"Comment écrit-elle ?"
Translation:How does she write?
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"What" can translate several French constructions: qu', que, quoi, ce que, ce quoi, à quoi.... depending on context and construction of the verb, and whether it is an affirmative or interrogative sentence, basically.
- qu'écrit-elle?: what does she write?
- qu'en penses-tu ?: what do you think about it?
- que mange-t-elle ?: what does she eat?
- elle mange quoi ?: she eats what?
- voici ce que je mange: here is what I eat
- voici ce à quoi je pense: here is what I am thinking about
It is not so much the full meaning of comment that is the problem. It is English usage. How do you call this is perfectly fine English, conforms to grammar etc but...it sounds strange to the English ear. So we substitute what for how when translating from French.
What do you call this?
How should the 'how' in this sentence be interpreted? I already see from some replies above that there is the interpretation of 'what does she use to write with', as well as 'how is it possible that she writes in her condition', but does the expression also convey an inquiry into someone else's assessment of the quality of her writing?
This is an intense discussion..., but I would like to get one thing clear- From the comments, I understand it can mean "describe her writing- what's it like?" but does it also mean: "practically, how is she writing- e.g. with her nose on the bus window", or "how is she able to write - e.g. in her prison cell with no pen or paper." The English could have several meanings and I'm just curious to know if the French could, too. Thank you.