I'm Italian. I find very difficult to understand the difference between to talk and to speak, especially regarding to expressing the language you can use. In other words, animals don't "talk" (in the human sense) or don't "speak"? I can talk Italian or speak Italian?
Thanks in advance for everithing you'll be able to do for me.
Buon giorno! Here are some typical sentences using "speak" and "talk". They both mean the same thing, of course, but "talk" is more often used when we mean something more extended and informal, like a conversation. In many, many cases either word will do.

You speak Italian. I speak English. I speak very little Italian. Do you speak English?
Some people think they should speak only when spoken to.
Never speak ill of the dead.
The mayor will speak before the town council tonight.
If that employee continues to miss work, I'll have to speak to him.
Mary was so overcome by emotion she couldn't speak.
Some American friends are visiting today. I'll have to speak English because they don't speak Italian.

You and your family talk to each other in Italian.
I talk to my friends on the phone.
I talk to people at work.
If you have a problem, you should talk about it with a friend.
It helps to talk about it.
Students should not talk in class.
Dogs can't talk.
Mary was so overcome by emotion she couldn't talk.
Some American friends are visiting today. I'll have to talk to them in English, of course.


Emotion: smile
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Well, about animals what the difference - if any - between "animals don't talk" and "animals don't speak"? I'd say - if I've caught your point - "animals don't talk" means they are unable to converse or communicate one another while "animals don't speak" rather means they can't use a (human) language at all with no specific relation nor focus to their ability to convey their own feelings/thougts (?) one another. Who knows if I can make me understood....

Thanks a lot, in any case.

Grazie e a rileggerci
No difference. "speak" is just a little higher in register.
Remember, in many cases, either word will do.

Animals don't talk.
Animals don't speak.

Note the idiom, however:

When commanding a dog to bark:

--Speak! Come on! Speak!
-- Woof!
-- Good dog!
Thanks again for your patience!
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