The pros and cons of learning German (in my opinion).
There are reasons you may want to learn German and reasons you may not want to learn German. For me the decision has already been made. But for new starters you may want to take a look at these:
Excitement of the clicking: This is a bit weird and you may not take it into account but when you learn German things can get confusing. For me, I ponder of my German all the time, when I'm driving, waiting for others to sit down and watch a movie. BANG! Suddenly things just click in your mind and this really annoying problem you've been thinking of just makes sense.
It's fun: German is a lot of fun. Getting up every morning knowing you're gonna learn something new today is one of the best feelings you can get especially in learning German because there's so much to learn.
The intelligence: If you ever have tried to learn a language then you will understand the difficulties. In German it is the grammar but when you get it; showing it off to other Germans is so good! I play on German Minecraft Servers and I really enjoy getting the right grammar. It's hard to explain this but you probably understand it if you're advanced in German.
Listening to yourself: I have so much fun when explaining to others the Grammar to other people. I'm not the best ex-plainer; their blank faces say it all. But most people who is a little way into learning their German would understand. Like a scientist or doctor who's language only makes sense to their colleagues. This is satisfying. I think talking to others in a sort of code.
Helping in the English language: German is really helpful in that the verbs are very clear and other things. There are certain things you can pick up in the sentence which makes you see things you've never seen in the English. This of course is not relevant to people who are learning German from a different language but still.
Talking to 'non understanders': Yes, I just made up that word. But it's so fun. I really annoy some of my family members. Especially German because you can really work up a sweat in German. And they have no idea what you're saying. :D I am a rather strange so maybe this ain't for you but it's so fun for me.
Many helpful resources: There are plenty of resources about German. In Duolingo it's the third biggest language. But on other sites it's easy to find material.
The logicality of German: German is very logical. Especially in it's word selection. Just joining words together is actually a very logical way to do it. Like in 'Busbahnhof' or 'Flughafen'.
The progression of language: When I first began German I could do nothing. I'm still pretty lame at it but hey, I used not to be able to speak at all. Ich war ein sehr schlechter sprecher. Jetzt bin ich besser aber nicht am besten.
The life of a language learner: I think I'll wrap up the pros with this. It is a life choice. It's not something you can do on the side. Or when you make time. Every day you must expose yourself to the language or you'll lose it. Use it or lose it is true. I went a holiday for a few days and things had already popped from my mind. This often happens on holidays but I had an incident when a very simple word slipped from my mind.
The difficulty of learning three thes: One reason you may be wary of learning German is that it has three thes. Der, die, das. In English we only have one: the.
The four cases: This is something else you may find difficult. If you know of the cases then that's good but mastering them is really difficult. Even beginners have probably run into the first two: Nominative and Accusative. Then it get's a bit more confusing with the third: Dative. And the forth has your mind swimming: Genitive.
The non jokey Germans: My father and I were talking about this the other day. He works with Germans quite a bit but he don't speak German. He sometimes makes a joke he told me. And the Germans don't get it. I can find this frustration as I've done this before and all I've gotten is blankness. I used to play on a certain German Minecraft server and I would be talking and then make a joke about what we were saying. My father tells me of the times when he was talking something like the following: The Germans are telling my father about how difficult the project would be and he's having a joke and saying stuff like 'Oh it keeps getting better, Wow we can do that'. And the Germans don't get the humor. It's not got something to do with the German language but it's hard not to haul the German culture into learning the German language.
The distancing from Germans: This may not be very much apparent to others learning German but just me. But it's important to be aware of what may happen if you are like me, Ok. So when you get really frustrated with something or upset you often distance yourself from it. This is what I sometimes do in German. Sometimes I get so worked up on the Grammar, the German culture, or alot of other things and I just distance myself from the Germans. This again may not be something you run into just be aware of this.
And I think I'v probably upset enough people with these cons so I'll leave it at that. Hope you guys can way the pros and the cons together and make a decision if you haven't already.
Cluney, You are correct a lot in your assessment of learning German. You mention that it helps me to understand my own English grammar. Too bad that so many English speakers ignore it. Or maybe the rules have changed since I was young. Take for example the pronoun object of a proposition. It seems that every newscaster says things like for you and I, instead of for you and me. Granted that where pronouns had to differ between nominative and (objective which combines dative and accusative) and nouns don't have to. Additional comment-- I like a lot of Germans that I've met.
I think so. I also have some Germans that I like. Take my friend Angel on Duolingo. She's German and she is very helpful and a good friend. One of my father's work colleagues invited me to come over and practice my German with him. Every culture has it's good tings and it's bad things.