Arrested Development #22
Context: This is Gob (Michael’s brother). He’s in jail, but he CHOSE to enter the jail. He’s a magician, and his trick is to escape. However, plan A and plan B have failed. Now he's in his cell, with his father (who’s really a prisoner) saying what a failure he is. Which prompted this reply from his dad...
George (dad): Where did you get that kind of talk?
Spanish Translation: ¿De dónde sacaste eso?
ISSUE #1: SPEAK SNOBBILY
In English, “they” say you’re not supposed to end your sentence with a preposition. So this sentence wouldn’t be okay: “Where did you get that FROM?”
Because supposedly, it’s not okay to end a sentence with a preposition (“from” is a preposition).
Well, I’m not “okay” with “them”.
But what’s important now is, Spanish works how English supposedly does. Except in Spanish (unlike English) it truly sounds HORRIBLE (maybe unnatural?) to end a sentence with a preposition, like “de”.
¿Dónde sacaste de? NOOOOO, make it stop!
¿Dónde vas a? Seriously, it’s like nails on a chalkboard.
In English, “they” might SAY it’s wrong, but in Spanish, it FEELS wrong.
The good news is, once you know how to properly ask questions in Spanish, you’ll be able to “properly” ask questions in English.
¿De dónde sacaste...?
= From where did you get...?
= Where did you get that from?
= Where did you get that?
ISSUE #2: SACAR = TO GET
In English, George asked Gob, “Where did you GET that talk?” But the translators chose “sacar” instead of “conseguir” for “get”. I like this move. A very common one.
“Conseguir” basically means “to get” and “sacar” basically means “to take out”. But when you “take” one thing “out” of another, you “get” it, right? In fact:
I take the cat out of the tree
= I get the cat out of the tree
So at least in some contexts, “to get” is the same physical act (and basic idea) as “to take out”. And this example is one of those contexts! Even though the “get” or “take out” or “sacar” aren’t physical here.
That means, the translators CHOSE to use “sacar” for “to get”. They didn’t have to do that.
When George says, “Where did you get that kind of talk?” -- he really means, “Where did you get that IDEA?” Then in Spanish, they shortened it to “Where did you get THAT?”
And while “¿De dónde conseguiste eso?” and “¿De dónde sacaste eso?” do basically mean the same thing in this context, they definitely have a different vibe to them.
To me at least, with “sacaste” instead of “conseguiste” -- it’s more like Gob plucked this CRAZY idea from outer space. By saying “sacaste” it makes Gob’s idea seem crazier--and that’s what his dad wants to do! Gob had just called himself a failure. The crazier that idea, the less of a failure Gob is. “Sacaste” is better here to convey George’s intentions.
Do you feel what I feel? Or am I a little bit COO COO?
ISSUE #3: PRETERITE VS. IMPERFECT
They conjugated “sacar” in the preterite tense. The nature of the word “to get” makes it a verb that’s usually found in the preterite tense (as opposed to the imperfect). Not always, just usually.
The imperfect is used to say “how things were” and the preterite is used to say “what happened”.
When we “get” something, we do it in one moment. It might take us a while to arrive at that moment, but one second we don’t have it, then the next second we “get” it. And that describes “what happened”. That’s why they put “sacar” in the preterite tense.
One moment Gob didn’t have his crazy idea. Then he GOT it, or TOOK IT OUT [of thin air]. It’s what happened.
ALL TOGETHER NOW
¿De dónde sacaste eso?
= From where did you take out that?
= From where did you get that idea?
= Where did you get that kind of talk?