"Зачем он так много читает?"

Translation:What does he read that much for?

December 9, 2015

52 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Peter921689

"What does he read so much for?" is very informal and stilted. IMO, a more natural translation would be "Why does he read so much?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David483540

Your translation is more natural English by far. So many of these discussions over translations into English are arguments about how literal or colloquial a translation should be, and they are tiresome. The problem arises, I think, because so many of the course developers are not native English speakers. The purpose of the course is not to teach English, after all.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Makepeace8

I agree; but, on the other hand, when a more natural translation is pointed out by native speakers, it does need to be added as soon as possible. "Why does he read so much?" is, hands down, a better translation, as you say.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/daddylongleggs

One thing that can be said for the current version is that it emphasizes the meaning of зачем, since it's subtly different that почему.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Don163650

Worse than that, it is just plain bad English grammar. The only correct usage of What for is similar to "What is that tool for?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dimitrie_Grinwis

But it would be incorrect. Почему/ 'why' asks for a general explanation. Зачем/ 'what for' asks for a specific reason/ purpose.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Superuncia

What is the difference between зачем and почему?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KrICEtON

We ask Зачем? when we want to know the cause of what is happening. And we ask Почему? to know the purpose of it.

(My native language is russian, so I'm sorry if I make mistakes in English :) )


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JanetGidle

Previously someone answered the opposite, and with зачем, the answer was what does he read that much FOR? what does he do that for, for what purpose? So Im still confused. Purpose: he has a test on it tomorrow. Cause: he just loves to read, or his mother told him, if he doesn't he is grounded.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RinatSat

Наоборот, it works reversly, inversly. Зачем serves for the description purposes, targets, goals or aims; почему asks about the causes for none-anima things and the reasons for humans and the others entities with intelligence and free will.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JanisaChatte

"Зачем?" is more like "what for?", but can also be translated to "why?"

"Почему?" is "why?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kocmohabt99

Hold up. I think the explanations of KrICEtON and JanisaChatte are somewhat contradictory. According to KrICEtON " Почему" is used to inquire the purpose of something i.e. "what for" while for JanisaChatte it's "Зачем". Which one is it then?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gwenci
  • 1015

Yeah, I think KrICEtON mixed up cause and purpose.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elsantodel90

"What is he reading so much for?" was marked wrong, in favor of "What does he read so much for?".

Is present continuous not acceptable here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JanetGidle

Apparently they didn't like SO much. I do. Say it that way as well.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Memoryy721

Потому что он хочет говорить по-русскииииии!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David483540

I don't understand why my answer "For what does he read so much?" is wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EranWhetst

I don't think that's grammatically correct in English. The correct should be "What does he read so much for?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/geneven

But ending a sentence in a preposition like that isn't good form. It's clumsy. As pointed out above, "why does he read so much" is much better.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David483540

I admit that it may sound stilted, but I assure you that it is grammatical. We don't have to end English sentences with prepositions. "What" is the object of the preposition "for."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David483540

There is no difference in meaning between "What does he read so much for?" and "For what does he read so much?" It may help you to see my point if you recognize that the word "reason" or "purpose" is implied in both English sentences.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fred.sudak

I think there is a subtle difference. "what does he read so much for? " could have a connotation of WHY does he read so much (as intended in this sentence), whereas "for what does he read so much?" connotes (to me at least) a specific purpose (i.e. he is researching the migratory patterns of African swallows).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JayBlake2

This sentence doesn't make sense in English


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IDreamed

Which is the function of "так" in this sentence? Is it an expression, saying "так много" instead of just "много"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ADRaeB13

I am pretty sure the phrase «так много» is like "so much" whereas «много» alone would be more like "much" or "a lot".

Зачем он так много читает? = Why does he read so much?

Зачем он много читает? = Why does he read a lot?

Similar sentences but different meanings. (I hope a native Russian speaker will correct if I am wrong.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jtaylor162

"... this much for?" is rejected, in favor of "that much for?". Is there a different Russian expression that properly translates to "What does he read THIS much for?" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Don163650

What for is horrible English grammar. Always use Why. i.e. Why does he read so much?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanielMann9

I typed what for and i was told i was incorrect


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael404978

Be very careful using "always", "never", and "impossible". Exceptions can usually be found to any given statement.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aaron93201

Putting for at the end of a sentence is grammatically incorrect. Replace the what with why, please.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JanetGidle

This course is difficult enough as is is. Please don't ask either them or us to replace words or translations commonly used. Suggested translations to add are welcome. Почему and зачем have slightly different meanings so they are showing us what that is. Every person I have met says what for with the for at the end. Why doesn't always connotate the meaning. I highly suggest that you leave it as it is.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JanetGidle

For at the end is 100% grammatically correct. For what is stilted and almost never used. For what's thus plate? Ugh..


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LebronAnd1

Почему не Why?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/John571126

Translation could be "Why does he read that much?" Or "so much?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ivicalazich91

"A mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone" -Tyrion Lannister

"Уму нужны книги, так же, как и мечу точильный камень."

Google helped. One day, hopefully, I will learn to translate this sentence to Russian on my own.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yarik12

Товарищи американцы почему не why вначале?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmandaSalo3

"Why does he read that much for?" Why is it wrong? My native language is portuguese


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael404978

"Why does he read so much?" would be a much better choice for the English equivalent (forgetting the DL exercise)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmandaSalo3

"Why does he read that much for?" was not accepted... why??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JanetGidle

Зачем - what for, not why for. There is no English phrase why for.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JanetGidle

You can't say for why. You say for what or what for. For is good at the end though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JanetGidle

Ok Let's say it's accepted and common.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanielMann9

Зачем on a previous question was "what for" i typed this here and i was incorrect. Why?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JanetGidle

If you typed What for at the beginning it would not be proper English. See above comments on What....for.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeithPeter333538

No. "Why does he read that much?" Is correct English grammar. The 3rd grade writer here likes prepositions, yes? Next? "It don't matter where them things are at?" Haha.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Orsolya807704

"What is he reading that much for" is not accepted, but "what does he read that much for". WHY???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeithPeter333538

In all reality, placing "for" at the end of a sentence is unequivocally incorrect. This my point and having the English translation of a foreign language a grammatical mess impedes learning.

In short, before the next version of Duolingo is released, they need to edit and audit the entire grammatical structure of the course.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JanetGidle

I think you should do this. You probably graduated from elementary school BTW: Be sure your translations include the words and grammar already taught, and when introducing new words and grammar also be sure the sentence itself makes the meaning and grammatical structure obvious. This will require much thought as so many phrases, words and most Russian grammar is completely different in English. Also each sentence should be something a person would commonly say. As people from other English speaking countries or regions be sure to know these add add them all as correct to the robot. Keep in mind there are learners that are not native English speakers, so to avoid confusion, eliminate from these sentences things like "There is or there are, or anything said in any colloquial form. Be sure to have a one tap system in place to answer each and every question or suggestion that comes in such as charts and explanations as to why and how words can contain up to 30 different endings, and why placement if them changes- or doesn't. Perhaps live chat would be great. You could personally answer all the calls, assuming you speak at least 4 or 5 languages, and keep in mind that none of this work is paid. Keep it simple easy and fun. Or you can simply finish this course and see why none of this is possible.

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