Results 1 to 7 of 7
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Oct 2007
    • Posts: 1,538
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    talk English/French

    Oxford 6/7th edition: Are they talking Swedish or Danish?
    Longman 4edition: talk (in) German/French etc

    Macmillan:
    talk English: (idiomatic) very informal to speak using less difficult words or expressions so that someone can understand what you are saying

    Cambridge says 'He talks French' is a wrong sentence.

    Could I ask native English teachers to explain how native speakers use the verb 'talk' with such words as English, French, etc? Thank you in advance.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,448
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: talk English/French

    The use of "talk" and a language name is quite usual if somewhat colloquial

    Please talk English
    After three years I was able to talk Greek

    I cannot think why Cambridge should suggest "He talks French" is incorrect. Can you give the full reference?

  1. philadelphia's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • French
      • Home Country:
      • France
      • Current Location:
      • France

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 838
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: talk English/French

    I foresee Cambridge would rather suggest "he speaks French". It may seem more appropriate as to the capacity to use (speak) a language.

    Not a teacher at all. Only someone who can speak French.


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 3,063
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #4

    Re: talk English/French

    Quote Originally Posted by philadelphia View Post
    I foresee Cambridge would rather suggest "he speaks French". It may seem more appropriate as to the capacity to use (speak) a language.

    Not a teacher at all. Only someone who can speak French.
    I agree that that's very likely the distinction they're making.

    ??Does he talk French? versus Is he talking [in] French?

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Oct 2007
    • Posts: 1,538
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #5

    Re: talk English/French

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    The use of "talk" and a language name is quite usual if somewhat colloquial

    Please talk English
    After three years I was able to talk Greek

    I cannot think why Cambridge should suggest "He talks French" is incorrect. Can you give the full reference?
    Cambridge Learner's Dictionary:
    speak: Usage: speak or talk?
    Remember that you speak a language. You do not talk it.
    She speaks French.
    Not:She talks French.

  2. philadelphia's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • French
      • Home Country:
      • France
      • Current Location:
      • France

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 838
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #6

    Re: talk English/French

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    Cambridge Learner's Dictionary:
    speak: Usage: speak or talk?
    Remember that you speak a language. You do not talk it.
    She speaks French.
    Not:She talks French.
    In fact, neither Anglika nor the dictionary gets wrong. It depends on the context.

    I am talking about football with someone meaning more a conversation than I can speak a language or speak for someone - because of you get the capacity/knowing of him to speak for/about him/her.

    Not a native speaker though

  3. philadelphia's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • French
      • Home Country:
      • France
      • Current Location:
      • France

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 838
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #7

    Re: talk English/French

    I have omited to say that talk/speak to me may be interchangeable on many contexts. It would definitely be wrong and odd to try to strictly/clearly differentiate both due to they cannot be.

Similar Threads

  1. we're talking, we're going to talk, we'll talk
    By joham in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 24-Dec-2007, 04:40
  2. even talk
    By Itasan in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 18-Oct-2005, 13:25
  3. have a small talk with -- OR have small talk with --
    By peppy_man in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 10-Jul-2005, 11:16
  4. five people to talk to
    By azz in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 25-Jan-2005, 22:02
  5. our md want to talk to you
    By nalinisree in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 24-Dec-2003, 20:19

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •