Re: feedback and sharing knowledge

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Fri, 26 Sep 1997 14:18:00 -0700 (PDT)

>>> I said a thousand times, I don't know nothing of economics

>> or english grammar ;)

> Why do you say that? Most people I met in the Internet say I have an
> excellent English. Even when I go abroad and have to speak English,
> no-one has ever said I had a bad knowledge of the English language,
> you're the first and I would like to know why.

You're English is pretty good; he was just commenting on that last
sentence: "I don't know nothing...". In English, that means you know
something, because the "not" and "nothing" negate each other. In
Spanish (and Russian and other languages), negatives are cumulative
rather than multiplicative, so "No se nada" expresses ignorance.
You translated the words correctly, just missed a nuance of grammar.

To further complicate things, many less educated English speakers
incorrectly follow the Spanish rule, and so they /will/ say "I don't
know nothing". Even educated Americans are notoriously monolingual
and unaware of these cultural and linguistic differences, so they are
likely to mistake your mistranslation for lack of education.

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC