Sarah: So tell me, what languages do you speak?
Todd: Well, I speak two languages. I speak Thai and I speak Japanese. But my Japanese is not so good and my Thai is just okay.
Now, I live in Japan so I study Japanese and I use Japanese everyday. I can speak Japanese at the supermarket. I can use Japanese at a hotel or with a taxi driver, but I cannot have a long conversation.
Yeah. And you, what languages do you speak?
Sarah: Well, I speak English, of course. And I speak Spanish and Japanese.
Todd: Wow. Spanish.
Sarah: Yeah. I lived in Ecuador, and so I spoke Spanish everyday, a lot. I used to think I was fluent. Maybe I forgot some Spanish now.
Todd: Oh, so you can read, speak, write everything?
Sarah: Yeah. In Ecuador, I did everything. I signed my cellphone contract. I could read that in Spanish. I was – all of my friends I spoke Spanish with, and I spoke Spanish all the time. But my Japanese is like yours. I can speak only enough to go to the grocery or ask when the bus leaves or buy a train ticket.
Todd: Yeah. It's difficult. It's hard to have a good conversation in Japanese. But I can read Japanese. I studied Kanji.
Sarah: Oh really?
Todd: So my reading is okay, but my speaking is just really bad. I have bad pronunciation. So because my Japanese pronunciation is not very good, Japanese people don't like to speak Japanese with me, I think.
Sarah: My Spanish pronunciation is really bad because I always spoke with other foreigners who are also studying Spanish. So there would be a Korean person, me, a Norwegian person, and we were all speaking Spanish together. So we all had bad pronunciation.
Sarah: What about Thai?
Todd: Yeah. I can speak Thai. My Thai is different. My Thai pronunciation is okay. So I can have conversations in Thai. I lived in Thailand when I was young, so – or I was 22 to 26. So I studied it and I like Thai. But reading in Thai is difficult for me.
So I can read Japanese better than I can read Thai but I can speak Thai better, and my Thai listening is better also.
Sarah: Ah. Do you have any Thai friends?
Todd: I do have some Thai friends. And now, I study Thai on Facebook. So everyday, I check my friends' messages on Facebook. And then I use Google translate to learn new words. So it's very good. Yeah.
Sarah: Do you think you'll live in Thailand again, someday?
Todd: Maybe. I will visit Thailand again. I don't think I will live in Thailand again. But I like to go to Thailand because Thai is fun to speak and Thailand has great food and great weather, good beaches. So it's nice.
Sarah: Oh great.
Todd: What about you? Do you want to live in Ecuador, again?
Sarah: Not Ecuador. I love Ecuador but I want to live in another Spanish-speaking country. I'd like to live in Argentina, maybe or Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is part of America but they speak Spanish there.
Todd: Yeah. I hear Puerto Rico is really nice.
Sarah: Yeah. I went there for one week and it was just amazing. It has beaches and mountains, and the people are really fun. And it's a really exciting place to visit.
Questions - Can
- What languages can you speak?
- I need help. Who can I talk to?
- When can you get here?
- Where can I wash my clothes?
Affirmative - Can
- I can read Thai, but I cannot write well.
- She can speak English like a native.
- Bob can help you, and so can Mary.
- The teacher can check your writing.
Negative - Cannot
- I can not speak German at all.
- She can't come to class tomorrow.
- We can't read this.
- Most people cannot write computer code.
Yes / No Questions - Can
- Can you speak French?
- Can your parents drive a car?
- Can you read this?
- Can Bob fix my computer?
Short Response - Can you ___ ?
- Yes, I can. / Yes, no problem. / Yeah, for sure.
- Yes, but not very well.
- I guess you can say that.
- No, not really.
- No, I can't.
- No, not at all. / I wish.