I needed to translate into Chinese some material for our magazine. The sentence is:
I'd rather eat a hamburger than eat a sandwich.
Apparently, in Chinese the word "rather" is used to make a value judgement about the items in discussion, such that a sandwich is bad, and a hamburger is good. We had some other sentences which used "rather" and our translator suggested they be changed so that a Chinese speaker could more easily understand the sentences, namely the objects being discussed could be culturally understood. For example "I'd rather take a taxi than walk home," was good because taking a taxi was understood to be preferable to walking, but "I'd rather listen to music than play video games." was not good because "listening to music" and "playing video games" were equally good.
I made the point that in English, there is no value judgement about the items and that "rather" just indicates a preference, to which one person agreed but another said that if you prefer one thing it means you don't like the other. I said I would rather have double stuff Oreos than original, but that I didn't have any judgement about people who liked original Oreos.
Does the word "rather" make a value judgement about the things being considered?