1. Edwin

    Edwin Senior Member

    Tampa, Florida, USA
    USA / Native Language: English
    According to WordRef Spanish/English dictionary the word discutir can be translated as argue or discuss.

    ¿Cómo se puede saber cuál es? Si digo, por ejemplo:

    Estabamos discutiendo de/sobre eso.

    ¿Significa ''We were arguing about that'' o ''We were discussing that.''? ¿O, no se puede decidir sin mas contexto?
  2. Artrella Banned



    El prefijo Dis en Latín significa "separación". "Discutir" viene del Latín
    "discutere", y este es derivado de "quatere" que significa "sacudir". Es
    decir, "discutir" significa sacudir algo para separarlo. Eso lo que hacían
    los antiguos Romanos con las plantas, para separar las raíces de la tierra
    y ver si las raíces eran sólidas. Es lo mismo lo que hace uno cuando
    discute. Sacude las palabras para ver si el argumento esta sólido.

    Estábamos discutiendo sobre/ acerca de eso = We were discussing that.

    But, we use "discuss" as "argue" most of the times.

    1 to talk about a subject with someone and tell each other your ideas or opinions:
    The police want to discuss these recent racist attacks with local people.

    2 to talk or write about a subject in detail, especially considering different ideas and opinions related to it:
    The later chapters discuss the effects on the environment.

    discuss vt 1. (exchange ideas about) discutir 2. (consider) tratar sobre

    argue (DISAGREE) to speak angrily to someone, telling them that you disagree with them:
    The children are always arguing.
    Kids, will you stop arguing with each other?
    They were arguing over/about which film to go and see

    Según la RAE

    discutir. (Del lat. discutĕre, disipar, resolver).
    1. tr. Dicho de dos o más personas: Examinar atenta y particularmente una materia.
    2. tr. Contender y alegar razones contra el parecer de alguien. Todos discutían sus decisiones. U. m. c. intr. Discutieron con el contratista sobre el precio de la obra.

    (Del lat. contendĕre).
    1. intr. lidiar (ǁ pelear, batallar).
    2. intr. Disputar, debatir, altercar.
    3. intr. Discutir, contraponer opiniones, puntos de vista, etc.

    I don't think it is correct in Spanish to use "discutir" as a synonym of "pelear".
    However, we use both words as synonyms in everyday speech. You must have noticed that one of the meanings of "discutir" is "contender" and one of the meanings of "contender" is >>>> "pelear"
    So in that case, you have to resort to the context. In that sentence of your example -isolated- you cannot know if it is "argue" or "discuss".

    Let's wait for other opinions.

    Feliz 2005! Art :) ;) :p
  3. David

    David Banned

    I think technically discutir has both meanings, but discutir meaning to discuss, as opposed to dispute, is growing more common, I suspect because of the influence of English. You see the same effect with "estoy interesado en" algo, as opposed to algo "me interesa...". The use of ATMS's and computers with floppies and CDs, for example, have made the verb "insertar" common, but there was a time when it would have sounded really odd. People would have said "introducir la tarjeta" or "introduzca el disco..." Discutir as "to discuss" is following the same path.
  4. Sin embargo, coloquialmente (Al menos en Canarias) la mayoría de la gente entiede discutir como sinónimos de pelear (verlbalmente). Le dan mas un sentido de enfrentamiento (Dispute).
  5. Marc1 Banned

    Italian / Spanish / German.
    Por mas vueltas que le den, y a pesar de las posibles ascepciones, discutir en español NO es lo mismo que "discuss" en ingles.

    Si dos personas discuten es porque estan altercando, no se discute amigablemente.
    "Discuss" se entiende que es una charla, hablando de algo.

    Ahora si consideramos que la pregunta viene de alguien que vive en los estados unidos, el "español" del que él habla es un español "whatever" así que las sutilezas huelgan.
  6. Edwin

    Edwin Senior Member

    Tampa, Florida, USA
    USA / Native Language: English
    Marc, would you please translate the last sentence above into English for me so I can make sure that I understand what you are saying.

  7. Artrella Banned


    ;) :p ;)

    To Edwin :arrow: Sobrar, ser inútil. Huelgan los comentarios. :warn:
  8. lauranazario

    lauranazario Moderatrix

    Puerto Rico
    Español puertorriqueño & US English
    Anda Marc... comencemos el año sin afrentas personales y sin expresar menosprecio por la procedencia de ningún Forero. La diferencias geográficas o culturales son sólo eso -- y NO denotan grados de superioridad o inferioridad.

    Saludos de tolerancia,
  9. sastrem92 Senior Member

    Athens - Greece
    Spain - Spanish
    El verbo altercar no existe. En todo caso existe el sustantivo altercado en la frase tener un altercado.

    Tuve un altercado con mi hermano. I had an argument with my brother
  10. Edwin

    Edwin Senior Member

    Tampa, Florida, USA
    USA / Native Language: English
    Bueno, encontré esto en el DRAE

    (Del lat. altercāre, de alter, otro).
    1. intr. Disputar, porfiar.
    Real Academia Española © Todos los derechos reservados
  11. sastrem92 Senior Member

    Athens - Greece
    Spain - Spanish
    Ayer busqué en el mismo diccionario que Edwin esta palabra y como respuesta apareció que no existía. La verdad es que no lo había oído nunca. Por todo ello pido humildes disculpas. Sólo me queda decir lo siguiente:

    Errar es humano
    Nadie es infalible (ni siquiera el Papa)
    La arrogancia abunda mucho y es mala consejera (por desgracia). Un baño de humildad nos vendría bien de vez en cuando.

    Feliz Año Nuevo.

    EVAVIGIL Senior Member

    Spain / Spanish
    To discuss es intercambiar ideas acerca de algo.
    To argue es discutir, pelear.
    Un saludo.
  13. Marc1 Banned

    Italian / Spanish / German.
    Altercar: yo alterco to altercas el alterca.
    It certainy sounds funny but altercar and altercado are rather common.

    As for Edwin's request:

    Discutir and discuss have, as explained by Artella, a common root, and the authors of dictionaries reflect this by stretching the meanings to as far as their budget reaches.

    Yet translating " Juan y Pedro estan discutiendo" as John and Peter are discussing, would be a mistake, simply because they are not equivalent words. The use made them into two different words.

    Unfortunatley when a language is used by immigrants in a country that speaks English be it he US or Australia or the UK or Canada, such language suffers irremediably of some sort of transfer from the dominant language in this case english into the 'foreign' language in this case Spanish.

    Adding to this the fact that many spanish speakers have not learned their own language formaly and perhaps have not learend english formaly either, all is set for desaster.

    Mixing languages, somthing my father use to refer as cocoliche, is particularly irritating when the user finds it cool, when it is intentional and not the result of a mistake. The easiest of this type of graft is "yea" for affirming in stead of "si". When I came to Australia I found a whole comunity who would say yea every four words even when they where speaking spanish. A disconcerting habit that did little to turn spanish into english but certainly tried to.

    When the use of english words when speaking in spanish is understandable from a tradesman who has learned his trade abroad, does not know the equivalent words in spanish and would probably be misunderstood if using them anyway, the use of similar words like discuss and discutir, car and carro, yard (car yard) and "yarda", and many more I try to eliminate from my memory as soon as I hear them, produce what can only be qualified as degradation of the language and I think that when spanish speakers all over the word do try hard at that, the US based spanish speakers take the cake when it comes to making up words that are not in the dictionary and push them by shear numbers into the dictionary thanks to some sort of inferiority complex by those who should be defending the language and not making degradation official.

    Fortunatley not all languages follow that path and when some anglicism are needed to keep up with times, the integrity of the language is usualy kept clean by the country of orign.

    So it is not surprising that I regard the US as the land of "whatever" when it comes to spanish language, and find the debates about words that can only be qualified as misuse of the spanish langue rather amusing.

    Of course as this post will prove, any attempt at calling for some restrain in the onslaughter of the spanish language by informal users abroad, will inexorably be met by the racist police who will find in my words vilifying notions of fascism, reminiscence of red neck or other forms of behaviour from the one that are allegedly better towards the one that are allegedly not so.

    Is there a solution to this?
    Hardly, and if there is one, it is certainly not in our power. Illiteracy, poor education, informality, commonality are political tools not social divides, they are a way to social engeneering not some intelectual depravation. After all if you would be governing, what is easier to control, a bunch of intelectuals or a group of school drop outs?
  14. funnydeal Senior Member

    Mexico, D.F.
    Mexico / Español
  15. Marc1 Banned

    Italian / Spanish / German.
    "Juan y Pedro discuten." Is a complete sentence.

    John and Peter discuss.... is not, you will want to know what is it that they are discussing.

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