How to say "do you speak Danish"?

I'm confused. I've seen two options in two different tutorials for beginners and I'm curiuos which one is more common in Denmark. Would Danish ask me "taler du dansk?" or rather "snakker du dansk?"? Does anybody know?

August 9, 2019


Tale = Speak - a one way conversation:
"Jeg holder en tale." = "I give a speech."
"Jeg taler" = "I speak."

Snakke = Talk - a two way conversation:
"Vi har en snak. = "We have a talk."
"Vi snakker (sammen)." = "We talk (together)"

Since it all about one persons ability to utter words in Danish, it is about a one way conversation, wherefore "tale" is the correct choice:
"Taler du dansk?" = "Do you speak Danish?"
"Kan du tale dansk?" = "Can you speak Danish?"

It is however fairly common to use "at tale" and "at snakke" interchangeably in this case, but as you can see from the translations, it is actually wrong:
"Snakker du dansk?" = "Do you talk danish?"
"Kan du snakke dansk" = "Can you talk danish?

August 10, 2019

Hi Elzbieta. Danish people ask you : Tale du dansk? or : Kan du tale dansk? I think "tale" is more formal and "snakke" is more informal. You can also use both words in one sentence : Jeg taler dansk for at snakke med dig. Hope that helps you a little bit.

August 9, 2019

I have a lot of foreign colleagues and I ask “Kan du snakke dansk?” Or “Forstår du dansk?” (Do you understand Danish.)

August 9, 2019

I've visited Denmark twice now (the first time was one month long, the second was two months, so in total, I've been there for three months). Both times that I've been there, I've heard "snakker du dansk" the most.

August 14, 2019

I would probably use "snakker du dansk". It's the one I've seen most commonly used.

August 15, 2019

"Taler" would be better in conversation, since it means "talk".

August 17, 2019

Many are confused by the similar spelling, thinking that they are the translations of each other.
But it is actually:
Tale = Speak
Snakke = Talk

August 17, 2019

Kort og sød. Tak skal du have.

August 19, 2019

I think they are interchangeable, and you can use either one.

August 9, 2019
Learn Danish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.