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  5. "Ich spreche kein Deutsch."

"Ich spreche kein Deutsch."

Translation:I do not speak German.

May 30, 2013



The most useful phrase of the course!


Actually, only phrase you need to know, if you are too lazy to learn whole language. :D


But at that point, you may as well say it in English


Actually, it's better to say "Ich spreche nur ein bisschen Deutsh" (I speak a little German) which is way more truthful since you know how to say "I don't speak German" in German anyway.


"Ich spreche nur ein bisschen Deutsh" would be "I only speak a little German" though, richtig?


But in English there's a distinction between "I don't speak German" and "I don't speak any German." Duo is telling me that there's no such distinction in German.

It says that "I speak no German" and "I don't speak German" are acceptable translations. But the former means "I don't speak any German."

A Person who can say "guten Tag" might be able to say that he doesn't speak German, especially if that's all the German he knows.

Most of the time, adding "any" to an English sentence acts as an intensifier and doesn't change the meaning, but in this case, the program doesn't make it clear how the sentence in question would be interpreted.


I guess "I speak no German" doesn't count


"I speak no German" suggests you know nothing of the german language. "I don't speak German" however suggests something more like I can't hold a conversation in it. For instance even if I know only the phrase ""Ich spreche kein Deutsch" then it is inaccurate to say I know NO German.


That explanation would have been great, except that by the time I read it, both were accepted. I was assuming the same thing as what you said.


Works fine now 5/feb/15


Now I just need to learn how to say, "...except for that sentence, and this sentence explaining that I don't speak German.".


"Ich spreche kein Deutsch... außer diesem Satz... und diesem Satz, der es erklärt, dass ich kein Deutsch spreche. Ganz komisch, oder?"


I feel like its mean to give us this sentence, when we are trying our best!


A friend of mine tried this in Germany - it didn't work, because people assumed she knew enough for what they had to say. She started saying "nein Deutsch" instead, which was inarticulate enough to be believed.


es ist ein Oxymoron :-)


Why is Duolingo teaching us to say this??? We are learning German already. We might as well never use sentence . . . How ironic is this?


True . . . but back before I began studying German in earnest, when all I knew was a few isolated words and phrases, I learned to recognize the question "Sprechen Sie Deutsch?" and I vowed that if I was ever asked that, I would answer "nein." I thought it was really funny to able to answer that I didn't speak a language in the language. I would have loved to know this whole phrase.

And of course, it is a good model sentence for talking about not speaking other languages, like "ich spreche kein Englisch" or "ich spreche kein Französisch," so even if we don't ever run across this sentence word for word, it is still helpful to learn it.

Incidentally, although I never was asked "Sprechen Sie Deutsch?" I was once sitting around a table listening intently to a long conversation between several German speakers, trying to pick out as many isolated words as I could. They must have been talking about Germany, because "Deutschland" was about the only word I understood. Well, ok, ok, I suppose they really could have been talking about anything . . . anyway, one of them, seeing me listening so intently, asked me "Sprichst du Deutsch?" and after I moment's rapid thinking, I figured that must mean the same thing as "Sprechen Sie Deutsch" just with a different formality, so I answered "nein." :D


Thanks so much, I now appreciate this sentence a lot more! XD


This is such a heart warming tale, not gonna lie haha


This phrase is very useful in Germany if you're not ready to converse! When I visited my boyfriend (now husband) when he was studying in a small university town outside Stuttgart, he taught me this phrase. One day during my visit I traveled alone via bus from his apartment to the town center to meet him for lunch, and an older woman approached me on the bus asking something in German. I politely and apologetically said this phrase back to her, probably with a bad enough accent for her to believe me. She asked, "Englisch?" I said "Ja" (I actually said "Sí" first because I had just come from a studying in Italy!), and then she just walked away.


Why not "Ich spreche nicht Deutsch"? Thanks :)


Because that is a lie. If you say: "Ich spreche nicht Deutsch" then you are speaking in German without a mistake. I would answer: "Aber Sie haben doch gerade Deutsch gesprochen! Oder war das Polnisch?"


Maybe I got what you mean, but just to be sure of it: the correct is "Ich spreche kein Französisch" or "Ich spreche nicht Französisch"? Thanks again!


Both are correct, if they are the answer to the question: "Sprechen Sie Französisch?" But usualy the answer would be: "Ich kann nicht (viel) Französisch" or "Französisch kann ich nicht." If someone only says: "Ich spreche nicht Französisch" then it seems as he refuses to speak French. The question is: "kann er nicht oder will er nicht (doesn't he want to)".


Since both are correct, why am I reading in another comment of this discussion that when we use "nicht", it has to go at the end of the sentence? In other words, are all of the below correct?:

Ich spreche kein Französisch.

Ich spreche nicht Französisch.

Ich spreche Französisch nicht.

Ich kan nicht Französisch.

Ich kan Französisch nicht.

Ich kan kein Französisch.


Almost, but "nicht" at the end, that is not the normal word order. And it sounds contrary if a child says: "Ich spreche Französisch nicht!" Or: "Ich kann Französisch nicht!", emphasizing the word "spreche" or the word "kann".


I feel like this one is much more easer


Are "Ich spreche kein Deutsch. " and "Ich spreche Deutsch nicht. " the same?


I think the best answer is: "Ich kann nur wenig Deutsch." But if you want to refuse to speak German, you may say: "Ich spreche kein Deutsch." or with stress: "Ich spreche Deutsch nicht!"


And you said that in German.


Why isn't it "Ich spreche Deutsch nicht"?


How about "I don't speak any German"?


That's what i said. I think kein literally means not any so I think it should count.

[deactivated user]

    Since Deutsch here is the direct object and therefore the phrase is in the accusative, why isn't it "keinen"?


    Because "Deutsch" is a neuter word, not a masculine word.


    Why does the male voice in Duolingo pronounce some words differently from the female voice? Is that how it is in German? Here she pronounces /spreshe/ while he pronounces /spreke/.. who do I follow?


    Follow her. She has a good pronunciation.


    Is "Ich kann kein Deutsch sprechen" correct? If yes, is it natural?

    [deactivated user]

      It is correct grammatically, but it is not natural.


      Das ist doch sehr gutes Deutsch: "Ich kann kein Deutsch sprechen. " Perfekt!


      My professor in Heidelberg said: "Ich kann kein Deutsch mehr (no longer) sprechen. " after her used a wrong word and began stuttering.


      So does "Ich spreche Deutsch nicht" mean something like "i don't SPEAK German (but i might be able to read, write, or understand it)", whereas "Ich spreche kein Deutsch" is more like "i don't speak GERMAN (but speak another language)"? I'm not sure i understand the distinction between negating a verb vs negating a noun very well and could use a few examples of the difference in meaning


      So when the rapper in the song "Je ne parle pas Français" says "Ich spreche nicht Deutsch", the sentence is incorrect.


      I don't speak german at all. I have understood that if use kein means nothing at all or no idea of something. Please confirm or correct by native german. Thanks


      It means nothing at all. If you want to say "I don't speak German well," then you would say "Ich kann nicht so gut Deutsch sprechen."


      so would this literally be "I do not speak any German"?


      Why i cannot use "Ich Spreche nitch Deutch"?


      Because that's just not how it works in German. They negate whole phrases with "nicht", but specific nouns with "kein" and its derivatives. Also, if you were to use "nicht" here, it would have to go at the end of the sentence. I recollect Duolingo's explanation in the hints section covers the rules pretty well, or if you want some examples, you can take a look at this thread: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/1072247$from_email=commentcomment_id=1265227


      How come I can't use the word 'can't' within the sentence? It has its similarities to you " I don't speak german."


      ich kann Deutsch nicht sprechen


      How do you say "I don't speak much German"?


      Some days this seems sooooo true!


      why we didnt use /nicht/?


      Sure is motivational.


      When do we use "nicht" vs "kein"?


      It directly translates to, "I speak not German."


      Is it ok to say- Ich nicht spreche Deutsch?

      [deactivated user]

        1- Nominativ + Maskulin (or Neutrum): kein [Kein Mann isst Suppe].

        2- Nominativ + Feminin (or plural): keine [Keine Frauen trinken Bier]

        3- Akkusativ + Maskulin: keinen [Ich sehe keinen Mann]

        4- Akkusativ + Neutrum: kein [Ich treffe kein Mädchen]

        5- Akkusativ + Feminin (or plural): keine [Ich sehe keine Frau]

        6- Dativ + Maskulin (or Neutrum): keinem [Ich danke keinem Mann]

        7- Dativ + Feminin: keiner [Ich folge keiner Frau]

        8- Dativ + Plural: keinen [Ich antworte keinen Jungs].


        I don’t understand why “Ich spreche Deutsch nicht” is wrong. Especially since I’ve typed this answer before and it didn’t count it wrong. It’s only being counted wrong recently and also I looked up the rules for negation using nicht and kein and my answer should be correct according to FluentU and several other websites. My sentence negates the verb, or at least the whole sentence since it’s at the end of the sentence, and should be correct. Isn’t that right? Or am I wrong?


        The motivation never ceases


        Shouldn't it be 'keine Deutsch'? Isn't it 'die Detusche Sprache' and therefore 'die Deutsch'? Thanks


        Why this sentence" i don't speak german " is wrong ??? What is the difference i do not ???


        So... so what.... what language do you think you are speaking?


        This is the best phrase to learn just in case you are to lazy but you will have so some lesssons. I got this on my phrases lesson which is after checkpoint 2!


        My question is far from this note here. BTW, I wanna know how can we say "I speak a little in German". Viele danke


        It was already answered in this thread.


        Why can't you use Nicht instead of kein? I know that kein is used to negate nouns, but are you able to negate the verb here with nicht? Would the sentence still have the same meaning?


        "I don't speak German" should be allowed

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