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  5. "I cannot read French."

"I cannot read French."

Translation:Je ne peux pas lire le français.

March 1, 2013



Isn't "I cannot read French" different from "I do not know how to read French"?


It is certainly different in English


It uses different verbs, but the end meaning is more or less the same. If you don't know how to read French, then you cannot read French.


"uses different verbs... but the end meaning is more or less the same" This is unusual for DL which is often literal to the point of creating unnatural English sentences. It is also not good for me a student. I have reported it. The correct translation is (IMO) "I do not know how to read French".


And if you used 'I do not know how to read French' it should have worked and if it didn't then yes, reporting it was the way to go, but occasionally the 'translation' they give and accept is the most commonly used translation, which isn't always the literal meaning.


I know...just to keep you sharp, I figure.


While that's true, this is just another example of their inconsistencies. There have been other examples that have equal in spirit, if you will, but Duolingo has marked as wrong.


Which wouldn't bother me except they reject other translations I have submitted that were in the spirit of the translation. Are we literal? Is meaning more important than being word for word correct? If they're inconsistent with their rules, it makes it harder to learn.


Why is "francais" and "en francais" acceptable here? For me, wouldn't "en francais" mean "Read in French?"... that's slightly different to just "read French"


Is "Je ne sais pas lire le français" preferable to "...lire français"? Is it a little more "correct"?


I don't know,i've always understood it to be so, but i think you may be missing a comment in your sentence if you're using savoir i.e je ne sais pas comment lire le francais. (someone correct me if i'm wrong)


savoir + infinitive means to know how to; comment is not used


lire le français ou lire en français?


How are 'peux' and "sais" equivalent here for an answer?


You can use both in English too.
"I cannot read French" = verb to be able (can) = verbe pouvoir
"I don't know how to read French" = verb to know = verbe savoir.
They aren't always interchangeable though.

Hope that helps.


They are interchangeable, but for a translation, it should have been "Je ne peux pas lire le français.", only. I think.


This is stretching it but technically it could be possible to know how to read French but there is perhaps an visual impairment where one could not read (but all languages as well) in which case though the le français would be dropped. Or maybe a psychological barrier to reading French due to losing too many DL hearts, lol!


I am pretty sure in the proper French savoir is used instead of pouvoir. The difference in the meaning would be: I can physically read(I have a good sight) but I dont know how. Same examples with Je sais jouer du piano. or Je sais parler japonais.


I learned somewhere along the line that you can drop the article le with français only after the verb parler


I'm surprised it is "le francais," I would expect "en francais." With "le francais," wouldn't mean "I cannot read the french?" meaning maybe french people, or french classics?


You can drop the article, but le français is not wrong. It means the language French.


I'm not certain why it's lire & not lis.


Because it's 'to read'. The infinitive. Je ne sais pas (lire) - I do not know how (to read)


Of course, I was being dim, cheers!


This time it is OK to omit the article. Je suis confused.


Yes. That was just a lucky guess.


ARGH, Im so frustrated by duolingo. Sometimes we have to translate 100% literally even though it barely makes sense in english and other times we have to make it so its the way it make sense in english.

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