Just got involved in a fairly lively discussion on a French learners’ discussion board. The question set was to translate “They swim a lot”. Simple enough, until someone asked why “souvent” wasn’t acceptable. They were slapped down with “there are words for both ‘a lot’ and ‘often’ in both English and French, so use the appropriate one”.
To me the question was perfectly valid; you can’t have more than one swim at at time, after all, so doing it “a lot” is synonymous with doing it “often”. (Admittedly there are contexts where it does makes a difference; consider “I drink often” and “I drink a lot”…)
Anyone out there who hasn’t forgotten all of their O- and A-level French got any thoughts?