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"?


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

  • 1
    Ich empfinde "in" als falsch. Das ngram wird deutlicher, wenn Du den Haken bei case-insensitive setzt.
    – Carsten S
    May 30 '14 at 20:51
  • Das ngram wird deutlicher. Das stimmt.
    – Toscho
    May 31 '14 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.

  • 2
    "deutsch unterhalten" sounds like "in a German manner", not like "using the German language".
    – Carsten S
    May 31 '14 at 6:56

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