If only I knew how to speak your language well, I could talk

Smashkins

New Member
Italian
If only I knew how to speak your language well, I could talk with you for hours

My bad version:

Если бы я только знал, как говорить на своем языке так, я мог бы поговорить с вами в течение нескольких часов.
 
  • kisiuchka

    Member
    russian
    Если бы я (только)знал как говорить на вашем(Вашем,твоем) языке хорошо, я бы говорил часами.
    or could be something like Если бы я мог хорошо говорить на твоем языке ,я бы говорил часами.
     

    Natalisha

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Если бы я (только)знал как говорить на вашем(Вашем,твоем) языке хорошо, я бы говорил с тобой (с вами/Вами) часами.
    or could be something like Если бы я мог хорошо говорить на твоем языке, я бы говорил с тобой часами.
     

    Valvs

    Senior Member
    Russian
    "Eсли бы я знал как" sounds like a poor translation from English. "To know how <to do something>" is better translated as "уметь." Of course, there may be situations when it is alright to say "Я знаю, как это сделать", but in most cases "уметь" works better.
     

    morzh

    Banned
    USA
    Russian
    "Eсли бы я знал как" sounds like a poor translation from English. "To know how <to do something>" is better translated as "уметь." Of course, there may be situations when it is alright to say "Я знаю, как это сделать", but in most cases "уметь" works better.

    No, it is not a poor translation. Quite possibly, a calque from the past, but a valid one. "Если бы я только знал" is indeed "If only I knew".

    Another matter is that in this particular context you translation is possibly a better fit.
     

    Valvs

    Senior Member
    Russian
    No, it is not a poor translation. Quite possibly, a calque from the past, but a valid one.
    To me, it IS a poor translation. "Если бы я только знал, как говорить на твоём языке" is not idiomatic Russian.

    "Если бы я только знал" is indeed "If only I knew".
    Of course, but "If I only knew <something>" is not the same thing as "If I only knew how <to do something>".
    "To know <something>" means pretty much the same thing as the Russian verb "знать". "Я знаю" is a good match for "I know", and "Если бы я знал" is a good match for "If I knew".
    However, "I know how to do something" isn't the same thing as "Я знаю, как <делать что-то>". "The dogs know how to swim" is perfectly good English — it means that dogs can swim, that they have the necessary practical skill. In Russian, one would say "Собаки умеют плавать", and not "Собаки знают, как плавать".
    An English speaking mother, speaking of her child, can very well say "He's only five, but he already knows how to read." Can you imaging a Russian person saying "Он уже знает, как читать" instead of "Он уже умеет читать"?
     

    Saluton

    Banned
    Russian
    Жаль, что я плохо знаю ваш/твой язык. Мы могли бы говорить подолгу.

    "Часами", "если бы знал, как говорить" - all of this sounds unnatural.
     

    Saluton

    Banned
    Russian
    "Говорить часами" usually has a negative connotation, i.e. means "talk and talk uselessly". This is not the case, so the phrase is out of place here.
     

    Natalisha

    Senior Member
    Russian
    "Говорить часами" usually has a negative connotation, i.e. means "talk and talk uselessly". This is not the case, so the phrase is out of place here.
    And again I don't agree. What about such phrases as "я могу говорить об этом часами", "я могу размышлять над чем-то часами"? These expressions are quite common, aren't they?
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top