"Musel jste pracovat?"

Translation:Did you have to work?

September 12, 2018

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Why "Did you need to work" is said wrong? "I have to" and "I need to" are synonyms... aren't they?


I would add that while "I have to" and "I need to" aren't synonyms, they are very often used interchangeably and are generally understood to have more or less the same meaning in English.

That said, we are learning Czech here, and "musel jste" does not translate from Czech to English as "did you need to." Tip: I find it best to stick as closely as possible to the original, unless doing so results in a really strange translation... which can certainly happen! :-)


In the Czech online dictionary, "muset" is indeed translated as "have to", but also as "need to" (or even as "must"). https://slovnik.seznam.cz/en/?q=muset Where is it written that "need to" is a bad translation ?...


Let' not just open a dictionary and take any listed translation as an equivalent. I have seen way too many horrible, even completely absurd, translations, where the wrong equivalent was picked from the list.

When I am translating to or from English and I am unsure, taking a Czech to English dictionary is not enough I have to take a dictionary with good explanations and examples of usage such as Merriem-Webster or similar.

In this case case there is some overlap of these two words (muset and potřebovat, must and need), but they are not identical. I suppose the difference between them will be very similar in both languages.


"there is some overlap of these two words" that's exactly my point... :)


And what is the difference ?


You may ”have to” as an obligation without ”a need”. And you may ”need to”, but is finally up to you, if you will do that or not. I need to go to the doctor, but I don't have to. I have to go to the police but I (really) don't need it.


You'd to work? This is not a natural question. I would not say 'to work'. I might say you'd work? If you want it to be "you would have to work" in abbreviated style then say you'd have to work?


This is a Good News/Bad News situation. "You had to work" is an accepted translation. Good News: Duo did what it's supposed to do by automatically accepting contractions: you had > you'd. Bad News: In this case, the auto-recognition is very strange and I don't think you'd hear it, at least not in the US.

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