"Yearned" na frase abaixo poderia ser trocada por "wanted"?

Whether you are a university student cramming for your finals, or have simply yearned to pick up some tourist French, their insights could take the pain out of digesting facts.

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Yes, you can.

Whether you are a university student cramming for your finals, or have simply wanted to pick up some tourist French, their insights could take the pain out of digesting facts.

But you must notice that here the verb want is not emphasized. I mean you don't want sth badly. You just want to do sth.
The verb yearn means to want sth very much. If you want to give the same meaning, you'll have to change the sentence :
.... have truly wanted... The use of the adverb truly gives emphasis on your sentence.

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/pt/dici ... +something

See more here:

http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/yearn
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