Yes and no, I'd say. Starting from zero, German would appear harder. That's because in order to produce even the most basic sentences, German requires familiarity with a plethora of rules. English is simple. In the beginning. However, the more you learn about English, the more exceptions and weird special cases appear. Then of course there is the matter of spelling and pronunciation where German is enormously easier than English which simply has no sense what so ever in these respects, having pilfered bits and pieces from just about every language on the globe.
Actually most languages pilfer from all the other languages they come in contact with. How else would you recognize the word for chocolate in so many languages. That comes from a Nahuatl word.
But you have to remember that grammar rules were written down long after the language develops, and children learn the language first before they learn the rules which are stated in the language. You definitely see German children learning the declension tables, but the trick is letting your first language out of your mind and let the new language teach you its rules like a baby.
I think most languages change the spelling of the loan word to reflect their own language. For example "sori" in Finnish coming from English "sorry", and pronounced similarry but spelling reflects Finnish language customs. Also "bändi" = "band", "tsäänssi" = "chance". English on the other hand has had the tendency to keep the original spelling, so the spelling is a mix of different languages.
Ps. Chocolate is suklaa in Finnish.
Sssheridan, I don't know who your source is, but I couldn't disagree more. The joke spelling ghoti for fish would not have hung around for over years, although falsely attributed to Winston Churchill somewhat later. I don't think most English speakers have any instinct about the origin of most words except maybe words like spaghetti. Yes, English has a remarkable number of loan words, and from MANY more sources like Spanish, Arabic, Turkish, etc. It takes a linguist to tell that Modern English is even related to the language of Beowulf. But all languages have many loan words. But spelling isn't changed consistently. In fact, many of the spelling differences between British and American English is that the British have kept the French spelling of words like colour and labour, while Americans have anglicized it. And if you look at these examples of the pronunciation of words with ough, I doubt you could find many, if any, "lay" English speakers (not English experts) who could explain why these words are spelled so similarly yet pronounced so differently.
bough rhymes with cow cough rhymes with off rough rhymes with puff though rhymes with Jo through rhymes with too
That was taken from this article https://www.englishclub.com/esl-articles/199909.htm
Yes, we have many words that came into English from other languages which had different rules for spelling and pronunciation. But sometimes we altered the spelling, and sometimes we didn't. Sometimes we altered the pronunciation and sometimes we didn't. And when we did alter the pronunciation it wasn't in a consistent way. If that isn't chaos, it is doing a pretty good imitation.
Languages don't "pilfer" or "steal" from other languages. They are "influenced" by other languages. In the 18th century, all things French were "en vogue" in America. French fashion, French cuisine, language, everyone wanted to appear French. So French words and idioms became commonplace in America. Not to mention all the Norman influences to English. Languages are living things. They change and evolve in real time. And they do so differently in different regions. And we're not as isolated from one another as we once were. Webster's adds new words to the lexicon every year. I guess if there any "authority" it's them. But the only language that's set and doesn't change is a "dead" language, such as Latin. Think of how our language had changed in the wake of the internet. "Text" has become a verb. The only thing constant is change. And there will always be purists our there who look down on these changes and pine for an authority to set people straight. And the end of the day, how much does sintax and grammar matter as long as you're able to communicate?
I have heard from what I think is a reliable source that English spelling is actually fairly regular: only, it has several systems operating in parallel. Native and well-practiced English speakers intuitively feel whether a word is originally Germanic, Latin, French, or Greek, and can pretty well know the correct spelling from there.
Needless to say, that's still kind of awful - yet, it is better than the complete chaos it's usually perceived as.
Fun fact: there were even spelling in the past to restore words to their original language's spelling - which introduced many of the silent letters we have today, which was deemed worthwhile for the better fidelity to the original source language. However, some mistaken etymologies produced a few silent letters which have no business at all being there. For example, the word "iland" was incorrectly thought to be related to "isle," and we're now stuck spelling it "island."
On my mind, not almost. English changes every day (if not second), different accents, new words coming in insane rate - and I can already hear German better than English (about 2 years to 3 years hard-learning, 15+ overall); but yes German's hard in a way it's spoken quickly, that's it.
I think part of what makes a language hard or easy is how it relates to your native language and how much actual conversational experience you have. I am a native English speaker, but I certainly recognize many aspects of English as hard, most particularly writing and spelling. I speak several languages but German is the only language I have spoken exclusively day in and day out for a period of time. This means that despite still having issues with cases, I am not particularly self conscious about my errors I guess. But definitely German, with 3 genders, 4 cases and multiple ways of forming plurals is harder to learn than many other languages. But it interests me that you say that German is spoken quickly. I would think that English would seem faster. The other languages I speak are all romance languages (Spanish, French, some Italian and a little Portuguese). So to me German seems quite slow.
As a foreigner I must say that English is a really simple language and definitely easier to learn than German, and all the other languages I speak/was studying. Spanish is often compared to English for being similarly simple, but I have never studied Spanish so can't confirm it ;)
I hardly agree that one can say whatever they like and it would be accepted in English. If you don't think you might be judged for poor grammar in English, especially in formal environments, you are mistaken. But certainly the addition of three genders genders, four cases, and some more ridged syntax rules (although subject placement can actually be more flexible in German) add elements that aren't really a consideration in English.
I have to agree with lynettemcw here. The place where English could be forgiving is with foreigners, who, we understand, might have a hard time, and therefore we will think more about what they are saying, while realizing that they are foreigners, and will accommodate to them, therefore making us "forgiving". But in the context of just normal day-to-day basis English, I generally will think you are an idiot if you can't speak English properly. Unfortunately, however, English sucks, and is quite hard to speak for some, and that's just how it is. However, if you were born and raised in the U.S, you don't have much of an excuse, in my humble opinion. Unless, of course, you come from the southern states, where English is spoken differently, and often times they use the wrong grammar. I personally believe that any of the Germanic languages would be harder if your first language was not a Germanic language, duh. Although, English is definitely not 100% a Germanic language, as it has a lot of Latin/Greek (and many others) influence. I find languages like Swedish, Norwegian, and Dutch way easier than something like Japanese, which has a completely different grammar structure.
(For context, I know James outside of the internet.)
The hard parts in English are both pronunciation & spelling (they are a mess... also too much vowels, many of which are similar). English grammar, almost lacking a case system, is one of the easiest to learn, and most people of the world are familiar with its vocabulary. But German is more difficult overall.
An antonym is simply a word with the opposite meaning. In fact antonym is the antonym of synonym which is a word which means the same thing, except that there are few words that are perfect synonyms and even antonyms are often imperfect for words with subtle meanings. But there are a lot more easy examples like good/bad, hot/cold, light/dark, etc. Finding the synonym for any of those words is much more subjective and situational. A thesaurus gives you lists of synonyms and antonyms for words, but you will often find it difficult to choose an appropriate one.
The problem is that the fall of the Roman Empire happened more than 600 years before the Norman Invasion which was when the first major Latin influence occurred in English. Before 1066 English was totally a Germanic language. If you have any doubts, read Beowulf in Old English, if you can.
My google fu is weak. Link it and I'll use it. I'm still confused by conjunctions which seem to have the same meaning in English but clearly don't in German, so now I think perhaps there are more in English that I've been missing. Man -- I remember thinking learning English was bad when I started... Somehow, it's even worse now I've done most the legwork.
Well, you're both sort of right. France and England were the major colonizing powers in the 19th and early 20th century. Spain and Portugal had exerted their influence in the Americas, but were no longer colonizing powers by then. When the US began exerting its influence in the world it looked sort of different from the traditional colonial influence, but it certainly was as effective in spreading elements of its culture and certainly its language throughout the world. Language politics is very much about economics, although there are certainly other factors involved. One hundred years ago it was almost unheard of for an American to learn Chinese or Japanese unless they had roots there or wanted to be missionaries. That's no longer true. But it never has anything to do with ease of learning.
Lol. I finally took the time to read Twain's article about German as a language and couldn't stop laughing. Having been a fan of Jerome K Jerome for years, but never having really read anything of Twain's, I didn't realise until now just how alike their writing styles are. Twain is perhaps drier in some ways, but Jerome is more subtle. They are both really enjoyable, cleverly witty, and completely enjoyable....Thank you for that link, wataya....
As to J Klapka J: Here is the German version of "Three men in a boat": (Not exactly a masterpiece of German movie culture but perhaps an interesting fact to note :) Jerome's book is far better than the film (which is only losely based on the book)!)
Heinz Erhardt is one of the most famous German comedians.
Gotta say THANK YOU! I've been studying German for over a year now; and I have to say in reading Twain's essay, "The Awful German Language" I positively laughed till I was in tears. The passage where he writes in his own version of broken German, and at the part where he throws in a word with about 120 letters I exploded laughing. Really did enjoy that piece! Vielen Dank!
Interesting point about Mark Twain's essay. He maintained that German had no violent, expressive or explosive sounding words compared to English - he though German words "thin and mild and energyless". I think perceptions have changed today - many would say German is a hard and forceful sounding language. Perhaps in part due to hearing Hitler's ranting speeches at the Nuremburg Rally.
Whatever the "truth" is, when I lived in Germany, this was said to me very often by native speakers, and with a definite sense of pride. It isn't talking about it sounding hard/harsh, it's talking about its grammar, most specifically the gender and case system, or at least those were the mistakes that I generally was making when it was said. But declension tables are a regular part of a German primary education. The most equivalent learning issue for English speakers in the primary grades is spelling. But despite the fact that they like to stick a couple of extra consonants in words from an English perspective, German spelling is actually very easy to manage. So this may be propoganda, but it's German propoganda.
Mark Twain, so hilarious: "Nominative case; but if this rain is lying around, in a kind of a general way on the ground, it is then definitely located, it is doing something — that is, resting (which is one of the German grammar's ideas of doing something), and this throws the rain into the Dative case, and makes it dem Regen."
It depends what your mother tongue is. English is my second language,French is my third,and I'm using duolingo for German,tho I have looked into a book I have by myself,I will start actual classes in a few months. I can't speak for all obviously,but for me,English is very easy to learn. You are exposed to it every day,no matter where you live,you'll likely hear a song in English,see a movie,watch a video etc.. In most countries English is a second language,lessons starting at the younger age(7 or younger in my country) so you really have no other option than to learn it and pick up some things. As for the accent,it depends on how you're learning the langauge,I have more of an american accent,but I certainly don't have the ''hard r'' that is a stereotype for most of the slavic world. I can easily ''soften'' it,I will say tho that not everyone can,but a lot of them aren't even trying. Having any slavuc language is actually a great base for learning a language of another group. Now,French is a hard language in my opinion,or at least that's what I tell myself so I could sleep better at night. I have an awful sounding ''R'' and I don't know how to speak more nasally,I just sound like a dying cat,tho my friends don't have too much of a problem,they definitely aren't fluent,but still. Complex sentences in French,at least for me,seem much harder than in English. I should mention that it does make some difference if it's your second,third or whichever language,and,as I've said previously,your native language is a big factor in this. I can't decide yet whether it's French or German that is harder,but English is certainly easier than both. Also,a lot of people from my country are moving to Germany/Austria/Switzerland and for the most part they don't have that much of a hard time learning German,so hopefully it won't be a problem for me either. To bring this to an end,if you're a native English speaker,depending on which language you're learning,it may be harder to suddenly try and ''produce'' sounds that are much ''harder'' and more ''rolled'',I also imagine being introfuced to declination(not french,but scandinavian languages,slavic languages,german,hungarian etc)and nouns having 2-3 genders(german,slavic languages),a possibility to exclude pronouns(italian,slavic languages) etc is not so easy as it is such a foreign concept. This is too long wow.
If you are talking mainly pronunciation, your mother tongue does play a major role. But you mentioned a couple of other significant factors when you were explaining why English was easy to learn that affect grammar, vocabulary and syntax ease as well. The most significant ones you mentioned are being exposed to it from an early age in many forms and certainly early formal education in that language. There is actually a chemical in your brain that assists in language acquisition. It peaks at the age of about four and then declines steadily. This gives you a great advantage in learning any language that you are exposed to before the age of about 10. That's how you get genuinely bilingual people, or at least that's the most common way. The first foreign I was exposed to was French, and I did begin some form of formal education before the age of ten which continued all through high school. I have never considered American public school language education very good, although I do think it has recently become much better with the introduction of Bi-lingual education programs starting in grammar school in many cities here. But my early exposure to French, even though I never really used it beyond tourist speech, has made it easy to relearn on Duo. My accent, while certainly not great, is decent due to this early exposure. German was my third language which I initially learned totally by immersion. My formal education came later. That is obviously the best way to learn for fluency. I was surprised to realize that I started actually thinking in German even to myself when on a walk or the like. As a speaker of a Slavic language you probably have an advantage learning German over an English native speaker. The three biggest hurdles to English speakers in learning German are the three gramatical genders, the four cases and the odd syntax, especially in dependent clauses. You didn't mention which slavic language you speak, and I am not familiar with Slavic syntax, but my understanding is most slavic languages have three genders (and some have an animate/inanimate factor thrown in) and seven cases. I am sure I have some sort of American accent in my German, but by the time I left Germany I spoke well enough that even native speakers did not always recognize it as American. And I didn't notice American accents in others. Coming from any more complex grammar structure to English, especially within the Indo-European family, should make English fairly easy. The biggest hurdle would be spelling in general and figuring out how to pronounce some new words you might read. But that problem is shared by MANY native speakers. Of the 6 foreign languages that I have any significant grasp of, I would say that Spanish is the easiest. That's because the spelling and pronunciation is consistent and easy to understand (if not always to pronounce), the many cognates and the parallel use of the perfect tenses. It is also the most common foreign language I have heard, both in Boston where I grew up and certainly San Diego where I have lived for the past 33 years or so. San Diego lies about 20 miles from the Mexican border at the business border crossing in the Western Hemisphere.
As a german native speaker I can say, that this idiom is not only used to make fun of someone, who mad an error. It is also used, when you think about the german language. You often conclude then "Deutsche Sprache, schwere Sprache." Even germans recognize, that german is difficult. For example I have just recognized (thanks duolingo), that we really write "achtzig". I thought, it was "achzig".
German is a difficult language and most germans know that. At least when you ask them difficult questions...
Also in colloquial speech when somebody makes a common mistake. For example it is becoming increasingly common to use Dativ instead of Genitiv (common: "Ich habe das wegen dir getan", correct: "Ich habe das deinetwegen getan"). Also common is mixing up "das gleiche" (another which is equal) and "das selbe" (the very same). In those situations, it is proper for Germans to correct and mock their friends (if they are also native speakers).
The difficulty in languages is relative. Languages are difficult if they differ from your native language too much. For me, a Georgian, every language seemed to be very hard, because there are very few languages which are even a bit similar to my native one. Though, any Germanic or Latin language is actually very easy, if only you crack at least one of them. I am a foreigner to both German and English, but it's even some kind of fun now to learn German because of the understanding of the similarities between French, English and German. I suggest native English speakers to take a look at old English grammar. Lots of things will get clear at once! ;)
My native language is Czech, which is quite close to Slovak language and to Russian, so it is not that hard to understand these languages. However, it is difficult to learn these languages, because I have a problem to remember what is same and what is different - so sometimes it actually easier to learn languages which are not that much similar to your native one.
Absolutely. I speak two romance languages reasonably well and am working on two more so I definitely understand the problem of having to remember subtle differences among them. But as a native speaker of a Slavic language you do have an advantage over many English speakers learning German despite the fact that English is a Germanic language. The most difficult aspect of German for most English speakers is even the Concept of grammatical gender and case structure. But, if I remember correctly, Czech has three genders and seven cases, so the concepts are already there.
It's the same for serbian(7 cases,3 genders)and I feel like slavic languages are a great base whether you want to learn a germanic language or a romance language(can't speak for the rest,as I do not speak languages outside of these three groups) but it all depends.My friends that are learning russian sometimes can't remember some forms of words or their use because we use the same thing in different way/context,so it can be a con,but the bright side is,no matter what two slavic languages you think of,their speakers will most likely find a way to communicate. We recognize the words we wouldn't typically use,but still know what they mean. So even tho you're not using the same ''form'' of the given word,you'll still understand each other,or at least the point.
It's more something you gargle and spit than moan, isn't it?
Try learning it phoneme by phoneme, starting with the LAST sound: che, che, che; Sprache, Sprache, Sprache; rre Sprache, rre Sprache, rre Sprache, [v]erre Sprache....
Doing it backwards really, really helps with the motor planning, which is tough here because the sound production moves to every which place in the mouth. And slow it down as much as you need to.
Sprache isn't speaking, it's language.
I'm not "very familiar" but I am an Eng. teacher. My thought was that the idiom usually as a fixed means of expression which it has in German. However, since it's not an idiom in English the means of expression can vary. So, I'm agreeing with you that "Speaking German is hard" should be ok. Unless, there's an objection to just "speaking" and not reading etc. But that's really being picky, no?
I am a native English speaker, but I must say that English can be very confusing for me. People have often told me I have a very high vocabulary too. What I mean to say though is that while English is a very simple language in that it has few rules(though few are actually followed), it can be confusing as a result of its simplicity. German has much more rigid rules. And while it may be difficult to learn those rules initially, I've found it is nice to at least have them actually mean something. I think the main difference in either one being harder to learn than the other would be that one follows rules while the other does not. Not to mention that English has a tendency to procure words from a variety of different languages. It has word that have roots in French, Latin, Greek, German, Spanish, and I've even come across some that are Arabic in origin. German does the same, but I would argue on a much smaller scale. Probably because it is a lesser-spoken language globally. Just my take on the matter.
I don't know. English is not that hard,at least it to me it doesn't seem like it is. Tho I guess I'm not fluent yet,as I'd assume you'd describe your vocabulary as ''rich'' or ''wide'' rather than high? It just caught me off guard. Or maybe I just have that feeling because in my language we'd say ''wide'' or maybe ''broadened'' (literal translations ofc),which compared to what you've used seem like two different ''dimensions'' or better yet measurements.
Could you tell me what else would be an example of the same way of using this,just for the future reference so I won't get it mixed up? Thanks in advance
Yes it is I just arrived back in the US after spending a month in Germany on an exchange trip and I heard it more than once by native German speakers my favorite was when my host sister commented to her grandmother that English is hard the grandmother responded back Deutsche Sprache, schwere Sprache and English is also difficult (or something like that, and all in German) This really is a thing. :)
Well I would certainly agree that German is hard doesn't capture the same feeling. But Deutsch Sprache, schwere Sprache is hardly eloquent. It is pretty much German caveman speech. And, although schwere can mean heavy, I think that you are translating assuming the slang definition of heavy. I don't know if that is used at all in Germany. I think the better translation for schwere is simply hard/difficult. The only real way to simulate the feel of this sentence in German would be a direct translation. German language, hard language.
If you think this is a tongue twister, try some real German tongue twisters.
I work 5 different courses actively on Duo. They all occasionally over repeat sentences in an exercise, but none more often then German. On the other hand, the German course has almost twice the number of units in their tree as the Spanish. I suspect they had to work so hard to break it out into units that they didn't provide enough sentences for each lesson. Spanish has plenty of sentences in each unit, but I can think of a few units it should add.
Difficulty is relative. English has unfathomable spelling, with bought, taught, short, tough, bough, laugh and women; German has infinite numbers withoutpausingforspaceorbreathuntiltheendoftime; Chinese has tones, where a horse can be a question; and Irish has declarative verbs in initial position, prepositional pronouns - and consonant clusters that look like alphabet soup. Comhgháirdeas! (Congratulations!) Or even at the beginning of words - i bhfad (for a long time).
But don't we just love it?
Literally speaking it is probably not an idioms. True idioms are expressions whose true meanings are not really related to the cumulative meaning of the individual words. A great German example would be Die Kirche im Dorf lassen is a great German example. Literally it means to leave the church in the village, but it is used to tell someone not to get carried away (Throw the baby out with the bath water?). But idioms become formula like cultural truism which are repeated over and over again in the same way. I guess a better thing would be to just call it a saying. But the first year I spent in Germany I must have heard this 100 times repeated to me by many people. It is a common German saying.
Actually that would be Deutsch ist schwer. The terminal e is there because the adjective precedes the noun. Normally that would be a good translation, but this is an idiom, a set proverbial expression in a particular culture, so you memorize it. Native German speakers say this a lot to people learning German. It is a strange mixture of pride and comisoration.
Exactly. It is interesting to be in Germany, struggling to produce proper or even eloquent German and have someone say this to you. But I heard this many times. At first I just thought they were speaking simplisticly because they didn't know how much I would understand, but eventually I recognized it as a saying.
German was originally a military language though too, it is good to understand that not all german speaking places used even the same dialect. Now its just common, but even back then, they made it a simpler language. I mean, who will take the time to say a words that may be misunderstood on the field of battle, or even other loud places.
I am not sure what you mean by "originally". All languages of countries that have militaries have an aspect that relates to that. But what we know as Hoch Deutsch is called that not because it is high is any value sense. It was the dialect that of a Highland area in the South of Germany. The major reason that dialect became the standard dialect was that it was Martin Luther's dialect. When he translated the Bible into German, something that had never been done before, it cemented his dialect as predominant. That was at the beginning of the 16th Century. And of course, now German, like French and Spanish, has a sort of "ruling body" that determines what is correct. Language still changes. In fact they have changed which words use the ß since I first learned German. But if you compare the Luther Bible to the original King James version which was made almost 100 years after it, you will find the German sounds more like the modern language than the English.
Actually most people consider German harder than Swedish, Danish or Norwegian. Certainly the grammar is little easier. But, of course, there are other elements in a language's personality that may be a good fit for your own. I am now learning Dutch. I do recognize it as easier than German, although I learned German in Germany through immersion, so there is no improving on the naturalness of the learning experience. I do find I am overly affected by the look of words on Duo, so all the j's in Dutch can get to me. I abandoned Welsh because I didn't like considering w a vowel.
Absolutely, and a common one, at least it was. I doubt it has changed. Many Germans seem quite proud of the difficulties in German. I first learned German as an "Au Pair Mädchen" in Bavaria about 40 years ago. I had had no previous education, formal or informal, in German. I learned by immersion. I lived on a farm and only worked 4 hours a day. I spent hours on the stammtisch of the Gasthaus in the local village of Prutting absorbing German through my pores so to speak. I can't tell you how many times I heard this when I struggled a bit to communicate early on.
If you read through the posts on this page you'll see one that says that ""Deutsche Sprache" means the German language. Even easier hover over the words "Deutsche Sprache" above it says: "German" "language". So, yes it is necessarily the language.
Look at this post with Hints and tips and very good Guidelines which everyone should have bookmarked. It will make learning easier.
It is not idiomatic in the same sense as "hit the books" certainly. If you translate it word for word its meaning is clear. German language, difficult language. But since this is a very common expression which is said in this non-standard way without a verb, it is considered an idiom. It is more like "cold hands, warm heart" Actually the German (or at least Bavarian) expression for that I like better: Kalte Hande, heiße Liebe (Cold hands, hot love) I guess you can probably tell my hands tend to be cold :-)
honestly german has its hardships but english has a ❤❤❤❤ ton of mine fields in the words alone. ex: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/54/b8/98/54b8980bc0bb4c0db38ee7d170e4414a.jpg
I am curious as to when and how you learned Russian. I don't know Russian but besides the obvious alphabet issue, that Russian has a complex system of endings, perfective & imperfective verb forms, and unpredictable accents within words, difficult pronunciation, and different mindset from Romance or Germanic languages. But most of this is made easier if you have learned the language when you were young or in an immersion situation. I learned German in Germany, although I hadn't spoken it for many years and I am relearning a lot. But it does come back easier. Of the languages I speak or dabble in, Spanish is the easiest. It has a totally consistent spelling and pronunciation and a large number of true cognates. But all languages have their own challenges.
You can use more than just Duolingo to learn a language. Go and find a textbook somewhere. The internet is a gold mine of information, and there is certainly enough to learn Icelandic. Also, why are you claiming that Icelandic is a "native language" of yours? I know you personally, and you talk all the time to people about how your family once ruled over Ireland. In the terms of very very broad ancestry, yeah, Icelandic is related, but it most certainly is not a "native language" of yours. But, there is multitude of information on the internet, so if ypu really wanted to, you could learn Icelandic.
Here's a link to a free Icelandic course. There are quite a few resources online as was mentioned, although many are not free.
The 101 series of language courses generally has both free and paid sections, but I didn't check this one that deeply.
As for Duo introducing it, you never know, but I wouldn't hold my breath. With over 1600 languages out there, it's hard to anticipate what will get touched and what won't. But one thing that is required is native speakers designing the program. Some of smaller languages on Duo have no audio component. I assume that's because they don't have native speakers to record them. I suspect if Icelandic were offered it might be one of those. With only about half a million speakers in the world, they would not likely get a speaker on staff.
And by the way you never learn a native language as an adult. A native language is one that is heard from earliest memory. It is generally your first language, although rarely someone exists in a truly bilingual environment and can be said to have two native languages.
Not being able to see the literal transations of some of the individual words inhibits learning in this lesson. Maybe it is different on a desktop, but on mobile (Android) I cannot see each word's translation when I tap the word. The dropdown display that comes up is not properly formatted to display all of the information that is in that dropdown
This comment is better given under the flag icon. The Android program has been revamped and there may be bugs, but that's a Duo issue, we are just users here. I would recommend you forgo the hints in favor of a good online dictionary or dictionary Android App. My favorite for most of my languages in Word Refernce (Spanishdict is better for Spanish, but Word Reference works great for my other languages. The hints are simplistic at best and often confusing because they can contain meanings that do not relate to the current usage. If I have a real question I find that leaving the exercise and doing the research and coming back to complete the answer is the most effective tool in actually fixing the information in my brain. Somehow I feel like I'm cheating when I do that, but I actually think I would be cheating myself if I didn't use the most effective learning method for me.
English is a Germanic language where the transition between Old and Middle English was effected by the fact French was spoken by the upper classes and government in England for about 150 years after the Norman invasion of England in 1066 makes those languages somewhat familiar. But English has been almost devoid of a case system for a long time and is currently losing much of what it had. Few English speakers under the age of forty (and I am probably being generous) even understand that Whom did you see at the party and answering It's I instead of it's me would be the "correct" response at least quite recently are ill-prepared for a language with three genders and inconsistent plurals which are all affected by which of the four cases they are in. So while learning to read or hear German may be easy, speaking it correctly is definitely challenging especially when you add in the unusual syntax. As for French you have many words that are spelled exactly the same, but when you have a language where il porte and ils portent sound EXACTLY the same, you certainly can't say that anyone would find that easy. The ability to learn languages easily rests with the individual person I would say, rather than the language, and is especially affected by how young you were when you first really learned a second language. I speak several languages with a reasonable degree of fluency, and can see things about each which make them both difficult and easy to learn. I would probably say Spanish is the easiest because it is written exactly as it is spoken when you understand the rules, and as a Romance language it also has many cognates (but mostly without the issue of double letters). It also uses the perfect tenses very much like English, including using only one auxiliary verb for them, and has progressive tenses , although used much less frequently. On the other hand it uses the subjunctive more obviously and consistently like other Romance languages, has two verbs that are translated with to be, routinely both omits subject pronouns and allows the subject to come after the verb in declaratory sentences and uses the personal a which makes no sense in any language I know. There are easy aspects and difficult aspects to all languages, but to the extent you stay within the Indo-European family you will find some consistency. And of course everyone steals tech terms and the like from English.
Most often because those discussions attracted a lot more off-topic comments than on-topic comments.
For example, when people chat with each other or talk about the sentence or post memes or make jokes.
(Note: talking about the grammar or vocabulary of a sentence is fine. Talking about the contents of the sentence is off-topic here.)
I don't speak a word of Hungarian, but I think that it's a safe bet that many people would agree with you. Hungarian has different challenges than German, not struggling with grammatical gender or as many cases. But Hungarian is not an Indo-European language, one of the very few that have survived in Europe. That means that many of the basic grammatical concepts can be quite different. But there are a lot of factors that affect how hard a language is for you to learn, and many will produce different answers for different people.
Yes. Each language gets a little easier I think. Of course sometimes learning related languages is easiest, but I think just knowing more than one language would help even for non Indo-European languages, although I don't speak any of those. Of course neither English nor Spanish is much help with Germans case system, which is the problematic part for most people. But understanding that all languages are different as well as the same is important.
The first. And accidentally first word is also a name of the country. It doesn't have anything to do with cases, only with gramatical gender and adjectives. Similar (and more natural) phrase would be "Polski język jest trudnym językiem." Where noun is declined.
In polish, as you said we have seven cases and they are just a little bit more detailed than the german ones.
Mianownik, kto? co?, it's just like Nominativ. Dopełnicz, kogo? czego?, can be like Genitiv (possesion) or when talking about lack of something or negative. Kogo tutaj nie ma? - Who's not here? Celownik, komu? czemu?, the most simillar to Accusativ. It is used when you do something TO somebody or something. Komu to daję? - Who am I giving it to? Biernik, kogo? co?, it is like Dativ. It's about a direct object of action. Kogo biorę? - Who am I taking? Narzędnik, z kim? z czym?, it's like Accusativ again, but talks about things you do something WITH. Z kim to robię? - Who am I doing it with? Miejscownik, o kim? o czym?, Accusativ again, but you do something ABOUT things. O kim mówię? - Who am I speaking about? Wołacz, often noted as o!, the last and a little bit different. Used when you call someone or something. (It's also the most rarely used so don't worry.) O, Jakubie! - Oh, Jacob!
When I learned german I just remembered association: Nom. - M. Gen. - D. Acc. - C. N. Msc. where? Dat. - B. to where?
I hope it helps ;)
Celownik, komu? czemu?, the most simillar to Accusativ. It is used when you do something TO somebody or something. Komu to daję? - Who am I giving it to? Biernik, kogo? co?, it is like Dativ. It's about a direct object of action. Kogo biorę? - Who am I taking?
These two are mixed up - celownik is dative, biernik is accusative.
It is caveman style. I've never quite understood if that style was actually part of the point. If you're struggling with German, they better speak quite simply. But this is what Duo considers an idiom or proverb. Normally that would mean translating it to a close English one. While it's not surprising that we don't have a saying about German being a hard language to learn/speak, I am mildly surprised there isn't one about English. But not finding one they just decided to translate it to a full sentence as a way to explain it. I don't agree with either tactic. How a language is employed to make these cultural truism statements is actually the interesting part. There are a couple of images that may need a little help to understand, but it's valuable to explore. But I am afraid the only way to solve this is to change their approach to these as a whole.
Does anyone know the actual hidden message? It's supposed to be an idiom, and those usually have some kind of a metaphor behind them. All I can see here is comments on which language is harder to learn. If anyone actually understands what I seem to be missing, please respond. Thank you.
This doesn't really help much with a word bank of 3 words "German", "is", and "hard".
There's really only one way to arrange those words in English to make sense.
No wonder German is hard. I don't think I ever encountered "schwere" before and Google says it means "heavy" anyway.
At least "Sprache" sounded similar to "spreche" but it still didn't help me figure out what it meant.
All I could come up with was "Germans speak German", but I knew that was wrong.
This is an idiomatic expression. It is very commonly said, but it does sound like Yoda might say it. That's true of the German too. This isn't "normal" German. Literally it says German language, difficult language. Schwer can mean heavy, but it also means difficult/hard. I first learned German in Germany many years ago. When I was struggling with it, I must of heard this 100 times. But it is caveman German.
Wouldnt this sentence be better tramslated: German langauge, hard language. It's more literal obviously than saying german is hard, but I believe it lends itself to a better understanding of German itself. I dont think the goal of learning a language is to translate it internally to your native language, but to understand the language as it is, if that makes any sense
I agree. At most you might change from the more literal translation to create a more similar impact from the sentence. But the impact of the German actually includes the idea that this is not a grammatical sentence. Some idioms may be better translated by other idioms, but really only the ones whose messages aren't self evident. There was one in my Spanish course that translated Much noise, few nuts. I was happy to have my guess confirmed that that meant all talk, no action. It apparently is also one translation of Shakespeare's play title Much Ado About Nothing. But all the others are most helpful if I examine the elements and how they produce the meaning.
For word to word, I would have translated this to as "Speak German, Speak Hard"
But why? Sprache does not mean "speak". It's a noun; you might use "speech" if you want but not "speak".
And Deutsche as a noun would mean "Germans" (i.e. German people).
"German speech, heavy speech" would be a literal (but fairly meaningless) translation.
Parts of German are really easy to learn as it's a related language to English. But with three genders plus plural which have different forms in four different cases, and essentially having to learn how to form the plural for each noun individually, no English speaker would describe learning these things that don't really even exist in English as easy. And then you get to the syntax which is mostly more rigid than ours, but can be more flexible due to the case system, you have a lot to keep track of, to say the least. This is in no way meant to be a criticism since you wrote your comment using English as it is spoken today. But I would have been more confident that you weren't going to find challenges if you had written the more "old fashioned" way by saying "It depends upon whom you ask.". The fact that I know who from whom and I from me doesn't help me too much in French or Spanish. It does help in German, just not enough.
There is some official measurement of hire difficult languages are, and say least for an English speaker, German is hard. So is Russian. The romance languages mostly don't have cases which make them somewhat easier. English conjugation is so minimal: I walk, you walk, she walks. It's very easy to speak poorly without breaking a sweat, fairly easy to speak well, and terrible to write or spell!
Seguramente es una opción extraña. Pero si hablas bien el inglés, puede ser más fácil aprender alemán con tu "mente inglés" que con tu mente español. Y menos mal los censores de la lengua sólo funcionan en inglés. Así que podemos ver la palabra pendejo en vez de seis corazones rojos. No me parece que tú lo eres. A mí, pareces valiente y atrevido.
"easy" = "einfach" or "leicht"
german is a sh*t language
I AM NOT SAYING GERMAN IS SH*T
You clearly are, if you wanted to say that about German grammar you would've said "German grammar is sh*t", no? Either way, German grammar came without much difficulty for me, mostly because I didn't hate on it, which doesn't help at all.
i am saying that it is the same as "german is hard", using "❤❤❤❤" to imply that it is hard (something you'll only learn by interacting with people). furthemore, many Germans find german hard as well, and in addition, german has approx. 20.000 words, while english have approx. 8.000 and my firstlanguage has approx. 2.000 (if not correct, these are to show the proportion of words as an example)
i am saying that it is the same as "german is hard", using "❤❤❤❤" to imply that it is hard (something you'll only learn by interacting with people).
I'm a native English speaker and I've never heard the word "sh*t" being used to express "hard".
furthemore, many Germans find german hard as well
How does this prove that German is hard? English speakers (particularly monolingual ones) say this all the time. Also, Danes like to say their language is one of the hardest in the world, which I suppose you'd know considering you are Danish.
german has approx. 20.000 words, while english have approx. 8.000 and my firstlanguage has approx. 2.000 (if not correct, these are to show the proportion of words as an example)
Where are you getting this info from? At any rate, that's no way to measure difficulty, and all major languages are similar in that they have a massive vocabulary, but only a small portion of it is used in everyday speech. English has way more than 20,000 words, as does German, and there's no way Danish has 2,000 words, that's basically nothing. In fact, it's quite likely that English has the most words of any language (not that this matters).
I have told this story elsewhere in this stream, but when I was much younger I lived in a small village outside Rosenheim as an Au Pair. I had never taken German in school and basically spoke none when I began. The family I lived with spoke English fluently, but he was the doctor in the.village and they were transplants from Northern Germany.by way of Munich. No one else in the community spoke any English to speak of. I used to spend hours a day sitting in a Gasthaus nursing a soft drink or a beer and absorbing as much language as I could. These people seldom corrected me.or made much of my language struggles, but they definitely adopted me. I heard this phrase constantly from the family I.lived with as well as the farmers and tradesmen and others in the community. It was.spoken like an idiom as a simple.cultural truism, with a certain.sense.of.pride.
In my opinion (though nobody is asking, just expressing my thoughts and joining the banter) English is harder. German is hard because I now think in English which should not be the case when you're studying another language. My mind should be a tabula rasa in order for it to accept, understand and appreciate the beautiful German language.
It's interesting that you say that. I did most of my original learning of German in Germany. This meant that I experienced learning words from situational context and explanations in German. I am interested here because I sometimes feel as if it is harder for me to translate because I never went very far along the path of associating an English word with a German word. As for appreciating the beauty of the language, you don't truly appreciate a language until you learn another one. But it's definitely true that you have to sort of surrender yourself to the personality of each language instead of trying to make it act like English. It's like seeing an old friend for me to be relearning German after many years.
@lynettemcw "...you have to sort of surrender yourself to the personality of each language instead of trying to make it act like English." How true and how beautifully put. Thank you for sharing this we should all aim to appreciate the new language without comparing it to our another.
What is your native language? You used a double negative in your comment above which are common in some languages. But in English saying No one [do] not like German lessons is the same as saying that Everyone liked German lessons A double negative is the opposite of a single negative. What I think you were trying to say was When I was a student, no one liked German lessons. While I think it is great that you are using Duo to learn/refresh your German, I suspect that you may find it a frustrating experience unless you improve your English as well. But Duo may not have a course for your native language.
The reason that you can't say German is hard is that the point is to teach you the idiom. I have a problem with they way Duo teaches idioms by choosing a somewhat similar one in English. They aren't always appropriate. And the German idioms especially seem better left to later in the course where students could actually see what's going on in the German. But this one is special. It's easy German, and of course it's not surprising that there is no idiom in English about German being a hard language. I really think they should teach this literally as German language, hard language. But this is a very common German saying.
It's four words. German is a language which loves compound words, so if you are scared off by four words just because they have more letters than seem appropriate in English, you are in for a bumpy ride leaning words like Die Vergangenheit which means the past Die Geschwindigkeit which means the speed, or Geschäftsführer meaning Manager.