"Do you know German or English?"
Translation:Ты знаешь немецкий или английский?
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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 ;-)