"I do not know when you leave for Norway."

Translation:Eu nu cunosc când plecați spre Norvegia.

January 11, 2017

This discussion is locked.


Another sentence written when Sebastian was drunk. The right translation (and most common way to say it) is ”nu știu când pleci/plecați în/spre/înspre Norvegia”. The English verbal locution ”to leave for” (like leaving a place for another, exchanging the current place with another) is translated in Romanian with ”a pleca în/la” (the verb ”to go”) and going to a well known, determined country is ”în” (eng: ”in/into”), as opposed to going to a city or smaller/undetermined place which is ”la” (eng: ”at/to”). Compare: ”Plec în America” (I go to America, I am going to America, I leave the place I am now, for America), ”Mă duc în America” (I carry myself to America), with ”Mă duc la București” or ”Plec la oraș” (I leave for the city, I go to the city).

We would only use ”spre” (towards) to show and stress that I am currently in the process of going there, I am right now walking or driving, traveling, etc, towards that place.

Also, to use ”a cunoaște” in this context is very odd. In general, this is used in the sense of knowing, being familiar with, ex: ”cunosc bine orașul”, ”îl cunosc pe John”, ”Victor cunoștea bine peștera” (remember Cireșarii?), and ”a ști” is used in the sense of knowing, having the knowledge, skill, ability, education, ex: ”știu matematică” (I know math), ”știu să joc tenis, sah, etc” (I know how to, or I can, play tennis, chess, etc), ”știu să cânt la pian”, (I can play piano), ”știu că mă iubești” (I know you love me, I have/had the knowledge of the fact).

Sometimes they are interchangeable (”știu/cunosc subiectul acesta”, (at an exam: I know this subject)), but generally, mixing them is odd and funny in the same time; however, in special situations it is used to stress out the expertise in some domain, or the lack of such expertise. ”O știu pe nevastă-mea”, I know my wife, in the sense that I know what she is able to do. When someone states something obvious, you can say ”Știu”, which is a neutral affirmation, notifying the person that you had knowledge of the fact, but you can also say ”Da, cunosc”, yeah, I know, this is more like telling to the person that she stated the obvious, or he/she told you the same thing for the hundredth time. We even have an expression that says ”cine știe, cunoaște” (be my guest to translate this!)


Do you really use cunoaşte this way?


Meh, I would personally use Eu nu știu instead here, though both could work. However, we may prefer a cunoaște in other scenarios, tough again both could work:

  • Eu nu te cunosc (I do not know you)
  • El nu cunoaște acest cartier (He doesn't know this neighborhood)

I think a cunoaște is more suited for persons and places, while a ști works better for facts.

I also think that a cunoaște has a more empirical meaning (you experienced it), while a ști is more about knowledge (someone could've told you that).


Hi Razvan and Splittongue,

your comments are true and really good ...

But I am wondering , even if Sebastian ( == MOD many years ago) was so drunk , when he put this sentence here on Duolingo, WHY the current MOD-team did /does not correct this wrong phrase ???


Eu nu știu când tu pleci la Norvegia was not accepted. I chose to use "știu" as this is referring to knowledge of a fact and 'la Norvegia' as Norway is the destination rather than direction of travel. Is this just Duo being insistent on a particular response, or would a native speaker definitely not say it as I have?

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