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    #1

    know vs speak

    Is there any specific difference in meaning between to know and speak a language?

  1. Karima-19's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: know vs speak

    Hello!


    Of course there is a difference between to know a language and to speak it. To know a language is the ability to understand it from experience whereas to speak a language is the cabability to communicate vocally (acorrding to a rich vocabulary) whenever your vocabularies are much you're able to communicate people and at the same time you communicate when you are able to understand which means that the two actions are different but complementary. Different in the action and complementary in the function.

    I hope the answer is clear


    Good luck

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    #3

    Re: know vs speak

    I don't really agree with Karima's answer.

    For me, knowing a language is having some experience of it, without necessarily being able to speak it. I would usually use it in the negative:

    I speak French and German quite well; I have played around a bit with Spanish and Italian, but I can't really say that I speak them. I don't know Estonian at all.

    Please note that this response is a personal one. I am not making any attempt to define know and speak formally.

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    #4

    Re: know vs speak

    Thanks for both answers.The difference is roughly clear but I needed to feel a bit more confident.Thanks again.

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    #5

    Re: know vs speak

    Quote Originally Posted by unaccounted for View Post
    Is there any specific difference in meaning between to know and speak a language?


    ********** NOT A TEACHER **********


    Unaccounted for,


    Like everything in human language, maybe it all depends on the

    situation and even your tone of voice.

    I get the feeling that sometimes the words are interchangeable

    -- at least here in the States.

    "Excuse me. Do you know English?" would sometimes be interpreted as

    "Excuse me. Do you speak English?" In fact, I even get the feeling that

    maybe -- depending on the situation -- using "know" might be more

    polite or gentle than "speak":

    (On the street)

    Stranger (speaks in Spanish): XXXXX

    You (smiling): I'm sorry. I don't know Spanish. (You were, however, able

    to figure out that she was speaking Spanish.)


    ********** NOT A TEACHER **********

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    #6

    Re: know vs speak

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    ********** NOT A TEACHER **********


    Unaccounted for,


    Like everything in human language, maybe it all depends on the

    situation and even your tone of voice.

    I get the feeling that sometimes the words are interchangeable

    -- at least here in the States.

    "Excuse me. Do you know English?" would sometimes be interpreted as

    "Excuse me. Do you speak English?" In fact, I even get the feeling that

    maybe -- depending on the situation -- using "know" might be more

    polite or gentle than "speak":

    (On the street)

    Stranger (speaks in Spanish): XXXXX

    You (smiling): I'm sorry. I don't know Spanish. (You were, however, able

    to figure out that she was speaking Spanish.)


    ********** NOT A TEACHER **********
    Your point is interesting, depending on the situation and communication mood though, in that know may sound more polite or speak more informal.I wouldn't think both may differ in terms of being polite or having such an aspect.

    Thank you very much,TheParser.
    Last edited by unaccounted for; 05-Nov-2010 at 18:45.

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