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漢字を読むことはともかく、書くことは苦手だ。

  1. I can't even write, let alone read Kanji.
  2. Regardless whether i can read Kanji or not, I can't write it.

Which translation is correct, 1) or 2)?

The speaker Confirms their disability to 書く.

Is it also confirmed that they are able to 漢字を読む or is it left unclear????

How can i figure out the answer from the sentence?

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  • 1
    You've been asking some interesting questions recently, which is great, but could I please ask you to put a little more thought into your question titles. Questions should benefit as many people as possible and many of your question titles don't really address the main problem that you have, so they aren't so helpful when it comes to searching for answers to problems. For example, this questions is about the use of ともかく, so a question title such "How to understand ともかく", or something like that, would be much more helpful for future people looking for answers to problems similar to your own. – user3856370 Jul 27 '20 at 21:37
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    My bad, up until now, i was trying to make titles represent 'my own thought about the problem' with the hope that i get relevant & more accurate answers. But in the other hand, i'd be thankful for useful edits to my questions using the "edit" button. – raruna Jul 27 '20 at 23:52
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The grammar point is AはともかくB, comparing two things but placing more emphasis on the importance of B in the current discussion. In English, it can be translated as something like Whatever about A, B is... So the speaker is making sure that B is what is intended to be stressed at the moment.

漢字を読むことはともかく、書くことは苦手だ。
Whatever about reading kanji, (the problem is) I'm not good at writing them.

So your translated sentence #2 is accurate (although "can't" is perhaps too strong).

Check out a more detailed explanation in the links below:

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  • わたしは、日本語を話すことはともかく、書く事は苦手だ。 I can’t even write Japanese, let alone speak it. According to: japanesetest4you.com/flashcard/… – raruna Jul 28 '20 at 14:08
  • I'm not sure what you're asking in the comment – kandyman Jul 28 '20 at 14:12
  • I ask for more explanation about why this site prefered to translate the sentence to:[I can’t even write Japanese, let alone speak it.] and not the second translation. Are the two translations interchangeable? Although in English they don't exactly have the same meaning i think. – raruna Jul 28 '20 at 14:28
  • They aren't different. The main focus is still B (I can't write), whatever about A (speaking it). – kandyman Jul 28 '20 at 14:43
  • I'm proposing this 'more literal' translation: [Do you know about speaking Japanese? I can't write it] Like this it lets either of the two previous translations possible even in English. But this step needs your supervision. – raruna Jul 28 '20 at 15:11

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