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Better Call Saul #11

Context: Tuco broke the red-headed brothers’ legs because of a scheme Jimmy got them into.

Red-headed brother #1: You are the worst lawyer! The worst lawyer ever!

Spanish Translation: ¡Eres el peor abogado! ¡El peor abogado de la historia!

Our Issue: Ser Vs. Estar, Present Tense

THE LOGIC OF SER & ESTAR:

**********

“Ser” refers to stuff that’s part of somebody or something’s IDENTITY or ESSENCE.

“Estar” refers to stuff that’s part of somebody or something’s STATE OF BEING.

**********

One of the red-headed brothers said, “You ARE the worst lawyer!” The Spanish subtitlers chose “eres” for that, which comes from “ser”. Why did the subtitlers choose “ser” and not “estar” for “to be” here?

you ARE the worst lawyer
= ERES el peor abogado

Let’s use the Get Literal Method to see what’s really going on.

you ARE the worst lawyer
= you ARE the person with the worst lawyering skills

Now that we see “you are the worst lawyer” is really talking about what kind of person Jimmy is, it’s pretty easy to see that the red-headed brother is talking about Jimmy’s identity or essence. Right? Do you see that?

you are a good person
= eres una buena persona

And our example is basically the same thing as that.

Using the Get Literal Method again:

you are a good lawyer
= you are a person that practices law well

you are a bad lawyer
= you are a person that practices law badly

Pretty cool, right? I wish I discovered the Get Literal Method sooner!

Now, here’s the Spanish:

you are a bad lawyer
= eres un mal abogado

you are the worst lawyer
= eres el peor abogado

Ya got it?

THE WHOLE THING:

¡Eres el peor abogado! ¡El peor abogado de la historia!

= You are the worst lawyer! The worst lawyer of the history!

= You are the worst lawyer! The worst lawyer ever!

Any questions? About this issue or any others? Ask away!

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