31 ago. 2011

Got Lead?

A student wrote "tenía plomo" for "has led to...." I finally figured out that s/he was confusing the verb "to lead" with the name of the metal "lead." Aargh... Of couse, you don't use the verb tener with perfect tenses.

3 comentarios:

Clarissa dijo...

This sounds like a classic case of machine translation.

Nick dijo...

I don't think it can be MT - a program might confuse lead (vb) with lead (the metal), but surely not with "led".

I think it's an older problem, dictionary translation. How do you say "lead" in Spanish? Look it up: lead - plomo (followed by lots of little letters and other meanings and things, but never mind them, take the first translation, it's probably the best, plus it saves time.)

This is the same problem that results in Spanish students of English writing things like "I am a tapeworm person." (solitaria) or to start sentences with "Overcoat, I think this is because..." (sobre todo versus sobretodo).

Jonathan dijo...

That's assuming the that the student wrote "had led" when she could have easily written "has lead."