Monday, April 23, 2012

Is it so difficult to write a texbook without errors?

I start to think that more and more textbooks for learning foreign languages are written carelessly, without a thorough proof-reading. And they're not daily papers or news portals in the Internet, where the news are put in a hurry, eager to be the first to do it. (Well, even this is not an excuse for their authors and publishers.) But... a language texbook with fundamental errors?

Not a long ago I wrote about errors in transliteration of the texts and words in English book „Colloquial Arabic of Egypt”. Today two examples of the errors in the Spanish grammar of Portuguese language, namely „Gramática portuguesa” published by Espasa.

In the part dealing with a verb there are tables showing how to conjugate in various tenses. On page 74 there are, among others, patterns to conjugate in pretérito mais que perfeito de indicativo (pluperfect), but a second person singular in all three conjugations is given incorrectly. Instead of „falaras” is „falara”, instead of „comeras” – „comera”, and instead of „partiras” – „partira”.
It's not a major mistake, easy to be spotted, but it's still a mistake... And it's not the only one in this book. Two pages further there are patterns showing how to form particípio. Again with mistakes. The verbs of the second and third conjugations are created with a suffix -ido. And what do we see here? The table gives us the suffix -ado, followed by incorrect forms „comado” and „partado”.
Congratulations to authors and publishers!

Portuguese seems not to have luck with Spanish textbooks. Many errors can be found in „El nuevo portugués sin esfuerzo”, published by Assimil, but this topic will be covered in another post.


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