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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

18 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bossman

"Snakke" not needed here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fveldig
Mod
  • 251

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".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zhebrica

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."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shwmae

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".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoostJV

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rich.Smith

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bossman

Interesting, thank you


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stevie_T

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sevenof9avdk

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PaoloLim

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stevie_T

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/duolingoHepCat

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?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luke_5.1991

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NorskStudent

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

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