or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › General › General Chat › The German language
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

The German language - Page 4

post #46 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiecollector View Post
I like Spanish but don't like the idea that I almost have to know it due to politics.

I would say more demographics than politics.
post #47 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel_Cairo View Post
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.

I love those phonetically crazy languages. I have heard Georgians speak and it sounded like they use 5 syllables in a row and produce their sounds with a back of their throat, yet they traditionally have very beautiful acappella-singing culture.
Also I was shocked to find out that Finnish and Japanese share a lot of grammar and even words to the exact, phonetically , albeit with different meaning.
post #48 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Augusto86 View Post
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.



!

yeah, I have found that portugese, espetially in portogaul, sounds to my ears like russian. a little less in brazil, it seems softer there.
post #49 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Connemara View Post
I've decided to pursue a minor dream of mine and take German next semester. I have 5 years of Latin under my belt, but it would pay to have something a bit more useful in my repertoire.

As I understand it, German is the most widely spoken language (sans English) in Europe. Can anyone comment on its usefulness? I'm sure we have some fluent/near-fluent speakers here on SF.


If I were you, I'd go with the language you have always wanted to learn, as the passion will help with the grammar... In a former life, I taught French and once had to teach beginning German for a couple of months, as the person who usually taught the course had an emergency in Europe. What I noticed with my English native speakers attempting to learn German, is that they seemed lost with the grammar, more so than those attempting to learn French. Mostly, it was the declensions and the separable verbs that threw them in German. English inherited so many words from French (about half the dictionary), it seemed to me those learning French had a wider vocabulary sooner than those learning German, despite the obvious similarities between many German and English words. Accent: both German and French have rules of pronunciation that, once learnt, are fairly without exception (unlike English, for example), but German pronunciation is more straighforward, so I'd say my German class students had a slightly better accent in German than my French class in French.
post #50 of 106
An awful lot of strange comments and observations in this thread.

The notion that Dutch and English are pronounced identically strikes me as curious. Dutch has some strange gutturals that are darned hard for a normal native Anglophone to master. The living language usually stated to be closest to English is not Dutch but Frisian. From what I have seen of it, it doesn't appear discernibly closer to English than Dutch or Plattdeutsch, but some words are identical like "beer," "bread" and "cheese."

I don't know why people find Portuguese an unattractive language. I certainly didn't find it so in my limited travels in Brazil almost 22 years ago. I picked up a smattering while I was there.

I have a limited familiarity with a whole passel of foreign languages but little real mastery of any. I have a fairly good reading knowledge of Latin and Ancient Greek. I can get along fairly well in French. I have a lesser command of German, followed by Dutch and Spanish. At one time I could read Italian fairly well, largely because of my command of Latin and French. I had a year of Sanskrit, but have largely forgotten it. I dabbled in Hebrew but never got very far into it. When I was about 17 I learned Esperanto fairly well, then forgot it all.

If I could learn any language these days, it might be Old Norse, so that I could read the Sagas, which I have always loved, in the original.
post #51 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post
yeah, I have found that portugese, espetially in portogaul, sounds to my ears like russian. a little less in brazil, it seems softer there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLibourel View Post
An awful lot of strange comments and observations in this thread. I don't know why people find Portuguese an unattractive language. I certainly didn't find it so in my limited travels in Brazil almost 22 years ago. I picked up a smattering while I was there. If I could learn any language these days, it might be Old Norse, so that I could read the Sagas, which I have always loved, in the original.
Heh...I forgot about Portugal...Brazilians often do. For whatever reason, almost all of us think of the "motherland" as something of a running joke. I guess when the royal family has to flee to YOU from invasion, you lose some of the respect. In any event, I dislike and have a very hard time understanding the Portuguese dialect itself. They pronounce words oddly and speak with a weird rhythm. They also have very strange diction. For instance, if you ask a Portuguese directions, he will say something like this: "Go down this street, and when you get to the church...don't turn left. Then when you get to the bakery...don't go straight! So weird. Brazilian Portuguese is much more rhythmic, mellifluous and beautiful. Listen to Caetano Veloso and Seu Jorge to get an idea.
post #52 of 106
post #53 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Augusto86 View Post
Heh...I forgot about Portugal...Brazilians often do. For whatever reason, almost all of us think of the "motherland" as something of a running joke. I guess when the royal family has to flee to YOU from invasion, you lose some of the respect.

.


I was once in portugal with a technical guy, meeting our distributor, having a nice dinner. so the technical guy says to the distributor "isn't it funny that you guys, with such a little tiny country stuck over here on the end of europe, were able to colonize brazil and build all of these fancy buildings?" - the portugese guy was not amused.
post #54 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkzzzz View Post
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.

I thought this too before going to Italy, but none of the Italians could understand Spanish when I spoke to them. The grammar is quite similar but many words are different. Basics are pretty interchangeable with some very common verbs. American and British English are still English though and Italian and Spanish aren't THAT similar.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dkzzzz View Post
Also I was shocked to find out that Finnish and Japanese share a lot of grammar and even words to the exact, phonetically , albeit with different meaning.

That is pretty nuts but Finland isn't too far away though. Not sure about Japanese but Korean is just Chinese words with Mongolian grammar. Scandinavians and northern East Asians often look to share similar features to me as well.
post #55 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiecollector View Post


That is pretty nuts but Finland isn't too far away though. Not sure about Japanese but Korean is just Chinese words with Mongolian grammar. Scandinavians and northern East Asians often look to share similar features to me as well.

To the best of my knowledge, both Japanese and Korean are completely unrelated to any other extant languages in the world, being like Basque in this respect. Japanese and Korean are, respectively, the two most extensively spoken languages of this type (unrelated to any other) in the world as well.
post #56 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLibourel View Post
To the best of my knowledge, both Japanese and Korean are completely unrelated to any other extant languages in the world, being like Basque in this respect. Japanese and Korean are, respectively, the two most extensively spoken languages of this type (unrelated to any other) in the world as well.
Japanese and Korean share similar grammar and both are derived from Chinese words. They also share some of the same words. A Korean can go to Japan and become fluent pretty quickly, and vice versa. NR would be a better judge of this but this is what I have heard from Koreans and I associate with many.
post #57 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiecollector View Post
Japanese and Korean share similar grammar and both are derived from Chinese words. They also share some of the same words. A Korean can go to Japan and become fluent pretty quickly, and vice versa.

In my experience, all three ethnic groups may take offense at the implication that they are racially linked.
post #58 of 106
Historically, the Chinese were the overlords in that region.
post #59 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by LabelKing View Post
Historically, the Chinese were the overlords in that region.

You mean Mongolians. All those famous Chinese dynasties are really Mongols as they extensively colonized and fucked China for many centuries.


"That is pretty nuts but Finland isn't too far away though. Not sure about Japanese but Korean is just Chinese words with Mongolian grammar. "

I would disagree regarding Mongolian grammar. To the best of my knowledge Mongols were illiterate and had no grammar nor writing.
What do you mean by Finland being not too far? From whom? Japan? It's quite far from Japan about 1/5 of the earth far.
post #60 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiecollector View Post
Japanese and Korean share similar grammar and both are derived from Chinese words. They also share some of the same words. A Korean can go to Japan and become fluent pretty quickly, and vice versa. NR would be a better judge of this but this is what I have heard from Koreans and I associate with many.

Apparently Korean has more words of Chinese origin than native Korean origin, much as English has nearly as many words of French and Latin origin as Anglo-Germanic, but it is still classified as a Germanic language. The question of whether Korean has Altaic roots is very debatable, apparently. It may also be a "language isolate." At least one researcher has suggested an affinity with Dravidian, which seems kind of far-fetched.

Japanese has a good many Chinese loan words, but they are far from a majority of the vocabulary, unlike Korean. The "Japonic" language family includes Japanese and Ryukuan, although the latter may simply be a dialect of Japanese. Any affinities of Japanese with other languages are extremely distant and speculative.

All this is per the Wikipedia articles on these languages, BTW, and nothing I can claim pre-existing knowledge about. Except for dabbling in Hebrew, I have never studied any non-Indo-European languages.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Chat
Styleforum › Forums › General › General Chat › The German language