'speak in English' vs. 'speak English'

Hi, what is the difference between these two phrases:

‘to speak English’ and
‘to speak in English’?

Thanks a lot.

As fragments, I don’t see any real difference in the meaning of these two phrases. If you give them to me in some kind of context, I may hear a difference, but I might not.


In order to make everything even clearer (ahem ;)) I’ll add that “speak in English” could also mean that the person only knows just a handful of words in English (and for all intents and purposes doesn’t really speak English at all).

Like Jamie said, it depends on the context. But, in my opinion speak English is what you would use to talk about the general ability to use English. Speak in English would probably be connected with some kind of specific detail with regard to the person’s usage of spoken English.