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When someone starts speaking to me in English I often want to effectively say "Japanese is fine".

I usually blurt out 日本語でもいいです which I thought would mean "in Japanese is also ok" but someone once told me I should say 日本語もいいです "Japanese is also ok".

I interpret the first 日本語で as "in Japanese". A longer sentence might be

英語で話しているけど日本語で話してもいいです
you are/I am speaking in English but speaking in Japanese is also ok

which seems like it can be shortened to

英語で話しているけど日本語でもいいです
you are/I am speaking in English but in Japaneee is also ok

vs

英語で話しているけど日本語いいです
I am/you are speaking in English but Japanese is also ok

dropping the で just seems to remove the "in" as in the "way" of speaking.

is でも ok here or not?

  • 4
    Did a native tell you that? I feel like 日本語でもいいです。 is better, but I might be wrong. – stack reader Jun 22 '17 at 4:12
  • The で in 日本語もいいです is not the same で in 日本語話す. (So 日本語でもいい is not a shortened form of 日本語話していい) japanese.stackexchange.com/a/39922/9831 The で in 日本語でもいい is the continuative form (連用形) of the assertive auxiliary (断定の助動詞) or copula 「だ」, whereas the で in 日本語で話す is the case particle (格助詞)「で」. – Chocolate Jun 22 '17 at 6:02
  • So the reason you use a で in 日本語でもいい is not that there's a で in 日本語で話す. You'd still say for example 塩もいい not 塩もいい to mean 醤油を使っているけど塩を使ってもいい – Chocolate Jun 22 '17 at 6:32
  • Yes it was a native speaker that told me でも was wrong 😓 – gman Jun 22 '17 at 9:51
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    日本語 でも いい です Yes, I'd parse it that way, too. I just meant to say that the でも here is not で(with/in) + も. The でも is a 副助詞 meaning "even though/even if" – Chocolate Jun 23 '17 at 0:08
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  1. 英語で話しているけど日本語でもいいです
    vs
  2. 英語で話しているけど日本語いいです

Only the first phrase is corrent for your intention. The second one means quite another like: You are speaking in English but your Japanese is also good, you can also speak Japanese well or your Japanese also sounds good.

日本語いいです makes sense somehow, but it is not so natural. We don't use it to others.

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