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"Er spricht sowohl Englisch als auch Französisch."

Translation:He speaks both English and French.

June 30, 2013



I wrote "He speaks both English as well as French" and was marked wrong. Any fault here?


'both' tells you there's going to be two items listed so the 'as well as' becomes redundant. You're just repeating yourself, it sounds like saying 'he speaks English and and French'

You could use

He speaks both English and French


He speaks English as well as French


I knew the "both" would be redundant with "as well as" but thought I'd be penalized if I left one out. This question is a bit below the belt.


I agree, it appears to me that there is also redundancy in the German with "sowohl" and "als auch" in the same sentence... Why can't there be redundancy in the English translation?


No, it's not below the belt. It wants you to respond as a native English speaker would. Your answer was grammatically incorrect .


I am a native English speaker and I would say "he talks both English and French" but it was rejected. I guess there's no allowance for regional uses of "talk" vs "speak" haha!


I offered : As well, he speaks English as also French.


that word order is hectic. you could say

  • as well as French, he speaks English or
  • he speaks English as well as French

i don't think you can split the "as well as" and have it still make sense


Stimmt! Even though I knew it sounded redundant, it was so tempting to add 'also' as well as 'as well as.' I fall for that sucker too often, even when I see it coming.


Okay but that doesnt change how English opporates. The equivalent in English would have been as well as.


Because AS a native English speaker, I would use both "as well as" and "as" in this scenario. I guess "as well as" could also mean "as good as", but still.


How could you use 'as' in this scenario and have it not be completely nonsensical?


Or maybe "He speaks English and also French."


I wrote the same!


And I wrote "He speaks English just as well as French" and was marked wrong - I know the 'just' is superfluous but I'd never say this sentence without it!


My understanding of your translation is that his standard of English is as good as his French, whereas I understand the German to be saying that he speaks both languages. The meanings are differrent.


whats the diference between 'sowohl and 'beiden'. could it be : ' er spricht beiden, englisch und franzosisch' ?


How would you differentiate between him speaking English and French to the same level of proficiency and him being able to speak English when he can also speak French.

Personally, in English I would use a comma for the latter: "He speaks English, as well as French", but I don't know which case "sowohl ... also auch" is used for.


It's clear that 'sowohl... als auch' is used in the case of speaking BOTH languages (without a comparison of proficiency). It is a bit ambiguous in English, but you might clear that ambiguity by saying "He speaks English as well as he speaks French" if you were looking for the comparison of proficiency. I believe in German there would be a different way entirely of saying this if you meant to draw a comparison of proficiency.


I'm not sure that German ever uses the word 'well' the way we do in English. I think they usually use 'good', e.g. 'he does that good'.


Ja, er spricht gut Deutsch. Watch "The arrival of Sam" on Extr@ German.


I think "He speaks English as well as [he speaks] French" would be: Er spricht Englisch so gut als [er spricht] Franzoesich."


Why not just say "Er spricht Englisch und Franzosisch"? How is the meaning different by saying it this way?


It seems a bit more impressive .


"Why not just say "Er spricht Englisch und Franzosisch"? How is the meaning different by saying it this way?"

Because this doesn't mean he speaks both equally well, just that he speaks both languages. He might speak one as a native and one as a Duo scholar!


Why not sowie?


I am wondering about the same thing! Maybe it is the same but sowie doesn't need the ...als auch part


What is the purpose of "sowohl" in this sentence?


sowohl ... als auch ... = http://goo.gl/qWo0o


Ok I get it now, it is part of a set phrase. Thank you.


"He speaks not only English but also French..." rejected.


In another sentence there is The person is good and also helpful as the asnwer for Die Person ist sowohl gut als auch hilfreich. Is the same gramatic, so, why am i wrong with " He speaks english and also french??


My guess is that "as well as" is the "preferred primary solution" for the translation of "sowohl... als auch...", but, as Duolingo "grows" (in response to our suggestions), other "versions" become available.


It's rewarding to be part of the growing process. What part of the response is programmed and what is done by people actually reading the discussion? I am guessing that someone actually looks at the comments if you report that you think your answer should have been accepted?


It is a clever program, isn't it?


I have typed "he does not only speak English but also French" and the answer is considered wrong. Why?


It would be more, er spricht nicht nur English, sondern auch Französisch


Is it the only correct statement to use "sowohl"? for example is the below sentence wrong? "Er spricht sowohl Englisch und Französisch"


What's the use of "auch" here?


So is this just 'both'? I assumed it was also qualitative, so write 'He speaks English as well as he speaks French', which was marked wrong...


This is really a terrible translation that Duo proposes as correct!!


Folks, I put the correct answer here, but it still says wrong. :O


Er spricht Englisch als ob er Französisch spricht


He speaks English as if he speaks French? Als ob is used more for imaginary situations, not so much comparitive. Normally using Konjunktiv II.


Oh, a non french who took the time to learn french, that's nice!


Not to get political, but I'm an active Couchsurfing host in the USA and I have NEVER had a French guest who spoke anything resembling good English (unlike the Germans, Austrians, Dutch, Belgians and Scandinavians, who are always fluent). Heck, even most Quebecois can't speak English.


Hehe, not to get political, but people say that Frenchmen CAN speak English, but they WON'T do it. :)


You are sooo right, the French just do not like the English at all.

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