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"Do you know German or English?"

Translation:Ты знаешь немецкий или английский?

November 10, 2015

34 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mike.alenichev

How do you know if it's "Ты" or "Вы"? How is it possible to distinguish when it's only "Do you"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JanisaChatte

It's hard to know whether it's "ты" or "вы" when there isn't much context, so both are acceptable translations for "you " in our course.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mightypotatoe

Both answers should be acceptable, of course don't forget to conjugate the verb appropriately (вы знаете in this case).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/skip2lublue

They're both fine (ты is singular/informal and вы is plural/formal), so I would say if the choice is yours pick whichever you want in the moment or switch it up if you don't care. If you're choosing words already selected in duolingo where you build the sentence from the words, pick whichever is there.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gmgalhardo

Is this question asking if you know either language (simultaneously asking if you speak one/both/neither), or if you specifically speak one or the other (ie you definitely speak one of them but the person asking isn't sure which)?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joseph_Pate

Do native speakers actually say this? I put "ты говоришь по-немецки или по-английски" because it made more sense to ask if someone speaks German instead of knows it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/villajidiot

Depends on the context. Reading knowledge is a different skill than speaking knowledge, so asking whether they know the language is useful information (just a slightly different question.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheRaginPagan

Why is "German" немецкий, and not something like <<германский>>?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lyalith

Because немецкий comes from немец; немей which means "mute" and it was used to refer to any language (and people) that they couldn't understand. It's a slavic word; which means it doesn't come from the Latin word "Germania; Germanus; Germani" (unlike the English equivalent, German).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheRaginPagan

That's kind of funny, actually. Would <<германский>> be understood to mean "German language", though?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/a22brad22

I think it refers to "Germanic" as a language family.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DrejcKokosar

Isn't the right answer немецкий и английский языкИ? Does anyone know what's exactly the rule here? As I know, you need to use plural form ...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/olimo

With "or", the singular "язык" sounds more natural.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DrejcKokosar

Thanks. And what about my case? Is it singural or plural when you use "и"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/olimo

With "И", it should be plural, but it won't sound too wrong if you use the singular form. In fact, I'd drop "языки" altogether and make it just "Я знаю английский и немецкий", for example.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JezebelSpirit

When do you say английски instead of английскиЙ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bleepandbloop

I've only seen it with по-английски, which is probably because it is an adverb there instead of an adjective.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brundoggy

Is there any reason, beyond it simply being idiomatic, why you would use 《ты знаешь немецкий...?》 and not 《 ты умеешь немецкий. .》? In my head I think of speaking a language as a skill, rather than a fact you can know, so... just curious! :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/olimo

"Ты умеешь немецкий" sounds like "You can German" or "You know how to German". It does not make sense.

You can say "Ты умеешь говорить по-немецки" - You can speak German or You know how to speak German.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brundoggy

Ah ok, I think I get it. Thank you so much! :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/grammarpenguin

Wenn man Deutsch kann, macht es doch Sinn, имееть немецкий zu sagen. ;)

Если бы нужно выбрать язик, о чём без второго глагола сказать "Я умею", выбрай-ка немецкий, потому что это по-немецки верный набор, даже нормалная форма выражения.

Please excuse the pedantry for the sake of some Russian practice. :) Any hints and corrections would be appreciated, of course. I'm hoping that meant:

If you have to choose a language about which to say "I can" without a second verb, might as well choose German, because in German, that's a grammatically correct sentence, even the normal way to express that thought.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alden403207

I think the web version of Duolingo is broken. I typed this sentence both as "Ты знаешь немецкий или английский?" and "Вы знаете немецкий или английский?" from my computer, and neither were accepted. Never had any issues typing from my phone, but it doesn't seem to like Windows 10 Russian.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hannes.grebin

it says I choose wrong but this is wrong


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yogibimbi

ok, as far as I can see, except for the typo after немецкий, "ы знаешь немецки или английский" should be accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael337075

why not у вас знаете instead of just вы знаете??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheRaginPagan

Then it'd be asking if they have knowledge, not if they know.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Philip402621

So, I'm confused. What exactly do "немецкий", "немецкий язык" and "по-немецки" mean, and what is the difference? If I understand correctly, one is the adjective "German", the second is "the German language" and the third is "German", as in, the language? But I have seen all three as solutions to questions where the language is referred to - sometimes interchangably, sometimes not - and so I don't quite understand when you would use which.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yogibimbi

немецкий and немецкий язык are both interchangeable. по-немецки can be roughly translated to "in German" as in скажите по-немецки "say it in German". немецки here is the noun that stands for the German language. It sometimes throws me off a bit that немецкий is actually used in a context where I would expect a noun, but I guess that's because язык is always implied in that case. Might have somebody with more depth chime in on that one, though, I am in no way the ultimate authority you want to ask in that context ;-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Philip402621

Ah, that makes sense. Thank you very much :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stephen794249

Зачем тут не "по-"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EmemonD1

how do I even know if it's "Ты" or "Вы"? I don't even know him!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JuliaZakar2

Why can't I use "либо" here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Imre565437

Vy znaete nemetskiy ili angliyskiy - not accepted

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