"Вы говорите по-немецки?"

Translation:Do you speak German?

December 8, 2015



wrote "Do you speak Germany?". brb, gonna jump off a мост.

August 25, 2016


I gave you 4freeaking lingots

May 12, 2017


How would you say "Are you speaking German?"?

I was marked incorrect, and I don't know whether to report it or not.

January 3, 2016


Maybe поговорите?

June 20, 2017


No, "Are you speaking German?" is still "Вы говорите по-немецки?". Поговорите is either the imperative (Speak German!) or indication of a one time action in the future (You will be speaking a little bit in German?).

June 20, 2017


It is correct now

December 4, 2018


Ein bisschen...

April 10, 2016


Ich auch mein Freund!!!

October 19, 2018


What is the etymology of немец- ? It seems like every language has it's own word for German/Germany.

September 17, 2016


German, Deutsch, Alemán, Немецкий

August 28, 2017


Не́-мец ‧ Не-мо́й ‧ cognate with [ Mime, Pantomime, Mimic ]

немец" shares its origin with "немой". Originally, it was a common name for all foreigners who couldn't speak Slavic languages. Later on, it came to mean just German ‧ masterrussian.net/f15/where-do-words-немец-немецкий-come-13843/

Не-мо́й ‧ dumb, mute ‧ From Proto-Slavic *němъ. Compare Old Church Slavonic нѣмъ (němŭ) ‧ en.wiktionary.org/wiki/немой

Не-ме́ть ‧ to become dumb, mute, numb ‧ en.wiktionary.org/wiki/неметь ‧ ‧ не-мо́й (дореформ. нѣмой) ‧ ru.wiktionary.org/wiki/немой

Compare Latvian mēms (“dumb, mute, silent”), Old Polish omienieć (“to become dumb”), Latin mūtus (“mute, dumb, silent”), Ancient Greek μῖμος (mîmos, “mime, actor”), German mummeln, English mumble, Swedish mimra. ‧ en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Reconstruction:Proto-Slavic/němъ

Mime ‧ From Old English mīma ("a mime") from Latin mimus, from Ancient Greek μῖμος (mîmos, “imitator, actor” ‧ en.wiktionary.org/wiki/mime

January 5, 2019


According to Wiktionary, this word is related to English mumble and mute, meaning speaking incomprehensibly.


October 19, 2016


It's from the Russian немой, which does mean mute.

January 14, 2017


Да, я немка.

October 16, 2016


How would you say "Are you speaking German?"
Possible context: I overhear two people talking, but do not recognise the language that they are speaking.

If I interrupted (politely, I hope!) with "Do you speak German?" that would imply that I did, and WANTED them to speak German, in order to understand them better.

June 9, 2016


I’d say "Вы по-немецки говорите?" – with an emphasis on "по-немецки". This word order would be more fitting in this context, although "Вы говорите по-немецки?" is still possible, too – the important thing is the intonational stress on "по-немецки".

June 9, 2016


Thanks, nice solution!

June 10, 2016


Yeah; absent of the distinction of two present tenses, Russian resorts to its favourite devices – changing word order and/or intonation. Another possibility that came to mind is adding "это": Это вы по-немецки говорите? (kind of "Is it German you’re speaking?") Here the intonational emphasis on "по-немецки" is also important, because if you put it on "вы", that would mean "Is it you who speaks German?"…

June 10, 2016


Thanks again. I have found the fact that Russian has only a single present tense to be its most confusing feature, in terms of how to convey distinctions of meaning that are clear in English.
It took me a long while to realise the differences in meaning conveyed by altering the sentence order in Latin; I must pay equivalent attention to their effect in Russian, it seems.

June 10, 2016


Why is немецкий incorrect? I saw the description about it being like an adverb, but I've never seen it like this in the wild :)

December 8, 2015


по-немецки is the adverb, немецкий is the adjective. "Он знает немецкий язык" vs. "Он говорит по-немецки"

December 9, 2015


Понятно, спасибо

December 13, 2015


Can you write the whole sentence? You can use «немецкий» here if you apply it correclty.

December 8, 2015


Why "ты по-немецки говорите?" Is wrong?

January 20, 2016


Wrong verb conjugation. "Ты" uses "говоришь". "Говорите" is used with "Вы".

January 27, 2016


Is it important to put - in Russian?

August 28, 2016


Yes, but Duolingo will likely accept your answer with a space.

December 25, 2017


what does ПО means?

October 26, 2017



December 25, 2017


Why German and Japan are called by different names in Russian language. Could anyone (possibly a native Russian speaker) please explain it in English?

January 16, 2018


Germany is still Германия, as in English (Germany). That country has a wide variety of names (some version of Alemania in the Romance languages, Deutschland in the native German, which becomes Tyskland in other Germanic languages, Germany/Germania in English and other languages from the Latin Germania, etc.). A lot of it has to do with the historic ties and who interacted with whom - remember, Germany wasn't even truly unified into a single nation as we might understand it until the 19th century. Historically there were many different Germanic tribes, and from there, and from certain geographic splits, you get the different names of the country. I only explain that since you said "German and Japan" (so I wasn't sure if you were talking about the country or the language/people).

The word немец (German man), немка (German woman), and adjective немецкий ("german") come from the Old Church Slavonic word for "foreigner" and the root is basically нем- (like in the adjective, немой - dumb [as in mute], though historically also just "incapable of speaking in an understandable language"). In olden times the word was used to describe many Germanic peoples such as Swedes, Norwegians and Danes, and for a time even included Scots, Brits, etc.

Япония is a little more straightforward - it comes from the West's "Japan" (presumably from the German "Japan" which sounds like "Yahpahn"). Where we got it from... well, there are some debates about that... Some say it comes from the native Japanese "Nippon/Nihon", or from Marco Polo's interpretation of certain Chinese words (though he never visited Japan himself), or from the Malaysian word...

January 16, 2018


Why was I marked incorrect for writing 'can you speak German', isn't it the same as 'do you speak German'?

February 19, 2018


Not exactly.

I think "Can you speak German?" as in "Are you able to speak German?" would require the verb уметь (which basically means, "to know how to").

July 24, 2018


In which cases is this 'по-' necessary?

September 12, 2018


What purpose does "по" serve?

March 6, 2019


This is formal "you". Shouldnt it be говоришь?

April 22, 2019
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