"Sekreteraren förklarar hur datorn fungerar."
Translation:The secretary explains how the computer works.
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I'm not a native speaker, but operate implies to me a somewhat more intricate way of functioning. Operera in Swedish has a very similar usage. While techinally a correct translation, The secretary explains how the computer operates feels like the secretary is explaining the specific workings of the operating system. I'm not sure that's what's implied.