all Romance languages: lo bueno, lo malo

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Gavril

Senior Member
English, USA
In Spanish, a common construction involves placing the neuter/abstract pronoun lo before an adjective (not followed by any noun) or adverb:

lo normal "normalness", "that which is normal"
lo bueno y lo malo del asunto "what is good and bad about the matter"
Noté lo lentamente que se movía "I noticed how slowly he was moving"

What would be the equivalent of phrases like the above in the other Romance languages?
 
  • bibax

    Senior Member
    Czech (Prague)
    If we count Latin as Romance:

    lo normal: normale (neuter sing. of adj. normalis; norma = square, an instrument);
    lo bueno, lo malo: bonum, malum (neuter sing. of adj. bonus, bona, bonum = good, malus, ... = bad);
    lo lentamente: :confused:;
     

    DearPrudence

    Dépêche Mod (AL mod)
    IdF
    French (lower Normandy)
    French is not that flexible I would say.
    Most of the time, we will need to rephrase it as "what is + adjective" when we don't have a noun for it.
    lo normal "la normalité", "ce qui est normal"
    lo bueno y lo malo del asunto "ce qui est bien et pas bien dans cette affaire"
    Noté lo lentamente que se movía "J'ai remarqué la lenteur avec laquelle il se déplaçait / à quel point il se déplaçait lentement"
     

    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    In Italian I'd say il normale, il buono, il cattivo (il corresponds to Sp. el - masculine article) and also quello normale, quello buono, quello cattivo (quello corresponds to Sp. aquel - masculine demonstr. pronoun).

    But let's see the opinion of some native Italian ...
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    In Portuguese:

    o normal "normalness; that which is normal" :thumbsup:
    o bom e o mau do assunto "what is good and bad about the matter" :warning: Grammatical, I guess, but we would more likely use another pronoun:
    o que o assunto tem de bom e de mau
    "I noticed how slowly he was moving":thumbsdown: This we say a bit differently. There are a couple of options:
    - Notei como se movia lentamente. (the most natural, IMHO)
    - Notei o quanto/a que ponto se movia lentamente. (higher register)
    - Notei o quão lentamente se movia. (downright bookish and disused)
     

    Nino83

    Senior Member
    Italian
    In Italian I'd say il normale, il buono, il cattivo (il corresponds to Sp. el - masculine article) and also quello normale, quello buono, quello cattivo (quello corresponds to Sp. aquel - masculine demonstr. pronoun).

    But let's see the opinion of some native Italian ...
    In Italian we say:
    lo normal "normalness", "that which is normal" = la cosa normale/ciò che è normale (es. la cosa normale, in questi casi è che...)
    lo bueno y lo malo del asunto "what is good and bad about the matter" = la cosa buona/ciò che è buono (la cosa buona e quella cattiva)
    Noté lo lentamente que se movía "I noticed how slowly he was moving" = ho notato quanto lentamente si muovesse/muoveva
     

    Nino83

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Yes, if you use normale as a noun, a general category, as in sentences like il normale è bello (il normale è + adjective) as synonym of la normalità.
    It is correct (but it is not the most used form). :)
    But, in general, it wouldn't be correct to say il giusto da fare è... but la cosa giusta da fare è...
    The form I wrote is the safest one (it works with every adjective).
     
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    DarkChild

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    French is not that flexible I would say.
    Most of the time, we will need to rephrase it as "what is + adjective" when we don't have a noun for it.
    lo normal "la normalité", "ce qui est normal"
    lo bueno y lo malo del asunto "ce qui estbien et pas bien dans cette affaire"
    Noté lo lentamente que se movía "J'ai remarqué la lenteur avec laquelle il se déplaçait / à quel point il se déplaçait lentement"
    Thank you for illustrating perfectly why I love Spanish and French gives me a headache. You need so many words to say something simple in French!
     

    Penyafort

    Senior Member
    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    In Spanish, a common construction involves placing the neuter/abstract pronoun lo before an adjective (not followed by any noun) or adverb:

    lo normal "normalness", "that which is normal"
    lo bueno y lo malo del asunto "what is good and bad about the matter"
    Noté lo lentamente que se movía "I noticed how slowly he was moving"

    What would be the equivalent of phrases like the above in the other Romance languages?
    In Catalan, this has traditionally been a controversial aspect, as many people keep using that lo (pronounced /lu/) in the spoken language, even if it is condemned by the official standard. So proper translations in the standard variety would be:

    lo normal = el normal, allò que és normal

    lo bueno y lo malo del asunto = el bo i el dolent del cas, les coses bones i dolentes de tot plegat, allò que tot això té de bo i de dolent

    Noté lo lentamente que se movía = Vaig notar com de lent es movia, vaig notar que lent es movia, vaig notar la lentitud amb què es movia
     

    XiaoRoel

    Senior Member
    galego, español
    Pero lo no es un pronombre, sino un morfema para convertir adjetivos en substantivos abstractos. Hay que recordar además que en español no existe el género neutro, por lo que hablar de género neutro es un error garrafal.
     

    Apf

    New Member
    Spanish & Catalan
    In Italian we say:
    lo normal "normalness", "that which is normal" = la cosa normale/ciò che è normale (es. la cosa normale, in questi casi è che...)
    lo bueno y lo malo del asunto "what is good and bad about the matter" = la cosa buona/ciò che è buono (la cosa buona e quella cattiva)
    Noté lo lentamente que se movía "I noticed how slowly he was moving" = ho notato quanto lentamente si muovesse/muoveva
    In Spanish we distinguish:

    Lo normal ("that which is normal") and La normalidad ("the normalness")

    In old spanish, also have the same way as in modern Italian

    Sp. : Noté lo lentamente que se movía --> Old Sp. Noté cuán lentamente se movía (you can say this also but sounds a bit old fashioned. Cuán is the short form of "Cuanto", as in Italian)
     

    Apf

    New Member
    Spanish & Catalan
    Pero lo no es un pronombre, sino un morfema para convertir adjetivos en substantivos abstractos. Hay que recordar además que en español no existe el género neutro, por lo que hablar de género neutro es un error garrafal.
    Que haya dos géneros en castellano no implica necesariamente que no haya restos o trazas de neutro, dado que la lengua que antecede al castellano es el latín y obviamente, ésta tenía neutro.

    Según la RAE:

    Del lat. illum, illam, illud, acus. de ille, illa, illud 'aquel'.

    Neutro lo. ◆ Forma átona de él.

    1. pron. person. 3.ª pers. m., f. y n. Forma que, en acusativo, designa a alguien o algo mencionado en el discurso, distinto de quien lo enuncia y del destinatario. A tus amigas las vi en la playa. No te pediré perdón, aunque no te lo creas.

    2. pron. person. 3.ª pers. m. y f. Forma que, en acusativo, designa a la persona a la que se dirige quien habla o escribe. U. como tratamiento de cortesía, respeto o distanciamiento. La llamaron austed hace ya tiempo. A su señoría lo aprecian mucho.

    3. pron. person. 3.ª pers. f. y n. U. en locuciones verbales y expresiones sin referencia a un sustantivo expreso o sobrentendido. Buena la hemos hecho. Me las pagarás. Pasarlo mal.




    lo, la | Diccionario de la lengua española
     

    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    We also often nominalize adverbs: Il bene/il male.
    It happens also in Spanish (I know that it is nothing new for you, bearded). For example in the Lord''s prayer we have "....libranos del mal", which corresponds exactly to the in Italian ".... liberaci dal male:".

    I have a question: If instead of "libranos del mal" in the Spanish version of the Lord's prayer we had "libranos de lo malo", what would be the difference in meaning?

    P.S. In Latin we have ".... libera nos a malo". Is this malo masculine (< malus) or neuter (<malum) ?
     
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    Penyafort

    Senior Member
    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    I have a question: If instead of "libranos del mal" in the Spanish version of the Lord's prayer we had "libranos de lo malo", what would be the difference in meaning?
    Líbranos del mal = Free us from evil.
    Líbranos de lo malo = Free us from what / that which is evil/bad.

    That's an interesting example, though. In Catalan, the most typical translation for that one is Ans deslliureu-nos de qualsevol mal = Rather free us from any evil.
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    Líbranos del mal = Free us from evil.
    Líbranos de lo malo = Free us from what / that which is evil/bad.

    That's an interesting example, though. In Catalan, the most typical translation for that one is Ans deslliureu-nos de qualsevol mal = Rather free us from any evil.
    Free us sounds okay enough but in the prayer it's always Deliver us from evil.

    Maybe the difference could be Deliver us from evil versus Deliver us from evilness.
     

    Penyafort

    Senior Member
    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    Free us sounds okay enough but in the prayer it's always Deliver us from evil.
    I was just trying to translate very literally.

    How much would you say that "deliver" is understood as 'to free', 'to save' these days? I mean, apart from in the prayer, is it used with that meaning anywhere else?

    the difference could be Deliver us from evil versus Deliver us from evilness.
    But then we should add the word maldad to the Spanish options too, as el mal and la maldad are not exactly the same.
     

    merquiades

    Senior Member
    English (USA Northeast)
    I was just trying to translate very literally.

    How much would you say that "deliver" is understood as 'to free', 'to save' these days? I mean, apart from in the prayer, is it used with that meaning anywhere else?
    Not a lot, but still more than "Hallowed be thy name." "Thy will be done". and "Forgive us our trespasses". That prayer is not so easy.

    But then we should add the word maldad to the Spanish options too, as el mal and la maldad are not exactly the same.
    I guess then we would have to distinguish evil, evilness and badness.
     
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