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What language is nearest in structure and vocabulary to German, thus easiest to learn?

February 16, 2018



I would say definitely Dutch. The grammar is almost the same and a lot of words are very similar once you know the spelling rules.


Thanks Andu ... that is helpful.


Dutch. Very similar structurally, but grammatically simpler. If the Netherlands were not an independent country it would probably be popularly considered a German dialect.


Hm, I don't think it would - there are major differences in grammar, while a person from Hamburg and a person from Munich use the same, e.g. for future tense: Dutch "ik zal" (which you could read as "ich soll"), German "ich werde" (or variations of it in dialect, like "ik werd", "i wer"...)


in Friesland you can say 'ik sall'', almost the same :)


Must be related to "I shall" in English.


It's 'ech sall' in Luxembourgish, which is often thought of as an outlying Germanic dialect, despite being an official language of a sovereign state, so I'd hazard that it might also be something similar in the various Central Franconian dialects (which are more widely considered as subsumed under 'German'), although I don't have any resources on these with which to check.
There's absolutely no objective definition of what constitutes a dialect or a language, anyway, which is why I deliberately equivocated with 'would probably' and 'be popularly considered'; it was not my intention at all to appear to be disparaging Dutch.


I'd guess either English or Dutch.


Dutch might be, but I dont know dutch.

I never thought of english being close to german, but by vocabulary. I struggled more with the english structure than with any other languages that Ive learned so far. (But Ive also learned just european languages).


Dutch. I started to learn it on Duolingo some weeks ago. It is very similar to German. There are differences of course, in particular regarding spelling and pronounciation but they are not too difficult to remember.

It is no coincidence that many Dutch people speak German fluently. Also vice versa, if a Dutch person talks slowly a German person (without knowing Dutch) would be able to understand at least some part of what has been said .


Thanks. That's helpful and convincing


Probably English. Do you mean other than English?


Thanks. In fact I meant any language. I see some similarities between English and German. But I read dutch is nearest .... I wonder. Thanks


dutch, swedish or danish as a german native speaker i could understand up to 50% of those languages without having learned it english you would only understand up to 25% if you did not learn it but speak german


Spoken Dutch only because I found Dutch spelling rather difficult.


once you realise the rules (eg sj = sh, oe = oo, etc) it is quite simple actually, virtually everything is written as it is said. :)


I'm guessing "Dutch" and "Deutsch" come from the same root.


Thanks. May be I am inclined to believing so as well now.

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