3

What I understand is that the の is used when an explanatory tone is needed, but is there anything fundamentally different with these statments and which is used when?

4

The former, なんで日本語を話せますか, is plain unnatural, and you should always construct a sentence like the latter. A good rule of thumb is that なんで/どうして is almost always used with explanatory の/ん.

Exceptions:

  • Short questions like "なぜか?", "なんでですか?" and "どうして?" do not require の/ん. (Although it's common to add な/の like "なぜなのか?", "なんでなんですか?", "どうしてなの?" The difference is very small.)
  • In an embedded question, の/ん is not required.
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