"Я совсем не говорю по-немецки."

Translation:I do not speak German at all.

December 2, 2015

47 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/morvan82

Aber ich spreche sehr gut Deutsch.

January 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/yipivan

Ich lerne Deutsch!

February 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/R_Andersson

Ich auch!

August 28, 2016

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

Ich auch! Я тоже! Moi aussi!

June 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/truelefty

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

February 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/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)

October 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/AdalardRic

Давай ребята, это Русский раздел, не Немецкий!

January 6, 2018

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

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

April 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/AndrewMat85

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

June 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/detailaddict

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

February 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

January 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/detailaddict

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

June 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/OlegOlenyev42

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

October 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JhonEdisonOrtiz

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?

December 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/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".

December 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/elsantodel90

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

January 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/TubaHorse

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

January 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Shady_arc

Exactly.

January 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/JewishPolyglot

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

December 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/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".

December 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/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

December 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/olemagro

Very good example, thank you

March 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Shady_arc

In "quite the contrary"? Totally.

December 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JewishPolyglot

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

December 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Shady_arc

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

December 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JewishPolyglot

Beautiful explanation! Have TWO lingots

December 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JewishPolyglot

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

December 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/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"
December 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/panchoahea

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

March 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Shady_arc

There is no such exercise.

March 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/panchoahea

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

March 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

March 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/wjallad

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

May 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/levisjeans9

i do not at all speak german?

June 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

March 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Shady_arc

You would not use совсем alone like that.

March 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/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?

May 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

May 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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!!

May 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/LivingLifeform

Why is "In german" Not accepted?

May 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/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

July 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Rodrigo_B.

Why по-немецки and not по-немецкий?

March 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/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?

August 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Shady_arc

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

August 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

August 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Ali949053

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

April 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/StalinSS

Это ложь. Я немец.

August 25, 2018
Learn Russian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.