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Wir können zwischen uns Deutsch sprechen

Wir können uns _____ Deutsch unterhalten.

Should I use "auf" or "in" here? In English we would use "in" with a language, but here I suspect it would be "auf". Is there any case where we would use "in Deutsch"?

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"zwischen uns" finde ich falsch, aber man kann sagen "wir können miteinander deutsch sprechen" –  Robert May 30 at 23:25

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Both are possible, but I think, that auf is more common than in. And that's backed by ngram.

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Ich empfinde "in" als falsch. Das ngram wird deutlicher, wenn Du den Haken bei case-insensitive setzt. –  Carsten Schultz May 30 at 20:51
    
Das ngram wird deutlicher. Das stimmt. –  Toscho May 31 at 8:27

I would go for "auf". "Sich in Sprache X unterhalten" sounds like an awkward machine-translation from English, to be honest.

Another option would be - although it sounds a bit formal - to leave out the prepositions: "Wir können uns deutsch unterhalten." I wouldn't recommend that, though.

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"deutsch unterhalten" sounds like "in a German manner", not like "using the German language". –  Carsten Schultz May 31 at 6:56

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