as soon as I to be young, ns learned that saying "I don"t speak" is as an easy as

Я не говорю по-русски.

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However, is this polite? would certainly it be an ext polite come say something along the lines of "I don"t know just how to speak"? The distinction being that the an initial could be understood as not wanting to speak (even once able to do so) while the last makes the clear the it"s about being unable to speak it. Is this a difference that matters in


The sentence, “Я не говорю по-русски.” is neutral as for politeness. If you desire to make it explicitely polite, the best method to execute so is to add извините (“I"m sorry”) either together the very very first or the last word that the sentence.

If one go not want to speak for some (e. G. Political) reasons, it is unlikely that one will inform you about it in, however if one does, it is much more likely the the sentence will be

Я не хочу говорить по-русски. Or

Я не желаю говорить по-русски. (both definition “I don"t want to speak”).

“I don"t know how to speak” is

“Я не умею говорить по-русски.”

Still, there is no must say the so as to look polite, “Я не говорю по-русски.” is no offensive in any way.

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edited Feb 23 "15 in ~ 0:15
answered Feb 22 "15 in ~ 11:50

Yellow SkyYellow skies
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The best method to walk in situation you"re unsure is come say:

Извините, я не говорю по-русски.

I can assure you that it will be apparent from her accent that you honestly can not speak.

I"d strongly advise versus saying:

(Извините), я не (хорошо) знаю русский язык

This expression is incorrect as in the is a word-per-word translation and it won"t sound like this in Back it sure will show that you don"t know the language. In situation you perform speak a little, even if no well, you have to say:

Извините, я плохо говорю по-русски.

Essentially, don"t be afraid the somebody could think that you can speak, yet just won"t. Your accent will give you best away, and the human you will be connecting with will certainly understand.

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reply Feb 22 "15 in ~ 15:42

Alexandra SorocaAlexandra Soroca
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I agree v the Alexandra Soroca"s answer, this is a conventional polite form. Come make any type of ordinaly sentence polite girlfriend would generally just add polite words together in извините, простите, будьте любезны, пожалуйста и т.д.

But never ever use Я не умею говорить по русски in contemporary Russia, many people think it"s wrong and will try to correct you. It"s a living language and what was a norm 40 years ago may no be true today. The thing is the in the past 20 years or for this reason the kind - Я не умею говорить на каком то языке ended up being archaic. There is a tendency in separating Уметь and also Знать. Уметь is mostly used to manual, professional labour fields whereas Знать is becoming much more associated with intellectual fields. Я не уметь готовить; Я не умею строить дома и т.д. Even though it is perfect ok to say Я не умею решать задачи по физике much more common type is coming to be Я не знаю как решать задачи по физике.

Now, if you space interested in various forms the politeness:

A super polite form, which is virtually unheard the in Russia because that the exemption may it is in St Petersburg would certainly be Простите меня пожалуйста, но я не говорю по русски.

A conventional polite type - Извините, я не говорю по русски.

A regular, neutral type - Я не говорю по русски.

A neutral, somewhat rude kind - Shrug her shoulders. As a foreigner you will certainly be excused, if girlfriend don"t speak the language how have the right to you say i don"t speak the language.

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Rude forms - Отстань от меня, я не говорю по русски. Что ты ко мне пристал(а), я не говорю по русски, неужели по мне не видно?

Super rude, offensive forms - Катись-ка ты к чертовой матери, не говорю я по русски. Иди на ***, не говорю я по русски, в пятый раз повторяю.