2

"Я знаю русский язык." and "Я говорю русский язык." is as I have understood it equal in meaning (please, correct me if I am wrong).

Today my tutor told me that: "Я говорю русский язык." is the preferred phrase to use.

I would prefer to use: "Я знаю русский язык" that is if they are equal in meaning. Let me know what you think and if there is a difference between these two.

  • "Я говорю русский язык." == "I speak, English language". Just sounds so wrong – rsavchenko Dec 18 '15 at 21:23
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    "Я говорю русский язык" is totally ungrammatical – Anixx Dec 20 '15 at 7:07
5

Your tutor is wrong. The second option sounds incorrectly.
Correct options are:

  1. Я владею русским (языком).
  2. Я говорю по-русски.
  3. Я знаю русский (язык).
  4. Я говорю на русском (языке).

IMO: The first is the preferable one. The last is the worst.

As @Matt and @user907860 mentioned in comment, Я говорю has two meanings:

I speak
[Now] I'm speaking

So options 2 and 4 can have another meaning in some circustances.

  • Which one is preferred the one with "знаю" or "говорю"? Is there a distinction between those two or are they absolutely equal in meaning? – Ева Dec 18 '15 at 20:03
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    I believe, the difference is the same as for English "to know" and "to speak". But their meanings in this context are the same. – Dmitry Dec 18 '15 at 20:07
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    Я говорю по-русски. is most natural imo – rsavchenko Dec 18 '15 at 21:23
  • 1
    The last is the worst Not really. It just means the slightly different thing: "Я говорю на русском" = "[Now] I'm speaking Russian". – Matt Dec 19 '15 at 7:57
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    the second item also has the meaning of I'm speaking Russian. From the edited version of the answer the OP can construe that only "the last has also another meaning", which is not true. – user907860 Dec 19 '15 at 18:26
5

"Я говорю русский язык" is absolutely incorrect. You should say

Я говорю по-русски

or

Я знаю русский язык

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