“Let’s have a Spanish moment,” I told Yuki, a former student and longtime friend, who had graciously accompanied me on a shopping excursion and therefore found herself like the man taking a selfie with the outdoor furniture, “On vacation at IKEA.”
I pointed to the AS IS sign and explained why I disagreed with the translation. Personally I’m a little offended with some of the items included in the AS IS section. While I may find an use for a loose shelf, or be able to fix (or hide, live with) a minor scratch, for example, I have no use for a cracked ceramic vase (as much as I like mosaics). There is a difference between damaged, and broken.
But since neither condition is the original one, we say that something:
And regardless of whether you can fix it or not, the verb that describes it is ESTAR.
Tal como son= just as they are / just as they’ve always been, unchangeable.
Tal como está(n) implies that that is how you’ll get it. Damaged, broken. On vacation, at IKEA. Although we didn’t go in. And I didn’t ask Yuki if finally she got (felt) the difference between ser and estar.
En IKEA la cosas no son costosas, y menos ¡si están rotas!