Well, when we say that a person speaks a certain language, we normally understand that as being able to communicate in that language. So I wouldn't say that an opera singer that can sing in Italian with phonetic help (without actually understanding what they're singing) actually speaks Italian.
You are certainly right. But there is a difference between knowing a language and speaking it. I once learned French in school but never practiced it for decades. So I still know some French - i.e. understand - it, but I cannot pronounce - i.e. speak it anymore... In this sense speaking and knowing a language can make a distinct difference.
That's my question as well. What is it about this sentence that needs something other than говоришь?
Also, I agree with the difference between knowing a language and speaking it. I'm doing pretty good here with understanding, reading and writing in Russian, but according to DL I am terrible at speaking it. I sometimes have to use the "can't speak right now" just to get past an exercise.
Yes, Rabbi! לשונות is languages. לשון is tongue, and also language (just look at all the references in the תנ"ך).
I'd say that most languages have this connection between the concept of tongue (body part) and language.
Our Israeli Sephardi friend above my comment should remember that שפה refers to the lips, שפתיים; thus also a body part.
Hmm, I'm afraid I have to disagree. The Russian question is simply asking you to name the languages you speak. "What kind of languages do you know?" would be understood differently; I would expect an answer along the lines of "I know some Germanic and some Romance languages".
I just wanted to point out that it actually means 'what languages do you know' in case anyone is wondering