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"Я совсем не говорю по-немецки."

Translation:I do not speak German at all.

December 2, 2015

64 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/morvan82

Aber ich spreche sehr gut Deutsch.


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

Ich lerne Deutsch!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dore.m

Ich auch! Я тоже! Moi aussi!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kiddo-depido

Deutsch ist toll, Russisch-Duo soll es lernen :)


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

Ab und zu muss ich an diesen Satz aus einem anderen Duolingo Kurs denken: "Das ist nicht meine Meinung, nur meine Üebersetzung." (Das große "ü" lässt sich hier komischerweise nicht tippen, übrigens)


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

Давай ребята, это Русский раздел, не Немецкий!


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

Кончайте парни,...or Харэ мужики,... - It sounds more natural.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheMilesto1

Das große Ü ist aber da, in deinem Text steht jetzt "Üebersetzung" also doppelt :D


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

It seems to me that -совсем- = -überhaupt-


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Connor-R

Would it still make sense if "совсем" was at the end? "Я не говорю по-Немецки совсем."?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndrewMat85

Yep, it will make sense, with such order of words the emphasis is on совсем


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

I also wondered why it appears so early in the sentence.


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

Apparently "I don't really speak German" isn't acceptable.


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

I have a question though, if the possible transaltions of ''совсем'' are: at all, really and entirely, why ''I don't really speak German'' is not accepted as a possible translation?


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

The correct translation is right below the title. I do not think yours means the same. It happens so because the order of operations is important: "not totally" ≠ "totally not".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elsantodel90

Lingot for "the order of operations is important" :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/levisjeans9

i do not at all speak german?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ljz1031

Does the "I do not speak German at all" here mean "I cannot speak German"? The Translation seems to be that "I" know how to speak German but I "don't" speak it.


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

My answer was "I never speak German," as it would seem that "cannot" would call for a different verb. Why is this incorrect?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OlegOlenyev42

I put in "I never speak German" and it said it was incorrect?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Amy490514

i don't know the word for "never" yet but there is a difference between "never" and "not at all"


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

Doesn't COBCEM mean QUITE? If so, why is "I don't quite speak German" not accepted?


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

I think it derives from the word всё witch means everything, or all of, and is a very all-encompassing word, as is совсем. The prefix со- sometimes used to make a verb perfect form (if now that is the right term), like творить, сотворить. Adding co- implies your will be done with it. Совсем therefore means "completely" or "totally".


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

Ah, now it makes sense! One thing I learned from studying Hebrew (which also applies to Russian) is that it always helps to know the root


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

Very good example, thank you


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

In "quite the contrary"? Totally.


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

So why is "I don't quite speak German" not accepted?


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

Because it is not what the sentence means. "Not quite" and "not at all" are different things.


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

Beautiful explanation! Have TWO lingots


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

When does this word have one of the meanings you just mentioned and when does it have the other one?


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

It depends on what совсем and не act upon, which is affected by word order in the most predictable way:

совсем новый = completely new

  • совсем не новый = completely (not new) = not new at all
  • не совсем новый = not (completely new) = not quite new

совсем забыл = completely forgot

  • совсем не забыл = totally (did not forget) = did not forget in the slightest
  • не совсем забыл = did not (forget completely) or not exactly "forgot"

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

In another exercise "совсем" is translated as "definitely". Why is that translation not accepted here?


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

There is no such exercise.


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

Unfortunatelly I can't look for it. I will just wait until it appears again.


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

We do not have that many exercises with совсем (which is a pity because it is a very popular word). I looked through them all, and could not find the one you are talking about.

Совсем means "totally", "at all". By some leap of logic you may say that "definitely" is, in some sense, in some context, once in a blue moon approximately the same as "at all". However, this will only apply to contexts where such substitution makes sense.


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

"I speak no German whatsoever" should work, shouldn't it?


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

Why по-немецки and not по-немецкий?


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

I have the same question as Rodrigo_B. -по- does not have a declension associated with it as far as I can see. -немецки- is not in the declension table for -немецкий- anyway. Could it be that -немецки- is the noun?


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

по-немецски, по-русски, по-английски are adverbs. Such adverbs are regularly formed from -ский-adjectives.


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

Thanks for your quick response, Shady_arc! In my other languages the adjective for the language becomes the noun. Russian appears to be big on adverbials; different & difficult & interesting.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ali949053

Witzig wie viele deutsche russisch lernen , traurig das man in fast keiner deutschen schule russisch lernen kann


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carlana16

Whats the по for?


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

This way -ский adjectives can produce adverbs that express the "manner of action". It is exactly what говорить attaches:

  • английский → по-английски
  • русский → по-русски
  • польский → по-польски
  • французский → по-французски
  • японский → по-японски
  • финский → по-фински

It is a useful structure to remember: a lot of popular languages/countries are associated with an adjective ending in -ский.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Von99Luftballons

I like to the think of совсем не as "not at all", e.g., I don't speak German at all. With совсем alone in a positive sense Я совсем понимаю implying I totally understand.


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

You would not use совсем alone like that.


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

In the Tips & notes is the example: Мы совсе́м бли́зко. = We are really close (i.e. almost there). Why would we use совсем alone in that case, but not in Я совсем понимаю? It can be used with adverbs but not with verbs?


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

Its use is different with verbs, since совсем will imply an action performed to an extreme extent. "Understanding very much" is not well defined in Russian because you either have understanding or lack it to some degree.

However, совсем is very widespread in negative sentences as совсем не ("not ... at all"). You can also encounter совсем with verbs that mean a loss of some quality or generally carry a negative connotation (e.g. "Я совсем устал", "Она совсем забыла про нас").

For other verbs it is generally a good idea to look for corpus examples: we don't use совсем with that many verbs in positive sentences.


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

Ok, I understand. And I had to look up what corpus means in this context, and now I know. So I learned two things through your answer :) Thank you!!


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

Why is "In german" Not accepted?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ruth440184

I found a great reply from user zirkul on this discussion board. This user wrote:

There is a slight difference between "Вера говорит по-русски" and "Вера говорит на русском". To me, "Вера говорит по-русски" could mean either Vera's general ability to speak Russian or the fact that is it talking to someone in Russian (you've overheard her and ask what language she is speaking). "Вера говорит на русском" is only applicable to the latter.

So what I take from that is:

  • говорит по-русски = speaks Russian

  • говорит на русском = speaks in Russian


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

Это ложь. Я немец.


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

Why is "I do not at all speak German" WRONG?


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

Because it isn't the way native speakers of English would phrase it. Respect to you, though, for learning a new language, Russian, via a language you do not speak as a native, English. I have never done that, and it must be very challenging.


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

I put "I don't speak German at all" and it was marked wrong


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

I agree it should have been accepted, Ally. It is often amazing how many possibilities there are for a translation!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ziplin19

Im so glad this course exists because there is still no russian course in german.. But who cares the english speaking community is much more active and lively anyway <3 Thank you mods for your hard work!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/deltaray3

I totally like how it accepts the use of totally. It's totally cool!


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

I like how every comment here is in German


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

-The German spy in Moscow


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

Я совсем не говорю по-немецки. По-немецки я совсем не говорю. Я не говорю по-немецки совсем. Я не говорю совсем по-немецки. Я совсем по-немецки не говорю.

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