"Вы знаете немецкий или английский?"

Translation:Do you know German or English?

November 14, 2015



Why not both? Warum nicht beide?

November 14, 2015


почему не зойдберг? http://imgur.com/gallery/xsnUdwd

November 15, 2015


Of course! Natürlich!

January 27, 2016


Ich kenne ein bischen von Deutch und Englisch aus.

May 18, 2016


I think you meant to write ‘auch’, not ‘aus’. ☺

August 4, 2016


both sind gut, beide are good

February 20, 2018


Q for the native speakers: friends who have studied Russian have told me that languages in Russian are never referred to with the adjective on its own (e.g. "English", "German"), but only as the phrase "the English language"; "the German language" (англиский язык, немецкий язык) etc.

Any comment on which is better to use, or are both accepted?

November 16, 2015


Both are accepted. Another way would be «английский язык», «японский язык», «французский язык» and so on, which is what you would see written on books and in a school's timetable, for example. However, in speech you can use язык or omit it as you please:

  • Я изучаю японский (язык). = I study Japanese.
  • Вы знаете английский (язык)? = Do you know(speak) English?
  • Тут есть книги на немецком (языке). = There are books written in German here.

In English, though, "the English language", "the French language" are rather formal—and that's what your friends must have noticed. While in English you hardly ever use "the X language", in Russian it is preferred where you need more precise wording, but not overtly formal.

When you use a "way-of-action" adverb regarding languages, it is never supplemented by «язык» because, strictly speaking, it is not about the language:

  • Он говорит по-немецки.
  • Я говорю по-японски.
  • Он немец, но сейчас говорит по-французски.
November 17, 2015



November 17, 2015


Is there any reason for the "missing spaces" in your reply here? The example texts are all isolated and I'm starting to wonder if spaces after periods isn't common in Russian.


February 23, 2016


Where exactly?

February 23, 2016


Interesting, it's a bug in the Android application: the web interface shows bulleted lists. None of those bullets or their newlines survive to the phone. I now also know why people call you "shady" occasionally! Thanks

February 23, 2016


is изучаю i study (as in school or university) and учу i learn (like on my own) or if not could you explain these two words to me ?

April 11, 2019


When I looked up the Russian word for "Germany" it said Германия. So how'd they get Немец(ский) for German?

December 2, 2015


Germany has not been around for too long. The Germans, however, have been trading with Russia for centuries. The word «немец», originally meaning "foreigner, a person who does not speak clearly", narrowed down its meaning to only mean "a German".

It bears a clear resemblance to «немой» (mute, dumb, a person who does not speak), which was built upon the same root.

December 2, 2015


Интересно! I know there's a few words in English that ultimately derive from "those people talk funny." Barbarian came from Greek barbaros; "barbar" was an imitation of foreign babble, thus barbaros was a non-Greek, one who speaks unintelligibly. And gringo originally meant "foreigner, anyone who can't speak Spanish," (possibly from greigo, "Greek"; I've read stories that Greeks had notoriously awful accents when they tried to speak Spanish but I've never seen verification) Since English-speaking Americans moving west would encounter local Latino populations and not know Spanish , Americans became "gringos."

December 2, 2015


Although more than 96% of the Spanish language can be traced to its Latin and Greek roots. The word „gringo” is a mock to the English words green-go. Used by the US militia during their invasions to Latin American territories.

March 20, 2016


Gringo comes from the song "Green Grow The Lilacs" that was popular during the US-Mexican war.

May 12, 2016


The word seems to be proto-slavic. In that old times Slavic tribes could communicate (better or worse) with each other because of the similarity of their languages. However in the west there were people who spoke differently. West Slavs couldn't understand them. If you look at the map of Europe, you will notice that Poland is bordered by Slavic states excluding Baltic Lithuania (in the past there were also the Old Prussians, but bear in mind Proto-Balto-Slavic language) and Germany (polish: Niemcy - literally "mute people", plural of "Niemiec", a word formed from "niemy" - mute).

December 3, 2015


Does Russian make a distinction between asking which of two vs asking if either of two?

That is, if someone asked me, "Do you know either German or English?" I could say "yes," but if someone asked me, "Which do you know, German or English?" I'd have to say "English."

Is Russian based on context, or does this formation go one of those particular ways?

April 5, 2016


Вы знаете какой-нибудь иностранный язык? - Да (английский/немецкий/французский)

Вы понимаете по-английски или по-немецки? - Да (я знаю английский/немецкий)

Какой из двух(этих) языков вы знаете, английский или немецкий? - Английский.

May 2, 2016


Both, plus russian and hungarian U.U

July 24, 2016

  • 985

Both amigo

January 7, 2018


In what way does one change words based on how they're used?

May 4, 2016


I am a native russian speaker that just needs a bit more practice. Why can it be the german and russian language?

July 5, 2016


A lot of и and й, what is the correct pronuntation??

January 2, 2017



September 1, 2017


Ja, beide!

November 21, 2017


немецкий and английский are adjectives therefore it leads one to ask "do I know a German or English what"? You have to specify that you are talking about a language by saying английский язык or alternately "по-английскии".

August 15, 2018


It strikes me that in a lot of these sentences, "know" could be replaced with "speak". Can говорите be used in the same way as знаете in these situations in Russian?

December 15, 2018


Is this question asking "do you happen to know either German or English?", or is it asking "you know one of these two languages; which one?", or can't you tell?

February 24, 2019


Ich muss beide können da Russisch nicht auf verfügbar ist. (

April 1, 2019


Is this example used when someone doesn't remember which language the other person speaks, or when it's like "do you speak any of these two?"?

April 12, 2019


Why is German and English not capitalized in the Russian translation?

June 19, 2019
Learn Russian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.