How To Say “Do You Speak English” In Japanese?

How do I say “Do you speak English” in Japanese to a hotel staff?

Answer by Japanese teacher


(1) 英語(えいご)が話(はな)せますか。
Eigo ga hanasemasu ka.
Can you speak English?

(2) 英語(えいご)がわかりますか。
Eigo ga wakarimasu ka.
Do you understand English?


In the first expression, the word 話(はな)せます hanasemasu comes from “話(はな)す hanasu” (to speak). In the second expression, わかります wakarimasu means “to understand”. Both expressions can be used to mean “do you speak English”. It would be good to add すみません sumimasen (excuse me) in front of both expressions to be polite.