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Just a straightforward question but why is しゃべる considered intransitive when I've seen it used on direct objects.

Example from jisho.org: 私は英語を喋ることができる。

Is there something I'm missing?

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集英社国語辞典 lists it as both 自 and 他. It even gives an example with を. Maybe it's been gradually becoming a 他動詞, and the dictionary you're using hasn't caught up yet? –  snailboat Dec 7 '13 at 2:45
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That sentence 「私は英語を喋ることができる。」 painfully sounds Japanese-as-a-foreign-language. –  非回答者 Dec 7 '13 at 12:20
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I think we'd rather say 英語がしゃべれる. –  Choko Dec 7 '13 at 16:03

1 Answer 1

Some native speakers do use しゃべる as a transitive verb in certain cases. However, you would want to be informed that it is acceptable only in very informal conversations. Many people still prefer using しゃべる only as an intransitive verb even in casual conversations.

More careful speakers would surely not say 英語をしゃべる; They would say 英語でしゃべる.

Here is the title of a popular Japanese TV show.

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I've always thought of accusative with "to speak" is a ridiculous Englishism (or IEism, whatever). Think about it. 日本語をしゃべる. I talk Japanese. Obviously I'm not doing anything to Japanese! In fact, the sentence "I speak Japanese" conjures up a picture in my brain of somebody opening his/her mouth, and out vomits pages upon pages of dictionaries, conjugation charts, etc. The Japanese language itself is being spoken! (No, you speak words, using the Japanese language) –  user54609 Dec 8 '13 at 2:14

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