Bojour, Why is "Nous ne savions pas lire avant" translated as "We couldn't read before" !! Whereas it ought to be "We did not know how to read before.

JerinA1

Bojour, Why is "Nous ne savions pas lire avant" translated as "We couldn't read before" !! Whereas it ought to be "We did not know how to read before.

Asked 9 months ago
ChrisC1Correct answer

To me, either version is OK in English because "can" carries both meanings (to be able to something -- savoir,  and to have the opportunity to do somtehing -- pouvoir).

"I can read" thus can both mean that I have learned to read in school and also that I am in a position to read (as in "I can read the text if you want.")

For the sake of clarity, however, and to be absolutely clear, the translation "We didn't know how to read" would be better.

JerinA1
Thank you for the reply Chris. I appreciate it.
AurélieKwiziq language super star

I completely agree with Chris's comprehensive answer :)

I've now changed the English accordingly.

Bonne journée !

Jerin asked:View original

Bojour, Why is "Nous ne savions pas lire avant" translated as "We couldn't read before" !! Whereas it ought to be "We did not know how to read before.

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