不懂英语

James Bates

Banned
Urdu
I just came across an English translation of 他不懂英语, which was "He doesn't speak English". Shouldn't it have been "doesn't understand"?
 
  • Mamanunique

    Senior Member
    Cantonese-China
    Both the two translations are correct. It depends on the context.
    他会说英语吗? 他不懂英语。 doesn't speak
    他听得明白吗? 他不懂英语。 doesn't understand
     
    Last edited:

    retrogradedwithwind

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    In certain context "don't speak"="don't understand"

    In China, when a person says he doesn't understand English, he usually means he cannot speak English.
     

    NewAmerica

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    The precise expressions are: (1) "不会说英语"(can't speak English), not "不说英语“(don't speak English). The latter would have implied that the speaker has the ability to speak English, yet he chooses/decides not to.

    (2) ”不懂英语“ (don't understand English) .
     

    Youngfun

    Senior Member
    Wu Chinese & Italian
    To me, 不懂英语 is a generic "don't have knowledge of English" so implied both don't speak and don't understand.
     
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