Imprecise lesson semantics

MarkB2Kwiziq community member

Imprecise lesson semantics

As an extremely well-educated native North American speaker trying to learn Latin American Spanish, I find the semantics in this lesson frustrating. This is punctuated by all the comments seen here. There is insufficient context provided. For example (ignoring the hint since hints aren't given in real life), one of the quiz questions asks to translate: "They are having ice cream." I would immediately think "Están tomando helado." - or perhaps "desfrutando" given some of the loose lesson translations. However, to think: "Van a tomar helado." I need further context. For example: "They are having ice cream this afternoon." - "Van a tomar helado esta tarde." Otherwise in English you are much less ambivalent saying: "They are going to have ice cream." I understand both sides of the arguments and I fall more on the side of "They are going to have," but a better solution is to provide a more complete explanation and context in the lesson, after all, it is more common to say "They are going to have." Concede that we use the exact same literal expression in both Spanish and English but then take it further in the lesson to explain the nuanced differences in English thought compared to Spanish thought. 

Asked 8 months ago
InmaKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hola Mark

Sorry to hear you feel frustrated with this lesson. We will go back to it and see if it needs more clarification. 

With regards to the actual test-questions linked to this lesson, we do have a hint on all of them which in this case are absolutely necessary to read and follow to lead you to the only possible correct question in the dropdown menu. I understand that if you ignore the hint the possibilities are more than one, but this is precisely why we remind the students to always read the hints.

By reading the hint given in these questions, saying "It refers to a decision made and arranged for the future" you then know that the option given in the translations using a progressive present "estoy + gerundio", which is the literal translation from the English, is not a correct option because in Spanish we don't use the progressive present tense to express a decision made and arranged for the future (the way you do in English); we use the near future instead. 

We have this lesson as B1 content because we understand it creates some extra doubt due to the different tense that you could use in English. 

Saludos cordiales

Inma

DavidC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi there Mark -

Yes, in the particular context which you quote, I agree that "They are going to have ice cream" would have been better. Have any other examples caught your eye?

Looking at the broader picture, however, Kwiziq does offer facilities which other courses do not. The opportunity to ask questions and receive answers is one of them. Admittedly, there are sometimes points raised by students which are difficult to address properly.

[A completely different area now:] In their translation exercises, they often give several acceptable answers - but it is just not feasible to list every single possibility. Thus, it helps to be flexible and open-minded when working through them.

Imprecise lesson semantics

As an extremely well-educated native North American speaker trying to learn Latin American Spanish, I find the semantics in this lesson frustrating. This is punctuated by all the comments seen here. There is insufficient context provided. For example (ignoring the hint since hints aren't given in real life), one of the quiz questions asks to translate: "They are having ice cream." I would immediately think "Están tomando helado." - or perhaps "desfrutando" given some of the loose lesson translations. However, to think: "Van a tomar helado." I need further context. For example: "They are having ice cream this afternoon." - "Van a tomar helado esta tarde." Otherwise in English you are much less ambivalent saying: "They are going to have ice cream." I understand both sides of the arguments and I fall more on the side of "They are going to have," but a better solution is to provide a more complete explanation and context in the lesson, after all, it is more common to say "They are going to have." Concede that we use the exact same literal expression in both Spanish and English but then take it further in the lesson to explain the nuanced differences in English thought compared to Spanish thought. 

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