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The German language - Page 2

post #16 of 106
Thread Starter 
I'm equally interested in Italian, which actually may be the better choice. Opera, tailors, and the fact that I have family there are making me think hard about taking it.
post #17 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Connemara View Post
I'm equally interested in Italian, which actually may be the better choice. Opera, tailors, and the fact that I have family there are making me think hard about taking it.
I say do it. As has been pointed out, German is less useful now than a couple decades ago. Also, its not one of those "impress the ladies" languages and most germans speak english, which is not true of most italians. Italian is no more "useful" technically, but has more coolness associated with it. In general, english proficiency in Europe gets better and better the further north you go. Man-On-The-Street Greeks, for example, are unlikely to speak english to any real degree, while my cousins in Scandinavia could likely do as well on the Verbal section of the SAT as I did.
post #18 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel_Cairo View Post
As someone who works in the Acquisitions division of Harvard Library's Germanic Department, I come across most of the northern European languages on a daily basis. Speaking Norwegian and German fluently, its easy to decipher Danish, Swedish and Dutch, Icelandic is considerably more difficult, but doable. When I get a shipment from Hunagry or Finland, I pretty much just fake it.


That said, dutch is the craziest sounding shit I've ever heard. Dutch seems to have a pronounciation exactly like English's, which I attribute to the long history of back-and-forth between Holland and England. When you see a Dutch word, you can phontecially figure it out and you'll be right (they may enunciate differntly, but they pronounce the constituent parts the same.) Dutch seriously sounds to me like a native english speaker making up a germanic language as they go along


Dutch is the most similar language to English and when watching TV in hotels, there was always subtitles and some sentences looked to similar to English in how they were spelled and stuff that I could almost understand the Dutch MTV or whatever crap they had on.

To me it all sounded like FEEgahn FIgahn FLUgahn FAHGgahn.
post #19 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiecollector View Post
Dutch is the most similar language to English and when watching TV in hotels, there was always subtitles and some sentences looked to similar to English in how they were spelled and stuff that I could almost understand the Dutch MTV or whatever crap they had on.

To me it all sounded like FEEgahn FIgahn FLUgahn FAHGgahn.

Yeah, on paper, dutch is just German with twice the vowels and more angular consonants (they'd use a "K" where the same german word would use a "ch"), but spoken, its basically the Swedish Chef speaking English.
post #20 of 106
Is Russian offered? I'm having fun with that, though it's hard as hell to speak well unless you live there for awhile. And if the oil markets hold up and you're so inclined, it could be a useful tool to have if you want to go into international business.
post #21 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by seanchai View Post
Is Russian offered? I'm having fun with that, though it's hard as hell to speak well unless you live there for awhile. And if the oil markets hold up and you're so inclined, it could be a useful tool to have if you want to go into international business.

that's def. a good one. As far as usefulness, I think Russian is up-and-coming for sure.

Funny how that works. Duing the Cold War it was very handy. For a couple decades its been irrelevant, now its in demand again. I guess the moral of the story is Be As Multilingual As Possible.
post #22 of 106
If you want a purely useful language learn something like spanish, hindi, arabic, japanese, or mandarin. Probably russian and korean could go on that list as well. If you're in certain parts of the US spanish would top the list, and would probably be a breeze with your background in latin.

If you want something fun learn anything you darned well please, but german, italian, greek, russian, french, farsi, or any of the above languages.

As a linguistics major I'm going to attempt to learn the basics of as many as I can, and become fluent in two or three. Probably spanish, german, and if I can find a place offering it hindi. Mandarin scares the pants off me, or I'd take that.
post #23 of 106
I might suggest Norwegian. It's very fun to speak and pretty straightforward to learn.
post #24 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwiteaboy View Post
I might suggest Norwegian. It's very fun to speak and pretty straightforward to learn.
very easy to learn. Only language I've encountered with a simpler grammar is Indonesian, though I'm biased by having had Norwegian hard-wired into me while still in diapers. The one problem, though, is that no matter how good you get at it, any norwegian you ever meet will be better at english than you are at norwegian. As soon as they hear you misspeak or stutter looking for a word, they'll say "chill dude, let's talk english, ok?"
post #25 of 106
ich whone im der combi biem fluss

I took German for two years in HS, feel pretty worthless about it too.
post #26 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCsommerreid View Post
If you want a purely useful language learn something like spanish, hindi, arabic, japanese, or mandarin. Probably russian and korean could go on that list as well. If you're in certain parts of the US spanish would top the list, and would probably be a breeze with your background in latin.

If you want something fun learn anything you darned well please, but german, italian, greek, russian, french, farsi, or any of the above languages.

As a linguistics major I'm going to attempt to learn the basics of as many as I can, and become fluent in two or three. Probably spanish, german, and if I can find a place offering it hindi. Mandarin scares the pants off me, or I'd take that.

hindi is about the worst choice of a language that a person can try to learn. pretty much any indian you meet will speak english. also, india speaks dozens of languages and dialects - it isnt uncommon to have a couple of indians speaking english because that is their common language. also, even people who speak hindi often speak it very differently, so that it is hard to follow the different pronounciations.
post #27 of 106
Clearly you should learn Esperanto. Ancient Greek is the other best choice. Imagine the fun you'll have at the Vatican Libraries with Latin and Ancient Greek.
post #28 of 106
The only thing remotely hard about Norwegian (besides the prosody of the language, which is very difficult to pick up when you're a robomonotone like me) is that it's so similar to English that the few grammatical differences (inversjon osv.) cause a lot of screwups at first because the thought process to create a sentence is so similar.

Are you fluent, JC?
post #29 of 106
Spanish, Portugese or Italian. On an overall, average, volume basis, the girls who speak these are the hottest. The end. (Unless you are an Asiaphile)
post #30 of 106
Every time I look at this thread title I hear that line from the Simpson's: "No one who speaks German could be evil."
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