In English it is rare to use the noun "language" when describing them. It is most common to name the language as such:

  • Engl -ish
  • Span -ish
  • French
  • Russi -an
  • Germ -an

Is it acceptable/common/comfortable to name these without the trailing word "язык?" I.e. Английский without "язык"?

1 Answer 1


Yes, it is quite common in conversational speech:

  • Он знает английский. = He knows English.
  • Она предпочитает русский. = She prefers Russian.

Note that language names or nationalities are not capitalised in Russian. Neither are months or days or the week.

  • The capitalization is unexpected! That is a very useful tip to pass along.
    – TomSchober
    Dec 17, 2017 at 16:50
  • 1
    Another thing to notice is that at least for Russian the word the same as in English happens: русский is all: Russian the language, Russian the nationality (noun), Russian the belonging of a particular country adjective. Dec 17, 2017 at 21:27
  • 2
    @OlegLobachev, the country-related adjective would be российский: российский флаг, гимн, etc. Only a handful of "national" adjectives have this distinction: латышский/латвийский, казахский/казахстанский (and other countries ending in -стан) and to some extent немецкий/германский. Have a look at this program that generates adjectives from country names: morpher.ru/adjectivizer Dec 18, 2017 at 11:54

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