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May 6, 2008 5:29 AM   Subscribe

Short and sweet: "Please don't water these plants. (it's killing them)" in Spanish.

The cleaning crew has killed half the plants in my office by overwatering them, and apparently they can't didn't read the prominent note in English. I'm looking for polite but firm.
posted by plinth to Human Relations (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I'd put it this way: "Por favor, no rieguen estas plantas. Tanta agua no les sienta bien".

It's probably a bit less firm than the original English (the second bit retranslates as "so much watering isn't doing them any good"), but this is pretty much the degree of seriousness that I would feel comfortable using in this situation, assuming you have no other grudges with the cleaning crew. Then again, I'm a big softie, so your mileage may vary. ^_^
posted by doctorpiorno at 5:44 AM on May 6, 2008


Another option would be to make a sign with, say, the near-universal circle-with-a-line-through-it, and a drawing of a watering can inside.
posted by box at 5:59 AM on May 6, 2008


Por favor, no rieguen estas plantas. Las está matando.
posted by Memo at 6:12 AM on May 6, 2008


Actually, eliminate the 'n' after 'riegue' from my answer. It ends up as:
"Por favor, no riegue estas plantas. Las está matando."

My previous answer works too, but it looks weird because of the different tenses used in both sentences.
That's what I get for copy & pasting.
posted by Memo at 6:21 AM on May 6, 2008


Memo's translation is closer to your original sentence, but from my understanding "las está matando" can mean "it's killing them" but also "you are killing them". Certainly firm, but not very polite.
posted by OutlawedYeomen at 7:49 AM on May 6, 2008


i think i'd opt for box's suggestion. i don't know about your office, but in our office the cleaning staff are Polish.
posted by lester at 7:57 AM on May 6, 2008


lester and box, if the cleaning staff didn't speak Spanish, I would've asked for the appropriate language. I appreciate the suggestion, though.
posted by plinth at 8:09 AM on May 6, 2008


Memo's translation is closer to your original sentence, but from my understanding "las está matando" can mean "it's killing them" but also "you are killing them".

This could be avoided by just making it one sentence:

Por favor, no riegue estas plantas (las está matando).

Or even better, clarify that implied pronoun:

Por favor, no riegue estas plantas. Las está matando tanto agua.
posted by ChasFile at 8:14 AM on May 6, 2008


Por favor, no riegue estas plantas. Las está matando tanto agua.
Change that 'tanto' for 'tanta' and it would be perfect.

Or more concisely:
Por favor, no riegue estas plantas. Tanta agua las mata.
posted by Memo at 8:19 AM on May 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


I understand that plinth may wish to display this in polite sentence style, but what I'm wondering is, wouldn't "NO AGUA, POR FAVOR" do?

This reminds me of the time I vacationed in Mexico and amazingly, the cleaning staff kept giving us too many towels (which they replaced every day, and it seemed so wasteful). In my limited Spanish knowledge I wrote a big sign that said "NO TOALLAS." It worked. :)
posted by iguanapolitico at 8:23 AM on May 6, 2008


OMG I'm an idiot.

Anyway, I did it like I did because I like using the gerund "is killing" form and putting "the water" at the end of the sentence for emphasis on the verb in the beginning. And "Tanta agua las mata" could read "All this water has killed them" (not really, but you know what I mean, the death has already happened, not in the process of).

Whatever.
posted by ChasFile at 8:25 AM on May 6, 2008


I would use 'Tanta agua las ha matado' for translating 'All this water has killed them', but that's me.


Honestly, for this case I would something like: Please don't water these plants. They are already being taken care of.
Por favor, no riegue estas plantas. Ya están siendo cuidadas.
posted by Memo at 8:33 AM on May 6, 2008


One of the things I learned from doing literacy training (for English speakers, but it applies across cultures/language backgrounds) is that many many people can't read, and often seek (and are most qualified for) jobs that don't require a lot of reading, like cleaning. To that end, I'd keep it simple, as iguanapolitico suggests.
posted by judith at 10:34 AM on May 6, 2008


I don't know if anyone is still reading this thread, but I want to point out that "agua" is an irregular masculine noun, i.e. "el agua."

Thus, "tanto agua" is correct.
posted by allen8219 at 8:37 AM on May 8, 2008


"Agua" is femenine. The masculine singular article is used to avoid cacophony.
posted by Memo at 11:17 AM on May 8, 2008


*feminine.
posted by Memo at 11:17 AM on May 8, 2008


Putting my vote in for "No agua por favor; el agua las mata." --Water kills them.

The present tense verb functions as both continuous and right-now (gerundial) verbs.

Keep it simple--they'll get your drift.
posted by mynameismandab at 12:01 PM on May 8, 2008


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