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  5. "Sai parlare tedesco?"

"Sai parlare tedesco?"

Translation:Can you speak German?

June 13, 2014



Yes, I can. I'm Doing Duo German :)


"you know how to speak German?" Shouldn't need the "Do..." before the you to make it an english sentence


Technically, if it is written, you do because you do not have the intonation of the voice to tell whether it is a question or a statement, barring the question mark at the end. In the battle between prescriptive and descriptive, for Duolingo, prescriptive always wins.


"Are you able to speak German?" - Marked wrong, but seems ok so I have reported it.


That would be «Puoi parlare tedesco?».


I'm Italian ( are you able to speak german?) is right!!!


Probably correct now 28 Mar 2017. Alternate answer given by Duo: "Can you speak German?"


"Do you know how to speak German" should have been accepted but wasn't.


"puoi parlare tedesco" is similar with "sai parlare tedesco"?


It's similar, but not the same. In italian if you use "potere" you mean the possibility. If you use "sapere" you mean the capacity. It's a shade, even difficult to explain.


I think when it's a skill you use "sai". It's the same in French and Spanish.


I know I would have gotten marked wrong in my French class many years ago if I had translated this a "Peux-tu parler l'italien", but that was a long time ago.

All the "able to" verbs in French, Spanish and Italian seem particularly unsuited to translating "Are you able to speak French/Spanish/Italian", because that means something like "Can you physically shape your mouth and utter the correct sounds that will be heard as French/Spanish/Italian?" It has nothing to do with knowledge of any language, simply the ability to do something - the capacity to do so.

But that was many decades ago. I've seen so many new words in the French module, I'm shocked that the Academy let them into the language.


Ja Duo, ich spreche Deutsch..... Mehr oder weniger.


Ich spreche auch Deutsch!


the translation should read: 'do you know how to speak German?"


Why isn't "Can you speak german ?" accepted ?...


Interestingly, that is what the answer on the top of the thread is.... In Italian, I would say that that would be translated as «Puoi parlare tedesco?» and not «Sai...».


Yes that's why I was surprised to see my answer rejected (or maybe I didn't notice that I did a mistake). There is a slight difference between "Can you..." and "Do you know how to..." indeed. However I do remember my English teachers telling me that to question someone about their ability to do something, the "Can you..." form would be the best one to use. What do you think about it ?


I think that, indeed, the "Can you..." is used more often, probably because it is shorter to say. XD But the meanings are very similar; if you know how to do something, you (hopefully) can do it, but that is not always the case. For example, I know how to fill air into bike tires and ride a bike, but, since I have not done it in so long, it took me a while to be able to do it yesterday. :P


Haha okay I see what you mean, thanks for your answer ! ;P


why is 'tedesca' wrong?


Because the name of a language is always masculine: «il tedesco, il portoghese, lo spagnolo, l'inglese, il francese, il coreano, il giapponese, il russo, ecc.». When you are referring to people, then you change the ending and article according to gender and number.


It seems kind of surprising that the language doesn't use the same root ('germano') as the demonym and country.


But why isn't it Sai parlare il tedesco?


"do you know German" is wrong?


please why "do you know to speak german" is wrong?


Yes, in English, that would mean "Do you know [that you need] to speak German?" or "Do you know that you must speak German?" as if it were a German oral language test.


If I understand a very informative comment by the Great CivisRomanus correctly, "Sai parlare tedesco" is colloquial Italian, whereas the more grammatically correct version would be: "Sai parlare il tedesco". On the use of the definite article with the names of languages, see CivisRomanus's entire comment: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/22770982/l-italiano-vs-italiano

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