puerta.)
The neighbor left and the man closed the door.

¡Hijole! ¡Qúe idiota!
Wow! What an idiot!

Shhhh, ¿que pasa si el vecino te oye?
Shhhh, what happens if he hears you?

A mi no me importa.
I don't give a damn.

Note: I have a few comments:

Ahí viene el vecino – The literal translation for this is “There come the neighbor”. Obviously we don't talk like this in English so I translated it as “Here comes the neighbor”. This is just another example of how we must learn “chunks” of a language and their meanings and not just translate word for word. The only way to be able to do this on the fly is to memorize them.

no quiero nada que ver con él – The literal translation is “I want nothing to see with him” but in English we say “I want nothing to do with him”. This particular chunk, “nada que ver con” is very useful. You can also preface it with the verb “tener” as in “No tengo nada que ver con él” or “I have nothing to do with him”.

¡Noooombre! No hay nigún problema. - The word “nombre” means “name” but when pronounced long and drawn out it takes on the meaning of “What's the matter with you!” or “Why do you need to ask?” or “Don't even mention it!” or as I translated it “What are you talking about!”. It is quite common. I don't know the origin. Perhaps it is a contraction of “No hombre”.

No es para tanto – A very useful phrase. It means “It's not so bad.” or “It's not so bad as all that”.

Ya almorzé hace un rato. The verb “almorzar” means to eat a heavy breakfast or “brunch”. The verb “desayunar” means “ to break the fast” and it means to eat a light breakfast like a donut and coffee.

Si mal no recuerdo - “If bad I don't remember”. We would more typically say in English “If my memory serves me” or “If I remember correctly”.

Tengo mucha pena contigo. - Very common phrase. It literally means “I have much shame with you”. We might say in English “Shame on me”. I used “I feel very sheepish” because it seemed to fit.

A mi no me importa – I translated it as “I don't give a damn” as that is roughly the meaning that it tries to convey. This phrase seems harmless but be careful with it.

Additional Note:

¡Que milagro! - You will knote that I gave this phrase the literal translation of "What a miracle! In the comment section below my friend Eddie Willers pointed out that instead of "What a miracle" it suggests a meaning like "long time no see". I should have mentioned that. Thanks, Eddie. I think you could also say it means something like "Well, look who's here!"


Anonymous said...

Muy bien, sólo una cosa, escribiste "contingo" en lugar de "contigo". :)

GlorV1 said...

Hola vecino! We don't lend our neighbors to the right, because they just don't return, and the neighbors to the left are neither here nor there. Its good that he wants to build a dog house, dogs should have a place to lay their heads. I like your tales and the continuation of them. Have a great day.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,
Thanks for catching my typo. If you see any more please let me know...and don't be so anonymous :) Send me an e-mail. My e-mail address is on the blog.

Gloria. You are my biggest fan. May God bless you.

GlorV1 said...

Thank you Mr. Bob. Just stopped by to re-read a few things. Take care.

'Eddie Willers' said...

"que milagro" - said, as I understand it, when one hasn't seen the person for a while and more like, 'long time, no see'.

keep up the good work Bob. How about a dialogue for dealing with the mechanic?

Anonymous said...

I should have explained that part about "Qué milagro" but you did it for me very well. Thanks for the back-up. I am always looking for feedback so that I can improve.

There is a dialog about a mechanic in the works but there are a few other dialogs in front of it. I hope you will be patient with me :)

Anonymous said...

Lo siento, es que no tengo OpenID ni nada así. Siempre leo tus blogs, son graciosos y me gustan mucho :) Sigue adelante con tu buen trabajo

Unknown said...

Just found your site. What a great blog! Just what I needed. Ive taught myself a modicum of Spanish, but the textbooks are so tedious. Thank you so much for your gift!

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I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. I have been living in Mexico since January 6th, 1999. I am continually studying to improve my knowledge of the Spanish language and Mexican history and culture. I am also a student of Mandarin Chinese.