Knowledgeable

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Xavier da Silva

Senior Member
Hello everyone,

I searched all online dictionaries (including obviously W.R), but I couldn't find an exact answer. My question: Does "knowledgeable" meaning "knowing a lot about something" sound natural/correct in the examples I made below?

a. Mr. Jackson is very knowledgeable about Spanish. He isn't a native speaker, but knows Spanish extremely well nearly as if he was a native.
b. I hired Jane because she's very knowledgeable. I need a secretary like her, who can step in and work things out in my place when I'm away. Someone who knows about the job, the technicalities, the details, etc.

Thank you in advance!
 
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    Mr. Jackson is very knowledgeable about Spanish.
    This doesn't really convey your intended meaning. It sounds as if he knows a lot about the history of the Spanish language, its rules and structure, and things like that, rather than being fluent in the language.

    but speaks knows Spanish almost as extremely well nearly as if he was a native.
    I hired Jane because she's very knowledgeable.
    This sounds all right. I think I might prefer something like "because she can handle most things" however. It sort of sounds as if she knows a lot about things in general (though you have explained what you mean in the next sentence).
     

    Xavier da Silva

    Senior Member
    Thank you very much.

    It sounds as if he knows a lot about the history of the Spanish language, its rules and structure, and things like that, rather than being fluent in the language.
    If I say "he knows Spanish a lot" it means "he's very knowledgeable about Spanish", which means both "theory" (rules) and "practice" (speaking skills). At least that's how the equivalents in Portuguese work. In my language, it's almost impossible to say "He knows Spanish a lot" without involving "conversation skills". It would have to be made clear in context. The default meaning would be that "he knows theory and practice" in the language.

    I wonder if it is another false friend in English to Portuguese.
     

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    It's used slightly differently there. It means: He knows a lot of Spanish words/expressions. It doesn't mean he speaks Spanish fluently. In fact it implies he can't speak Spanish very well but can follow it.
     

    Xavier da Silva

    Senior Member
    So the concept in English is really diferent from the concept in Portuguese, when using "knowledgeable about a language" and "know a lot of a language". As I said:

    If I say "he knows Spanish a lot" it means "he's very knowledgeable about Spanish", which means both "theory" (rules) and "practice" (speaking skills). At least that's how the equivalents in Portuguese work. In my language, it's almost impossible to say "He knows Spanish a lot" without involving "conversation skills". It would have to be made clear in context. The default meaning would be that "he knows theory and practice" in the language.
    And I still believe it's possible that I'm right in my O.P. Let's wait for other answers.
     
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