March 25th, 2008

Please, please help.

I've been lurking in this community for a while because I knew I would eventually need to post something like this. I have a poem due tomorrow and I was hoping someone here would be able to give it a quick once-over and point out any technical mistakes I may have made. The assignment, specifically, was to write a poem in Spanish that used at least three verbs in the conditional tense. Thanks a ton in advance!

Collapse )

Collapse )

(no subject)

I took two semesters of German and can't understand a word of this. It's a biography about Hundertwasser apparently. If anyone could:

A) Tell me if this is even coherent
B) translate it/tell me what it means

I'd appreciate it tremendously.


Geboren 15.12.1928 in Wien als Friedrich Stowasser, besuchte der künftige Künstler zunächst die Montessori-Schule in Wien. Nach bestandener Matura studierte er 1948 für drei Monate an der Akademie der bildenden Künste in Wien. 1949 nahm er den Namen Hundertwasser an. Im September 1951 wurde Hundertwasser Mitglied des Art Clubs, der 1952 seine erste Einzelausstellung in der Art-Club-Galerie im "Strohkoffer" zeigte.
1959 war Hundertwasser Gastdozent an der Kunsthochschule in Hamburg. Die HundertwasserPräsentation im österreichischen Pavillon auf der venezianischen Biennale von 1962 brachte ihm den internationalen Durchbruch.
Es folgten zahlreiche internationale Ausstellungen.
Ab 1967 entstanden farbige Graphiken und erste Metallprägungen. 1968 veröffentlichte er sein Manifest "Los von Loos" Hundertwassers Werk ging in den folgenden Jahren g um die Welt: 1975 in Australien und im Münchner Haus der Kunst. Die im selben Jahr in der Graphischen Sammlung Albertina in Wien gezeigte Ausstellung des graphischen Gesamtwerks ging auf Museums-Tournee, zunächst in die USA. Im Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris wurde die Ausstellungs-Welttournee "Österreich zeigt den Kontinenten Hundertwasser" eröffnet. 1986 wurde das "Hundertwasser-Haus" in Wien fertiggestellt. Seit 1991 ist Hundertwassers Oeuvre im KunstHausWien dauerhaft ausgestellt.Friedensreich Hundertwasser starb am 19.2.2000 im Pazifischen Ozean an Bord der Queen Elizabeth I.
grammar crisis room

There's nothing like "hay" when you're feeling faint.

My Spanish textbook hasn't arrived in the mail yet, so I'm pestering you all.

Stupid though it is, I use Alta Vista Babelfish at times, mainly to check spellings and accents, when I know what the words I need sound like, but not how to write them. But, of course, there are also translations, which are a sometimes stimulating problem. I should just give up and get a proper dictionary, but I'm perversely fascinated by the things machine translations do.

So, between one thing and the next, I have generated the following questions, which I think are pretty basic Spanish. If it makes a difference to any of these, I seem to be learning Mexican Spanish at the moment.

1. When I translate "because," I get "porque." When I translate "why," I get "porqué." But when I translate a a question containing the word "why," I get "por qué" - the words are separated. Is that accurate? If that's accurate, does anyone have any information, context, or general wisdom to pass on about this seeming anomaly?

2. When I translate "There is," I get "hay." Pretty sure that's right. When I translate, "There is a book," I get "Hay un libro," which again seems right to me. When I translate, "Why is there a book?" I get "¿Por qué hay un libro?" I don't know if that's correct or not. Does 'hay' carry over into questions directly like that, or is there a different construction? (Obviously, one would rarely be so existential as to ask, "Why is there a book?" but one could consider that to be a way of isolating the problematic part of much more common and plausible questions like, "Why is there a book in my breakfast?" or "Why is there a book in the fish tank?")

3. If I try to translate "Il y a" into English, I get "There is" and in Spanish, I get "Hay," so that's good. But if I try to translate "Pourquoi y a-t-il..." Oh, nevermind. "Pourquoi y a-t-il un livre dans le résevoir de poissons?" is now translating - presumably properly - into "¿Por qué hay un libro en el tanque de pescados?" Before, something about the "y a-t-il" construction was breaking Babelfish and it was unable to answer. I must have been typing it wrong or something. Nevermind. There is no question three. Circule, circule, il n'y a rien a voir.

4. Is there (does anyone know?) a link between the verb "hacer" and the apparently monolithic "hay"? For that matter, is "hay" considered a verb? A particle? A unique and special snowflake? Does it ever get conjugated, declined, or otherwise transmuted? Are there any other words considered to be similar? Does anyone know its etymology?

5. Can "hay" ever be used about a person? "Mama, hay un hombre con un sombrero aqui!"

(Edited to remove an unruly apostrophe in question three, which doesn't exist anyhow.)