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Sometimes you have to learn to walk before you can learn to run.

English translation: It means ...

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13:21 Oct 21, 2004
English to English translations [PRO]
Social Sciences - Government / Politics / an alleged American saying
English term or phrase: Sometimes you have to learn to walk before you can learn to run.
"As a well known American expression goes, sometimes you have to learn to walk before you can learn to run."

As quoted from a speech on Missile Defence. What is the author trying to say?

Thank you.
Mikhail Kropotov
Russian Federation
Local time: 05:02
English translation:It means ...
Explanation:
... Sometimes you have to learn the basics before you attempt the hard stuff
Selected response from:

xxxIanW
Local time: 03:02
Grading comment
Thank you Ian.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +14It means ...
xxxIanW
5 +3take it slowly
Kurt Porter
4 +1means exactly what the speaker says in his next sentence
Alexander Demyanov


Discussion entries: 10





  

Answers


2 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +14
sometimes you have to learn to walk before you can learn to run.
It means ...


Explanation:
... Sometimes you have to learn the basics before you attempt the hard stuff

xxxIanW
Local time: 03:02
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 8
Grading comment
Thank you Ian.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Clauwolf
6 mins

agree  vixen: Take things one step at a time
20 mins

agree  humbird: Yes, from lower to higher level.
32 mins

agree  Ian M-H
34 mins

agree  Amy Williams
37 mins

agree  Derek Gill Franßen: Yes, like chew before you swallow. (just kidding! ;-)
1 hr

agree  conejo
1 hr

agree  Java Cafe
1 hr

agree  Armorel Young: always I would say - don't know where that "sometimes" has come from
1 hr

agree  Empty Whiskey Glass
2 hrs

agree  Olga B
2 hrs

agree  nlingua
2 hrs

agree  Refugio: Perhaps it is a reminder that Americans frequently like to attempt hard stuff before mastering the basics (such as the Iraq war).
2 hrs

agree  Kurt Porter: Ahh, not all of us. :) :) :)
3 hrs
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4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +3
sometimes you have to learn to walk before you can learn to run.
take it slowly


Explanation:
One should particpate in the activity at a lower level and advance with care.

Set goals at easily obtainable levels before moving on to higher goals.

Kurt Porter
Local time: 07:02
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  vixen: Take things one step at a time
19 mins
  -> Thank you, Vixen.

agree  Olga B
3 hrs
  -> Thank you, Olga

agree  xxxnycndliu
5 hrs
  -> Thank you, nycndliu.
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8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
sometimes you have to learn to walk before you can learn to run.
means exactly what the speaker says in his next sentence


Explanation:
Ian is correct in a general sense. However, in the speach, the speaker talks not about "simple vs. hard" but rather about "smaller vs. larger", which is a tad different meaning:

As a well-know American expression goes: “sometimes you have to learn to walk before you can learn to run.” I believe operation of a limited-scale, NRF-dedicated NATO-owned and controlled TMD interceptor force would not only meet the “full range” war-fighting requirements for the NRF, it could also serve the broader purpose ...

BTW, it's not "a well-know American expression".

Alexander Demyanov
Local time: 21:02
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian
PRO pts in category: 15

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Balaban Cerit
4 mins
  -> Thank you.

neutral  Kurt Porter: Excellent explination...however, I've heard the phrase all my life.
6 mins
  -> Well, I heard it maybe once or twice. I reagard "a well known" to mean something widely known. This one is not widely used.

neutral  vixen: Agree with Kurt that it is a common expression in English.
17 mins
  -> Same issue.

neutral  Ian M-H: In my experience "walk before you can run" is widely used in the UK
30 mins
  -> Yes, see my "ask the asker" comment.

neutral  John Bowden: In the UK you very frequently hear the variation "don't try to run before you can walk"
1 hr
  -> Thank you John, you too are allowed to read the page in its entirety, including my "ask the asker" comment.

neutral  Olga B: with John, Kurt and vixen. See also my comment "ask the asker"
5 hrs
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