Duolingo is right. He doesnt speak Swedish. That is why he is on duolingo.
Hmmm. I thought it meant "he speaks no swedish", but Duolingo marked me wrong. Does it only mean "he isn't speaking swedish" or "he does not speak swedish"? In English, "he speaks no swedish" makes sense, and this seems like a direct translation?
"He speaks no Swedish" is not a correct translation for "Han talar inte svenska" since this sentence could mean two things.
Either "he" can't speak Swedish, or he is simply not speaking Swedish at the moment. Since it could be interpreted in both ways we only accept "He does not speak Swedish".
"Han talar ingen svenska" would be a perfect translation for "He speaks no Swedish".
I'm not entirely sure I get your question, but I'll try to answer.
I use inte in the sentence above since ingen means "no" as in "No Swedish".
You cannot use "inge", you have to choose between "ingen", "inget" and "inga" and they have the same meaning as "not any" (or "inte någ(ot/on/ra)" in Swedish).
Jag har inget vatten - Jag har inte något vatten - I have no water - I do not have any water.
Jag har ingen mjölk - Jag har inte någon mjölk - I have no milk - I do not have any milk.
Jag har inga vänner - Jag har inte några vänner - I have no friends - I do not have any friends.
I don't think a native english speaker would interpret "he speaks no english" as anything other than "he is not able to speak english". this seems unusually strict.
It's certainly the same end result in practice, but that doesn't mean it's a proper translation.
It means "He doesn't speak Swedish", although literally this sentence means "He speaks not Swedish" ('No Swedish' would be 'ingen svenska')
It's the most common newbie mistake we're all trying to overcome: grammatically correct vs. Direct translation. I got it wrong too thinking it would be fine, as it is in English.
But the suggested translation here is both direct and grammatically correct. inte means not. If the Swedish sentence had been Han talar ingen svenska, the correct translation would have been He speaks no Swedish.
Yeah, I meant for the uninitiated language learners, the difference between no and not isn't obvious.
Inte modifies the verb (here: talar), whereasingen modifies the noun (here: svenska).
Could you also say 'Jag pratar inte svenska'? Or does that have different connotations?
Yes, you can use both "talar" and "pratar" here. "Talar" is probably a bit more common when you talk about speaking a language, while you would most likely use "pratar" when saying for example "I'm talking to you" (Jag pratar med dig).
Yes, inte means not, and ingen/inget/inga means no. (Well, no as in No I don't is nej).
Thank you! Can you also explain, "kvinnan" and "kvinnon" and the same with men? Tack så mycket!
The forms are
singular indefinite: en kvinna ('a woman'), definite kvinnan ('the woman')
plural indefinite kvinnor ('women') plural definite kvinnorna ('the women').
And for men:
en man, mannen (a man, the man)
män, männen (men, the men)
Tack så mycket! You're very helpful. Can you also explain "en" and "ett"? I know they both mean a(n), and the tip blurb said it's human v. nonhuman things, but it didn't make sense in the examples. Snälla!
Unfortunately, it's not as simple as "human v. nonhuman things". Every thing in Swedish (like most Germanic languages) is divided into different grammatical genders, which sometimes coincide with actual genders, but not necessarily. In Swedish, there's the common gender (combined from what used to be male and female genders) and the neuter gender (meaning non-male/non-female).
Common gender nouns are en-nouns (en mann, en hund, en sko, etc.), while ett-nouns (ett socker, ett barn, ett brev, etc.) are of the neuter gender. From those examples, you can tell that humans can be both en- or ett-nouns (en mann, ett barn), while non-human things can be either en- or ett-nouns, too (en sko, ett brev).
Both en and ett are translated as a/an, and English doesn't have the gender distinction, so it's kind of hard to explain the concept of gendered articles. I definitely recommend learning the en/ett article when you learn the noun, as it will help you when forming the correct adjective and definite forms.
I felt the link provided by Arnauti is useful, if you already understand the concept of gendered articles, but it's missing an introduction :)
If you were to say that you could talk English, those around you would realise the contrary was true
"Talk" in English is not a transitive verb, meaning it can not take a direct object.
We only capitalize names in Swedish, and we don't consider the words for languages, days, months, or nationalities to be that.
Han and Han are woman and man but for the first one it said Han atalar inte svenska, And later on it gave me it again but saying Its a she...
The long a in Swedish is often perceived as an o sound by non native speakers, but with practice you'll get better at hearing the difference. Swedish has relatively many different vowel sounds, so we sometimes make distinctions that other languages don't. (the voice sounds ok here and I hear a clear long a sound in talar).
Thank you for your answer. Is there in English a word what sounds like the long a?
That's actually the default translation, but I can see there's an error report from the same time as your comment, so I'm assuming that's from you. You submitted "He doesn't speak svenska" - I think you accidentally switched languages at the end there.
How do you determine the position of "inte" in a sentence? I've read Swedish sentences with "inte" being pushed to the end.
If inte = not and talar = speak, where did the "does" come from? and Why wouldn't "He speak no Swedish" translate into "Han talar nej Svenska" instead of "ingen"?
Nej 'no' is only used as the opposite of ja, 'yes'.
Does is a construction that English uses, but not Swedish.
I remember learning "Jag inte talar svenska" - is that word order acceptable (perhaps in different regions?) or has my brain just rearranged things in the last 20 years?
It's not acceptable in any region as a main clause, but it can be as a subclause. Jag förstår inte, eftersom jag inte talar svenska ('I do not understand since I do not speak Swedish') is a correct phrase (and you can't change places for either of the inte in there).
In clauses that are not subclauses or questions, the verb always needs to go in second place (the V2 rule), which means as a main clause, it must always be Jag talar inte….
What is wrong with this translation: "He cannot speak Swedish?"
Kindly do let me know.
I'm wondering something. What's the difference between: "han talar inte svenska" and "han talar nej svenska"???
I was failed for "He doesn't speak Swedish".
Meaning: He does not speak Swedish.
"Doesn't"'s an abbreviation of "does not" that's used more often than the long form.
Of course we accept "doesn't" as well. If you were marked wrong for exactly that phrase, you suffered a bug.
I put "can not" and it said it was wrong, so this is just "does not"? What would "can not" be?
That would be han kan inte tala svenska or just han kan inte svenska. Though the latter is more like "doesn't speak", idiomatically.