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might as well - más vale que

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by jcomunica, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. jcomunica

    jcomunica Senior Member

    Hola a todos

    Please could you guys take a look at these translations and comment? Translating ' might as well' as 'más vale que' just isn't cutting the mustard for me.
    I see there are a few threads on 'I might as well' but to me they lack some much needed detail, this is a well used British English expression.

    This Spanish class is so bad I might as well not be here.

    Este clase de español es tan malo, más vale que hago algo diferente.
    Este clase de español es tan malo que no sirve para nada estar aquí.
    Este clase de español es tan malo que no tiene sentido que yo esté aquí. <-- I appreciate that the last one probably 'sounds' weird, but to me it seems the most 'English' because the sentiment the English sentence attempts to communicate is that there is NO other option, the class is SO bad that there really isn't any point in being there no matter what you do instead. It's not that there is something 'más vale que hacer' but rather that to be there is completely pointless and without reason, there simply is no other 'inteligent' option. It is actually quite an emphatic statement, albeit a British one.


    We might as well leave now the party is over.
    Debemos irnos, la fiesta ha terminado.

    I might as well agree, you are clearly not going to change your mind.
    Voy a acordar, claro no te vas a cambiar la mente.

    She might as well .. there's nothing much else she can do.
    Por qué no .. que más puede hacer.


    saludos
     
  2. Mmart Senior Member

    Barcelona
    Spanish, Catalan - Spain
    "cutting the mustard" lol!

    Esta clase de español es tan mala que más me valdría no estar aquí.

    Más vale que nos vayamos ya, la fiesta ha terminado.

    Más vale que esté de acuerdo contigo, claramente no vas a cambiar de opinión.
    Más me vale estar de acuerdo contigo, esta claro que no vas a cambiar de opinión.

    También podría... no hay nada más que pueda hacer.
     
  3. cal aggie

    cal aggie Senior Member

    USA - English
    As a follow-up, could one also say "Menos mal que nos vayamos ya, la fiesta ha terminado"?
     
  4. juan082937 Senior Member

    español
    Menos mal que nos vamos ya , la fiesta ha terminado. The party is over and we are leaving now= Indicative.
     
  5. turi Senior Member

    En un lugar de Catalunya
    Catalán y castellano.
    Quizá: "Mejor"
     
  6. cal aggie

    cal aggie Senior Member

    USA - English
    Referring to the OP, is this correct?

    Mejor (menos mal) que nos vayamos ya = It's better that we leave now (subjunctive)
    Mejor (menos mal) que nos vamos ya = It's better that we are leaving now (indicative)

    In that sense, would "menos mal" or "mejor" with the subjunctive serve the same role as "might as well" in English? Perhaps "mejor" is a bit stronger than "might as well"?
     
  7. jcomunica

    jcomunica Senior Member

    thanks everyone

    but again it seems people would rather say 'it's better that..' or 'we should ..' but that isn't what we mean


    this seems close to me


    Más vale que esté de acuerdo contigo, claramente no vas a cambiar de opinión.


    but


    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Tahoma, Calibri, Geneva, sans-serif]No tengo otra opción, voy a acordar contigo claramente no vas a cambiar de opinión. <-- seems much closer[/FONT]
     
  8. Mmart Senior Member

    Barcelona
    Spanish, Catalan - Spain
    No tengo otra opción, voy a acordar contigo claramente no vas a cambiar de opinión. <-- this is not correct.
    No tengo otra opción, estoy de acuerdo contigo porque claramente no vas a cambiar de opinión.

    But "más vale que" is not the exactly the same as "no tengo otra opción". The first one expresses a convenience, the second one that there is no other way out.

    Also, in the first sentence about the spanish class, you could not use this second translation; I think that is a good clue.

     
  9. jcomunica

    jcomunica Senior Member

    Mmart please would you give a couple of examples of 'más vale que' as it expresses a convenience?

    I would like to stay with this one a little longer please. For example, I heard this expression used in my office only this morning! In a context in which 'más vale que' certainly would not have worked.

    In bad English/Spanish, a horribly literal translation and too many words etc 'I might as well' = no tiene sentido en absoluto 'estar aqui'/'hacerlo' etc. ni tiene más sentido estar en otra lugar, pero claro que no sirve para nada estar aqui y por eso 'I might as well' not be here.

    I am tempted to conclude that there is no Spanish translation for this because it might express is a notion which is not shared between the cultures.

    In the language class example a 'Spanish' person would probably say: Esta clase de inglés es tan malo, bueno me voy!

    whereas an 'English' person would say: This Spanish class is so bad I might as well not be here.

    How about: Esta clase es tan malo, por qué estoy aqui? note that there is no 'más' involved and no 'valer' nor 'deber' I simply 'might as well' not be in that class. La situación de estar allí es como es, sin sentido.

    A further example is this one:

    Someone consoling their friend:
    'Your wife left you ten years ago and hasn't spoken to you since. You might as well face it mate, she isn't coming back.'

    If the guy had said 'you should face it/you are better to accept/it's better that/it doesn't make sense/you don't have any choice etc it would sound a little commanding (coactivo), possibly patronising and certainly not the words of a kind, thoughtful and sympathetic friend.lo siento mucho por haberlo insistido en esto, bueno el diablo está en el detalle
     
  10. Mmart Senior Member

    Barcelona
    Spanish, Catalan - Spain
    Está lloviendo, más vale que entres en casa.
    Si quieres postre más vale que te acabes las verduras.

    Esta clase de inglés es tan malo, bueno me voy! :cross:
    ¡Esta clase de inglés es malísima, mejor me voy! :tick: (you actually leave)
    ¡Esta clase de inglés es tan mala que más me valdría no estar aquí! (just complaining, you may stay)

    Esta clase es tan malo, por qué estoy aqui? :cross:
    ¡Esta clase es tan mala! ¿Por qué estaré aquí? --> This class is awful, why am I even here?

    You might as well face it mate, she isn't coming back. --> Más vale que lo aceptes hombre, no va a volver.

    Could it be that you are thinking about how the phrases sound? Maybe if you just read them you could get rid of the "fake" intonation.

     
  11. jcomunica

    jcomunica Senior Member


    You
    might as well face it mate, she isn't coming back. --> Más vale que lo aceptes hombre, no va a volver.
    :cross:

    Más vale que lo aceptes hombre, no va a volver. --> It's better that you accept it, she's not coming back.
    :tick:

    ¡Esta clase es tan mala! ¿Por qué estaré aquí? --> This class is awful, why am I even here? wow! can I use the future tense like this?

    if so how about:

    You might as well face it mate, she isn't coming back. --> Hombre, ella no va a volver. ¿Por qué creerás diferente?


    ps not thinking about how the phrases sound, just reading them, using fake intonation lo siento pero no puedo hacer estas cosas.
     
  12. k-in-sc

    k-in-sc Senior Member

    You might as well = You'd better = Más (te) vale (que)
     
  13. jcomunica

    jcomunica Senior Member

    there is a subtle difference between 'you might as well' and 'you'd better'

    The first is relentment the second is a form of advice
     
  14. jcomunica

    jcomunica Senior Member

    A subtle but important difference, a finer point of language use.

    well suited to this forum
     
  15. k-in-sc

    k-in-sc Senior Member

    I think in the example you gave they're equivalent.
     
  16. jcomunica

    jcomunica Senior Member

    gracias a todos

    The context being two English friends talking in a pub those two things are defiantly not equivalent.

    Unfortunately this thread hasn't produced the Spanish equivalent of communicating this.

    I'll try another thread pitched at catching a native to clarify the subtitles of 'ceder' and 'relinquishment' in Spanish. I'm not after a colloquial or even a popular expression, inter-communication of that sentiment in Spanish is the goal here. And yes I fully understand that not everyone has ever needed to specifically express it in a real social situation but many have and many will.

    thanks again
     
  17. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    "I might as well" says it does not matter whether I do; "I had better" says it does matter, that doing so is a better option than the alternative. To me that is more than a minor difference.
     
  18. juan082937 Senior Member

    español
     
  19. inib

    inib Senior Member

    La Rioja, Spain
    British English
    I sympathise, and I'm afraid that's all I can do. I can't come up with a good translation. It's true that in some situations both might as well and más vale would fit, but they don't mean the same thing to me.
    Forero sums it up well in his post #17, and some sort of version of the already suggested "da igual" might express the idea. But it's not easy to slip it into every example on this thread.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
  20. qmccain New Member

    Arizona
    English-U.S.A
    In some similar cases I've heard "sera mejor que" used.

    Don't know if this helps
     
  21. Ynez Senior Member

    Spain
    Spanish
    Your first example:

    This Spanish class is so bad I might as well not be here.

    You could translate it as you said: "Esta clase de español es tan mala que no tiene sentido estar aquí". The idea is similar if you say "...es tan mala que mejor que no estuviera aquí", "...es tan mala que más me valdría no estar aquí".

    Your second example:

    Your wife left you ten years ago and hasn't spoken to you since. You might as well face it mate, she isn't coming back.

    After reading what you explained, I would say "Tu mujer te dejó hace diez años y no te ha vuelto a hablar. No te queda más remedio que aceptarlo, tío/amigo/compañero*. No va a volver.

    The same, in a more informal style: "...y no te ha vuelto a hablar. No te queda otra que aceptarlo..."

    * depende del nivel de informalidad

    The only thing I see clear is that there is not a fixed translation of "might as well". First, because it is used with many different meanings. You see your first and second example as similar, but I don't (following your explanation of them). And there are many other examples of "might/may as well" meaning completely unrelated things. It is very difficult for us. :(




    I've noticed now that you had convinced me a bit, but I think that saying in the second sentence "más te vale aceptarlo" or "mejor que lo aceptes" is not so different. But it is true that if you really want to transmit the idea of "there is nothing you can do about it", it is better with "no te queda más remedio que..." (which you can't use in your first example).


    Is the first example normal in American English?
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  22. Ynez Senior Member

    Spain
    Spanish
    That's totally different. "Menos mal que nos vamos ya" is something like "Thank God we are leaving...".

    I see Mmart translated them all with "más vale que", and all make sense to me.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013

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