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  5. "Jeg er tospråklig, men jeg k…

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

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

June 8, 2015



"Snakke" not needed here?


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".


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?


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."


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".


Quite possible! Dutch has this too: "Ik kan Duits".


Mnemonically, it might be easiest to think of "kan" here as the old English verb "ken". As in "I do not ken English."


Interesting, thank you


Can we drop the verb in other cases, like German too?


liking this, it is the same in dutch! 'ik kan geen engels' :)


Can the sentence also be 'Jeg er tospråklig, men kan jeg ikke engelsk.'?


That turns it into a question. I am bilingual, but I can't speak english?


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.


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?


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.


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?


As far as I know, Duolingo uses standard Bokmål which is closest to a dialect in Oslo (in east Oslo I think?).


'i can no engrish' not accepted :(

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