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Arrested Development #5

Context: This is the narrator talking.

Original English: Meanwhile Tobias had arranged an audition for a commercial.

Spanish Translation: Mientras tanto, Tobias tenía una audición para un comercial.


Basically, “mientras tanto” means “meanwhile” and “mientras” (without “tanto”) means “while”.

BUT, since words don’t mean words, that’s not always true. Just BASICALLY.


Meanwhile Tobias had arranged an audition...
= Meanwhile Tobias had an audition...

So we’re just talking about the wording. The subtitlers simply went with the more straightforward translation (and used a different verb in a different tense).

arranged an audition
= tenía una audición
= had an audition

Spanish Quickie: How Words Work


They used the imperfect (tenía) because we tend to “have” things over a period of time.

And in this case, Tobias “had” an appointment from the time he set the appointment, until the appointment time.

This is background information, a set up where something else COULD happen.

Like... the electricity could go out!

Meanwhile, Tobias had an audition, but then the electricity went out.
= Mientras tanto, Tobias tenía una audición para un comercial, pero [entonces] la electricidad se apagó.

Tobias having the audition is how things were. (imperfect)

The electricity going out is what happened. (preterite)

Spanish Quickie: Preterite Vs. Imperfect Rule of Thumb


They used “para” for “for” here because the audition was FOR a commercial. The PURPOSE or GOAL of the audition was a commercial.

And when you say it like that, as a “purpose” or “goal” -- it’s much easier to see the bullseye.

And more importantly, the ARROW, that is PARA, heading straight for that bullseye--with purpose.

Because that arrow has a goal... it’s “un comercial”.

Spanish Quickie: Por Vs. Para

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