Translation:The man speaks both English and Dutch.
What if "de man" spoke three languages? Would you say "De man spreekt Engels, Nederlands en Duitse" or would you you say "De man spreekt zowel Engels als Nederalands als Duitse?" Is this sort of like saying, respectively, "The man speaks English, Dutch, and German" and "The man speaks not only English, but also Dutch and German?"
Hope this question makes sense!
You would simply say "De man spreekt Engels, Nederlands en Duits". I don't think the additional "als" are incorrect, but they sound awkward in everyday language.
It's more of a emphasis thing. By saying "De man spreekt Engels, Nederlands en Duits" you're simply stating a summation of things. Whereas by saying "De man spreekt zowel Engels als Nederlands als Duits" you really apply an additional emphasis on the fact that "de man" speaks three individual different languages.
You clearly have completed a couple of trees. Google 'Duolingo Golden Owl Hall of Fame' or join via AlexisLinguist on Duo. The statistics this wonderful Moderator reveals therein are most interesting. Welcome to an apparently exclusive club. I have an advantage over most of us with Dutch though on account of having grown up speaking Afrikaans in the bad old days of South Africa. Hij praat met mij (D) = Hy praat met my (A).
Thank you for the information, I'll be sure to check it out. It's cool to see an Afrikaans speaker around here. I once had the urge to learn Afrikaans, but never got really far. Probably once I get comfortable with Dutch, I might give Afrikaans a second attempt. After all, I hear the grammar's less complicated (not that it's particularly complicated in Dutch).
We'll, it's often that the same word/construct has multiple meanings in one language but each of those meanings has different translation. One example from Polish. There's a word "zamek". Depending on the situation it means either a castle, or a lock or a zipper. So never automatically assume that if there are multiple meanings of one word in one language it will be the same with translation having all those meanings.
I would add that in English we make the difference in the meaning clear by saying: "I speak German as well as Dutch" = in addition to "I speak German as well as I speak Dutch" = I am as good in German as I am in Dutch. Also, in the first sentence there would be a slight emphasis on the names of the two languages, while in the second sentence the main stress would be on the word "well". (It's strange, but I didn't know I knew that until I started this exercise!)
Because your English phrase would mean you use both languages at the very same moment which is at least awkward if not impossible. Like part of your phrase was in English and the other party was Dutch. On the other hand i know a person who speaks that way (just with other languages) ;-) Anyway, holding the knowledge of something doesn't s suddenly disappear or isn't something that happens just for a moment so you use simple, not continuous tenses (well, perfect continuous if you want to express a very specific period)
I think a better explanation would be: 'zowel ... als' fits in the form 'zowel x als y'. In this case, "De man spreekt zowel Engels als Nederlands", you're saying that "The man speaks English as well as he speaks Dutch", meaning that his skill in English is equal to his skill in Dutch. Hope this helps someone.