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  5. "Can I rent the car?"

"Can I rent the car?"

Translation:Kann ich das Auto mieten?

July 18, 2017

6 Comments


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

Is "Darf ich das Auto mieten?" not acceptable?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/az_p
Mod

    Technically that's "May I rent the car?". Kann is asking if it's physically possible, Darf is asking if you're permitted to. There's some pedantry about the distinction between these in both languages, but you can avoid all that by just keeping the translation as direct as possible.


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

    That's what I thought. My assumption was that the sentence was in use at a car rental company, and therefore I was assuming that it was a possibility, the question is whether they would let me.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/az_p
    Mod

      In that context "can"/kann might be appropriate, because presumably they would let you as a paying customer rent it if it were available. But that still doesn't necessitate switching from one verb to the other in translation since both languages use them similarly.


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

      Why is "Fahrzeug" not an acceptable substitute for "Auto"?


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

      Because they do not mean the same thing.

      A Fahrzeug (vehicle) is a broader category and includes not only cars but also busses, trucks, bicycles, etc.

      It would be like translating Hund as "animal". Sure, all dogs are animals, but that doesn't make "animal" a particularly good translation of Hund.

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