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  5. "Девочка уже идёт к школе."

"Девочка уже идёт к школе."

Translation:The girl is already walking towards the school.

November 17, 2015



I submitted a "my answer should have been accepted" report for "The girl is already going to school".

In it, I mentioned that I acknowledge the given translation is better, as it doesn't leave room for ambiguity, but that my offering should be accepted also, as it's the more commonly used form to mean exactly the same thing, and the context makes it clear which meaning is meant.

Upon getting this a second time, it occurs to me that (while both the given translation and mine should be accepted too), the best translation is actually "the girl is walking to school".

The reason for "walking" rather than "going" is that it shows it doesn't merely mean "the girl is of school age and attends school".

The reason for "to" rather than "towards" is that - assuming this is the intention of the Russian, though the Russian also is a touch ambiguous here technically, and only "common sense" assumptions show us which is most likely - if one says "towards", it rather implies she might not get there.

If she is walking "to school", I fully expect that at 09:00 or whenever the appropriate time is, she'll be responding to register in the classroom.

If she is mere walking "towards school", it somewhat implies the high probability that there was a reason that I didn't say "to school", that I, as speaker/writer, know she's not going to get there; maybe she gets murdered on the way, or maybe she decides to veer off and go somewhere else instead.

The only other reason one might say "towards" in this context is if meeting someone on the way, and wanting to convey that contextually, the route is more important than the destination (not in the Zen sense, but rather, if you're walking the other way along the road, you'll meet her on the way- ok, that still sounds like a Buddhist proverb, but you hopefully get the idea).

Short version: My understanding of the Russian is the implication that the girl is walking to school at this very moment, is expected to arrive there successfully, and that this is the most important thing to be conveyed by this sentence.

If this is so, then the best translation is "The girl is already walking to school", with other translations being quite acceptable, such as "The girl is already walking towards school", "The girl is already going towards school", and "the girl is already going to school".

/surprise essay


"К" works only with a direction, but not a destination point.

"В" works with a destination point and implies that the person will come in the school (for studies or something else).


Agreed. I understand the K means towards, and the picture in my mind was of a little girl walking to school in the morning, and in the US, we could say that as "The girl is already going to school."


Your understanding of the Russian isn't quite right. This sentence says that she's walking in the direction of the school. It doesn't say that she's going to the school, that would be expressed with в школу (and в школу is what would be used in the case cherub mentioned of a little girl walking to school in the morning). The meaning is in fact what you described as the meaning of the sentence with "towards". "Is going/walking to (the) school" strongly implies that the school is her destination, which the Russian doesn't, so it won't be accepted.


"the girl is already going to the school" why not?


It has been 2 months since my last submission. In English to and towards can mean the same. There is no need to force translating к as towards. I am still surprised "to" is not accepted.


In other sentences "to" is is already accepted. They have to change them one by one. We need to put our flexibility in understanding languages and limits.


Exactly. The russian nuance is lost on english. I too report 'to'.


why is it "к школе" and not "в школу"?


I believe it's in dative case, in case you were still wondering.


Thanks, but I should have asked, why are we using к and not в? I thought в + accusative meant "toward"--is that incorrect?


"К" + dative works only with a direction, but not a destination point.

"В" + accusative works with a destination point and implies that the person will come in the school (for studies or something else).


"The girl is already going toward the school" was marked wrong because DL evidently wanted "towards." Sorry, but the word "toward" is correct:

This is just per dictionary.com, but Merriam Webster agrees:

to·ward tôrd,t(ə)ˈwôrd/Submit preposition 1. in the direction of. "I walked toward the front door" synonyms: in the direction of, to; on the way to, on the road to, en route to "they were driving toward her apartment"

"toward" sounds like an accurate translation of "к" in this instance.


Google tells me that Americans and Canadians prefer toward, and Australians and British prefer towards. I've reported your sentence (11/19/2017) - hopefully DL will add it at some point because I'm sure to get it wrong again if they don't ... :-)


I've added "toward".


The girl already goes towards the school. Why is this wrong?


"already" does not fit well with simple tenses (past, present or future).


Would a native Russian speaker ever say this? Without уже I could understand it.


Why is this dative?


The preposition к requires dative case.


Surely if you are walking to school you are walking towards it!


That doesn't mean the two sentences are identical.


the girl is already going to the school - not accepted


As a native English speaker, I think this sounds weird. We walk 'to school' or less often, 'towards the school.' The latter implies going in that direction but not really going there.


Exactly the point. We are learning how Russian works, here. Seems to me this sentence is included so we can learn the difference between using в школу and к школе, which seems like a pretty useful thing to know. We already know how we say it in English. The volunteers who gave who knows how many hours of their time to creating this course can't seem to win. If the translation had been worded in a way that English speakers would find more natural (at least in the US), like, "The girl was headed toward(s) the school," this argument would be about how it's not an exact translation from the Russian and whether it's 'toward' or 'towards'... Sorry - I'm not picking on you specifically or trying to start a fight. I come to the forums to pick up tips and hints and help from the excellent Russian speakers who contribute so much to these forums, and I feel like I have to wade through pages and pages of nitpicking over the best English translation. It gets old. I wonder what the very polite and patient Russians who come to these forums to answer questions must think of us...


I agree, "towards the school" would be better, and I've changed the suggested translation. Going in that direction but not really going there is what this sentence means.


I would say that "The girl is already walking to the school" should be accepted, because in English "to the school" rather than "to school" makes it clear that she's physically en route to somewhere rather than merely going to a usual destination.


"To the school" still specifies a destination rather than a location. It just shifts the focus to the school building rather than school as a place of learning.


Идет means going not walking this is absurd


Идти specifically implies going by foot, as opposed to ехать which is used for going by transport. "Going" is also a perfectly valid translation, of course.

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