My dictionary (stora Esselte) gives as first options for åka: go, ride, drive. I used drive in this translation as one would probably do these days to go to a village, but DL rejected it. I have objected. I think it does not have to be -åka bil- for -åka- to be used as drive, but Anrui or Lundgren8 may correct me.
As far as I understand, it doesn't have to be åka bil for åka to be used as drive when speaking (particularly in the sense that we say drive for the group in English, even though only one of the group in the car is actually doing the driving).
So "drive" might be a correct translation, but then again, it might not. (Maybe our village is very remote and we actually åkte flygplan to get back there! Then in English we would certainly not say that we drove.)
To allow drive for a translation might make learners think that a car was always implied, and it isn't. I think that ride is really the best translation we have for the meaning of åka (and "go" might be the best literal translation, but only as long as you remember that some means of transport other than your feet is implied. You can't say åka if you go by foot: that is gå).
I tried "We drive home to the village" and it was wrong.
Reading the other comments, I understand that "åka" is best translated as "go." It's not interchangeable with "drive." But here is my question: Does "åka" IMPLY driving? Is going in a car assumed in this sentence?
One of my relatives, many years ago, told me that I should say, "Ska vi gå?" if we will be walking and "Ska vi åka?" if we will be driving. I had asked, "Ska vi gå?" I was thinking of the English phrase, "Shall we go?" Several people laughed and said, "We're not WALKING home from this party! It's several Swedish miles!"
Native Swedish speakers, do you agree that "åka" implies driving and "gå" implies walking?
Really wish that somewhere early in the lesson was some clarification that in Sweden a town and a village are distinctly different for purposes of everyday speech. In much of the US they are colloquially synonymous, so not being able to use "town" for by has resulted in some bafflement. I've got it at this point (I think), but an early introduction to that difference would have been both linguistically welcome and culturally interesting.