When you ask an American if they speak Italian, they could say:
1. No. Translation: No. This person speaks no Italian. They will speak English with you, throwing in Spanish words they remember from middle school at random.
2. No. Translation: Yes. This person speaks passable Italian, but they will shyly refuse to do so. Watch out, they can understand 3/4 of what you say!
3. A little bit. Translation: Yes, better than you. This person grew up speaking Italian, majored in Italian in college, and wrote their PhD dissertation in Italian. But they are still American enough to respond to this question like one.
When you ask an Italian if they speak English, they will almost always say:
1. Yes. Translation: No. This person speaks pretty much zero English. But they will still try to speak it for you.
2. Yes. Translation: a bit. This person speaks some words of English, and will speak all of them for you.
3. Yes. Translation: Yes. The English coming out of this person's mouth will be perfect!