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The German language - Page 3

post #31 of 106
It doesn't say "Die Bart, Die", it's German for 'The Bart, The.'
post #32 of 106
If you have never seen it, here is Mark Twain's take on the German language:
http://www.crossmyt.com/hc/linghebr/awfgrmlg.html

It includes such highlights as:

Every noun has a gender, and there is no sense or system in the distribution; so the gender of each must be learned separately and by heart. There is no other way. To do this one has to have a memory like a memorandum-book. In German, a young lady has no sex, while a turnip has. Think what overwrought reverence that shows for the turnip, and what callous disrespect for the girl. See how it looks in print -- I translate this from a conversation in one of the best of the German Sunday-school books:

"Gretchen.
Wilhelm, where is the turnip?
Wilhelm.
She has gone to the kitchen.
Gretchen.
Where is the accomplished and beautiful English maiden?
Wilhelm.
It has gone to the opera."


As for usefullness, I studied German for three years in high school and one year in university. When I went to South America to live, I didn't speak any Spanish but could find people in Chile who spoke German. There were even more who spoke the language when I moved to Buenos Aires. One question I never asked: So what did your family do in the war?
Eventually I ended up teaching in a German company, Siemens, in BAires. But as I learned more Spanish, I forgot most of the German.

Good luck with whatever language you select. You will be surprised at the places knowing it comes in handy. If I were to choose, I would go with Portuguese. I love the music, and Brazilian women are superhot.
post #33 of 106
I'm learning Italian mostly with the aim of getting more out of Opera. I say learning, I haven't touched my Pimsleur course (up to lesson 20+) for weeks now. I should get back to it...
post #34 of 106
German is becoming more and more useful in Eastern Europe, because there people have a lot of business contacts with Germany, Switzerland, Austria: These are the countries where it is spoken as a main language, in addition in Liechtenstein.
French used to be by far more popular than German, but it is definitely on retreat. It is not true that more Germans speak French or English than French speak German - it is rather the other way round, just that the French would not, although they could.
German does not have to be an ugly language - Austrian German can be very friendly and harmonic. As an Austrian, of course I am biased.
post #35 of 106
I speak 5 languages and one dialect.

in order of usefulness in my business life they are

* English, German, German Swiss dialect, French, Spanish, Italian

In order of usefulness in my private lifestyle they are

* English, Spanish, Italian, French, German, Swiss German

In order of what I like best they are

* Italian, Spanish, French, English, German, Swiss German

So...
  • I speak Italian and Spanish because I love them
  • I speak English for business and neutral communication needs
  • I speak German and Swiss German because my geographical location and business needs require it
  • I speak French because my geographical location and business needs required it

German is a very useful language for business in Central and Eastern Europe... useless otherwise.

You get to like more and more German when you manage to learn and understand it.

It is very frustrating in the beginning and the sonority is not so pleasant and musical so I kind of disliked it at the beginning, then I came to appreciate it more and more and start to like its understated elegance and perfect logic.

But most important is.

Any new language you learn, opens you windows and doors to other cultures, other paradigms and other life sytles.

Those you get to know and appreciate better when you understand the language. translations show only an unidimensional view, but you have to live in the place, inmerse yourself in the culture to really learn and appreciate it...

By the way... it is not wasted time... The german girls are cute

I am now in a slow ( because I don't put so much time into it ) learning of Czech, Slovak and Russian... I know the basics and can travel and understand the minimun to not get lost... but I can't say I speak them yet.
post #36 of 106
"I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men, and German to my horse." - Charles V

No jibe meant here, BTW, as I myself speak German and studied it for years.
post #37 of 106
i find that germans generally speak english better than any german an english speaker will learn

as lakewolf mentioned, learn any one language, it'll be useful somewhere
(and what's with swiss german, it's such an odd dialect, i can't understand it, i revert to english .... )

although i speak german and french and a bit of spanish and greek, i find english is more useful these days worldwide for business than any other language

unless you're in a german speaking area, german is not all that useful - more and more the same with french, unless you're in a french speaking country, french isn't all that useful anymore (even diplomacy is more and more in english rather than french)

spanish, mandarin and arabic are likely the languages of the future to learn
post #38 of 106
I am all for Mandarin. Not all that hard to learn to be conversational in (reading and writing, forget it). Very handy in future for when China rules the world.
post #39 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiecollector View Post
I pick up Italian and Spanish words when listening but it sounds like Russian to me for some reason.

I'm Brazilian and I often turn around when I hear Russians speaking. So you're not alone. They say Portuguese sounds like a drunk Italian sailor speaking Spanish with a French accent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by matadorpoeta View Post
i find both german and portuguese to be rather unpleasant to listen to.

if you want useful, learn japanese, chinese, spanish, arabic, italian or french. i say italian or french because knowing them impresses young impressionable women. i say arabic because the day after 9/11 the c.i.a. posted job ads all over the internet, paying top $$$ to anyone who spoke arabic.

Madness! But you're mexican, so your opinion can be safely discounted.. Seriously, some people do hate the sound of portuguese - but n my experience, the ladies LOVE it. All the ones I know, anyhow.

+1 on the Arabic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post
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.
+2 Don't bother, most of the Indians you'd ever be talking to will know English,

Quote:
Originally Posted by j View Post
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)
+3. And hey, even if you are an Asiaphile, there's always Macau! And half-breeds are the BEST!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Droog View Post
"I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men, and German to my horse." - Charles V

No jibe meant here, BTW, as I myself speak German and studied it for years.
I came here to say that!
post #40 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by LSeca View Post
time to unpimp ze auto.

Funny....but the actors not German...

Jon.
post #41 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alter View Post
Every time I look at this thread title I hear that line from the Simpson's:

"No one who speaks German could be evil."

The Hitler-like moustache that's formed by his shadow is ingenious.

Jon.
post #42 of 106
God should be addressed in Latin or Hebrew only. I envy anyone who read/speak Latin. It is my favorite language and it is absolutely beautiful. Latin poetry is absolutely haunting.
The most useful language is no doubt Spanish. Suggesting learning Italian and Spanish is like suggesting learning American English and British English. Italian and Spanish are interchangeable and mutually understood.
Portuguese is very unpleasant-sounding language, just as Russian. They are very similar phonetically. Although, Russian is more and more useful for any European.
German, French should be considered only for fun and even then I would chose French. There is no real use for these two languages, one might as well learn Hungarian or Finnish.
Swedish will let you speak and understand Icelanders and Norgs. Danish is hell, you will never speak it fluently and pronunciation is absolutely impossible to master.
For native English speaker Spanish should be a breeze.

Ditto on Austrian German. It is entirely differnt-sounding language and quite soft and pleasant.
post #43 of 106
Not so sure that German is that widely used outside of German speaking countries.

In Switzerland for instance, a country divided in three different linguistic areas (German, French & Italian), hardly any "Suisses Romands" (from the French speaking part) will manage a simple conversation in German, even though most went through German courses at school.

It is not uncommon for a "Suisse Allemand" and a "Suisse Romand" to have a conversation in English, a foreign language, which is sort of weird since the country is so small.
post #44 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkzzzz View Post
Swedish will let you speak and understand Icelanders and Norgs. Danish is hell, you will never speak it fluently and pronunciation is absolutely impossible to master.
.

I agree with this, except for the bit about Icelandic, which i find very hard to parse. The scandinavian languages (swedish, norwegian, danish) really are three-for-one because they are so similar, but Danish is ridiculously hard to speak. It seriously hurts my mouth to the point where Copenhagen is the only place in Scandinavia where I welcome and even request people's willingness to speak english. Norwegians say Danes speak as if they have a hot potato in their mouth, because of that weird "choking on consonants" way they talk. It sounds to me like you got punched in the mouth and your tongue is swollen.
post #45 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkzzzz View Post
Ditto on Austrian German. It is entirely differnt-sounding language and quite soft and pleasant.

double ditto. love those whispery consonants. Within Germany, the sweetest sounding dialect is, to me, the Karlsruhe area by the Rheine, because its got so much Alsace in it.
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