"Kami tak boleh berbicara."

Translation:We are not allowed to speak.

September 13, 2018

This discussion is locked.


"Are not allowed" is better thsn "may"


what's wrong with "we cannot speak"


I agree with @TJR696322 's explanation. Maybe the following sentence might help you understand better.

"Boleh saya minta air?" = "May I have water?" (direct translation: May I ask for water?)

This is a typical phrase you can use in a fancy restaurant. "Boleh" is used when you ask someone for something.

The same nuance can be applied to "Kami tak boleh berbicara." This sentence suggests that "Kami" (we) asked someone whether we can speak or be quiet, and the guy didn't allow us to speak. Therefore, "tak boleh" is "not allowed". On the other hand, "we cannot speak" does not mean that someone else made us stop speaking.


That is not the correct translation of the given sentence: Kami tak boleh berbicara. Boleh = allowed. So we are not allowed to speak. We cannot speak = Kami tidak bisa berbicara.


Boleh can also be "may" indeed, but not "can". Tidak boleh = not allowed, may not. Tidak bisa = can not.


The problem is partly that this is a discussion about English translation, and in English can and may are ambiguous at times, the usage does not reflect a strict differentiation between them.


'but not "can".' just wondering if you have somewhere that I can confirm that?


You can find all rules about Indonesian in Tata bahasa. But that is not one book that you can buy somewhere. It is in my study books at every chapter. You can use an Indonesian dictionary (kamus). But than the Indonesian version for Indonesians. Like a Longman in English. "Kamus besar bahasa Indonesia".


Despite all the other replies i still agree with you. Can/may have an ambiguous relationship in English. Think of how often people say "can i sit here" when they are asking if they may.


Why is 'tidak' not accepted in place of 'tak'.

I thought tak was short for tidak.


Should be accepted. Please just report it.


tak is slang and should not be used.


If it’s very commonly used it’s good to know. I wish there was some identification in the notes of slang, informal standard and formal standard usage though.


Is ber necessary?


This sentence is a paradox. :P


What does paradox even mean???


Not really... especially since it's in written form on the site... but even if spoken, just because someone is not allowed to speak, he or she still can and many times will

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