"Po sedmi měsících školy konečně počítá do deseti."
Translation:After seven months of school, he is finally counting to ten.
15 CommentsThis discussion is locked.
Yes, of course. I just reviewed the Modals 1 notes, and I see that “moct“ is for innate ability and “umět” is for acquired ability.
What puzzled me was that this sentence is talking about ability but does not use the modal “umět”. Is that common in Czech? (In the literal English translation, you’d have to think about it and decide that it is talking about ability.)
I would ask the other way, why does English require the modal here?
When he counts, he counts...
But if it was about an adult, I would be puzzled as well. The context makes it clear.
Especially when speaking about what children are now able to do you meet this often:
Náš kluk už mluví.
Okay, I‘ll explain why I had to think about the English sentence for a second or two, before deciphering what the most likely intended meaning might be.
In this sentence structure, we have a setup and a consequence, and the reader needs to connect the two. If a context provided that we are talking about a small child, then the consequence would more naturally be the result of learning during the seven months of school, although counting to ten is more typically learned at home before starting school. (That’s not a big problem, as this might be a “special education” school.) However, learning is not the necessary causal link between schooling and a consequent action. For example, we could have, “After seven months of school, he is finally quitting,” where the causal link is not learning but possibly a perceived oppressive environment of schooling. Also, we are not necessarily referring to the ability of counting to ten but possibly a technique of controlling one’s temper. (“Count slowly to ten, before you say something you will regret.”)
Admittedly, the ability of a small child is most likely what is meant, but if I were the writer, I would not want my readers’ minds to wander all over the place, and it would be much better to use the modal auxiliary to say just what I intended to mean. At least that is so in English. Any important difference in Czech?
Well, "po sedmim" but what after that? The point is that in normal speach the pronunciation of a complete sentence is quite continuous with only some glottal stops separating the words. The female voice I can hear is pronouncing it correctly. The identification of speech often consists of ignoring obvious nonsense. Firstly "sedmim" does not exist, secondly the syllable clearly continues. And "něsících" would be nonsense.