I have refer to the dictionary. It has the meaning of "take the responsibility of .." The background is: the scientist has invented an kind of technique. He can translating the painting into virtual world just like creating the Second Life Avatar. By doing this he can analyse whether the light in the painting is natural or created by the studio. I think this sentence means he begin to analyse the paint<> using this kind of technology. and in this sentence , “the scientist has taken on "Las Meninas"by Velazquez, possibly the greatest picture ever made”, I think it can be translated to"decide to do "better. Because if the work is not assigned by others ,it should not be equals as"undertake".

what do you think of it? "take the responsibility "or "decide to do"?

  • Not enough context. Please add more of the surrounding sentences. Nov 25, 2017 at 13:17
  • now what sbout it?
    – rene smith
    Nov 25, 2017 at 13:41
  • 1
    "Take on" = he will challenge himself by using his technique on a difficult painting. Nov 25, 2017 at 14:10
  • sometimes i think the translation is too flexiable to get command of ... so the phrase take on has the meaning of "challenge oneself"?
    – rene smith
    Nov 25, 2017 at 14:12
  • can you help me about it , please?
    – rene smith
    Nov 25, 2017 at 14:14

1 Answer 1


We take on a challenge. We take a challenge on.

Jonas Salk took on the challenge of finding a polio vaccine.

We take on an adversary. We take an adversary on.

He took on the bully who had been making school unbearable.

We take on a responsibility or task. We take a responsibility or task on.

He took on the responsibility of coaching the team.

He took on the task of fixing the roof.

take on is a so-called "phrasal verb".

It means "to face, to address (as a problem that needs solving or situation that needs to be improved or remedied or handled or as a task to be seen to completion)"

  • thanks for your answer .so the meaning of "take the responsibility of " and"to face or to address " is different, right?
    – rene smith
    Nov 25, 2017 at 15:01
  • You can also take on a responsibility. I've added an example.
    – TimR
    Nov 25, 2017 at 15:37
  • take a task on means "begin to do it" or"begin to undertake the ability of doing it" which translation is better?
    – rene smith
    Nov 25, 2017 at 15:44
  • To commit oneself to it.
    – TimR
    Nov 25, 2017 at 16:51

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