"Jeg er tospråklig, men jeg kan ikke engelsk."

Translation:I am bilingual, but I cannot speak English.

3 years ago

18 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/bossman

"Snakke" not needed here?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/fveldig
fveldig
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You can use it, but not necessary. 'kan' can mean 'know how to', so 'snakke' is implied.

"Jeg kan svømme" = "I know how to swim". "Jeg kan (snakke) engelsk" = "I know how to speak English".

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sangfroidish

I know German has the same thing; ich kann Deutsch = ich kann Deutsch sprechen. Perhaps it's a general Germanic thing that just never caught on in English?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zhebrica
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It's occasionally used as slang in English, but usually in the negative, such as after you misspeak: "Sorry, I'm so tired today, I can't English."

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/shwmae
shwmae
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You're right, but that's probably a more modern development, i.e. the ease with which English now verbalises nouns, rather than a hangover from an earlier use of "can".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/merry-bee

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JoostJV
JoostJV
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Quite possible! Dutch has this too: "Ik kan Duits".

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rich.Smith
Rich.Smith
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Mnemonically, it might be easiest to think of "kan" here as the old English verb "ken". As in "I do not ken English."

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bossman

Interesting, thank you

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Stevie_T
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Can we drop the verb in other cases, like German too?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnneBourgo
AnneBourgo
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liking this, it is the same in dutch! 'ik kan geen engels' :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PaoloLim
PaoloLim
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Can the sentence also be 'Jeg er tospråklig, men kan jeg ikke engelsk.'?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Stevie_T
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That turns it into a question. I am bilingual, but I can't speak english?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cassandra983

These comments really helped. I managed to get it right, but I couldn't wrap my head around it. I guess an English speaker has to broaden our horizons a little. If we can say: "I can swim/dance/sing..." without a requisite "know how to", we should get more comfortable with the phrase in other languages. And really, in this context, we were already talking about speaking languages, so the "snakke" shouldn't be necessary.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/duolingoHepCat
duolingoHepCat
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Just out of curiosity, would a Norwegian speaking both nynorsk and bokmål (but only those two languages) be considered bilingual since nynorsk and bokmål are two Norwegian languages, or would that person still be considered monolingual, since both nynorsk and bokmål are forms of Norwegian?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luke_5.1991
Luke_5.1991
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The second. Bokmål and Nynorsk are two different standards for written Norwegian. They are not two different languages. One doesn't speak Bokmål or Nynorsk, one writes in them.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/m.g.doyle

I've heard this before, but I never thought to ask: When I say the things I've learned here, what am I speaking? Just Norwegian?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SonicSalem
SonicSalem
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As far as I know, Duolingo uses standard Bokmål which is closest to a dialect in Oslo (in east Oslo I think?).

1 year ago
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