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The German language - Page 6

post #76 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


An interesting view of Dutch. It is not a pleasant language but, you are right, it is interesting. It has been charachterized as speaking German with a cold. English leans heavily to the Plattdeutsch/Frisian dialects and 'Yes' instead of 'Ja' appears they tell me. Finnish and Hungarian of course are part of the same langauage family Finno/Ugrian along with Estonian.
post #77 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by meister View Post
An interesting view of Dutch. It is not a pleasant language but, you are right, it is interesting. It has been charachterized as speaking German with a cold. English leans heavily to the Plattdeutsch/Frisian dialects and 'Yes' instead of 'Ja' appears they tell me. Finnish and Hungarian of course are part of the same langauage family Finno/Ugrian along with Estonian.

Dutch allways sounded to me like "drunken" German ...
post #78 of 106
I think Dutch sounds more pleasing/friendly than German. Have you found it harder to learn new languages as you become older? I suppose it depends on setting / method of practice, though.
post #79 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiecollector View Post
Dutch is the most similar language to English.

That would actually be -- depending on which linguist you ask* -- Scots or Fresian.




*Some consider Scots a seperate language; others (like me) believe it to be a dialect.
post #80 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakewolf View Post
Dutch allways sounded to me like "drunken" German ...

post #81 of 106
I would think that Spanish is very widely spoken.
post #82 of 106
Found the list and I guess Spanish is even more widely spoken than I thought:

http://www2.ignatius.edu/faculty/turner/languages.htm
post #83 of 106
Thread Starter 
If anything, I'll probably do Arabic.
post #84 of 106
Arabic is very difficult. It's sort of like being taught to ride a bicycle. As a kid, you were taught to ride straight, and Arabic is teaching you to ride the bike backwards. That's how it was for me anyway. Beautiful language though, once you get past the negative connotations recent history has given it. A friend of mine recently was forced to exited an immersion program at a local college because he couldn't pronounce a few words. They forced him out and told him to come back when it was better. And yet he had the highest marks of written Arabic in his class.

Icelandic as always striked me as interesting, although inherently useless (unless of course you'd like to understand what Sigur Ros is saying...).
post #85 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrchapel View Post
Icelandic as always striked me as interesting, although inherently useless (unless of course you'd like to understand what Sigur Ros is saying...).

haha, funny you should say that: my boss left last night for a month-long language immersion program in Iceland. I wouldn't call it "inherently" useless, but "pratically (as in, outside the realm of nordic philology) yeah, its pretty useless.
post #86 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakewolf View Post
Dutch allways sounded to me like "drunken" German ...

not to be insulting, but I always thought that the general "sound" of swiss german sounds a lot like dutch, more so than it sounds like the german of north west germany.
post #87 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel_Cairo View Post
haha, funny you should say that: my boss left last night for a month-long language immersion program in Iceland. I wouldn't call it "inherently" useless, but "pratically (as in, outside the realm of nordic philology) yeah, its pretty useless.

It's a tough language to even listen to. Our Icelandic student left last week and we tried to pick up some words and phrases throughout the year. Practically Impossible. Now, we're passable with French, Spanish, Italian, German, but Icelandic stumped us. Ten months stateside and he told us that no one - No One - even pronounced his name correctly.
post #88 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas View Post
It's a tough language to even listen to. Our Icelandic student left last week and we tried to pick up some words and phrases throughout the year. Practically Impossible. Now, we're passable with French, Spanish, Italian, German, but Icelandic stumped us. Ten months stateside and he told us that no one - No One - even pronounced his name correctly.

Yeah, being norwegian, I've spend quite a bit of time in Iceland (one of my earliest memories is of the waiting lounge at Keflavik Int'l Airport) and its a doozy though. My boss speaks fluent norwegain, danish, swedish, dutch, german, and yiddish and has a solid grasp of finnish, so i think he'll do ok.
post #89 of 106
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.

I was positively shocked too. I started to learn Japanese and founded out very fast that the pronounciation is very easy for finnish people, most of the sounds are almost exactly the same. This surprising fact was confirmed by my Japanese teacher. It's nice to learn language without bothering so much with pronounciation. It's easier to self-study too.

I have previously learned english and swedish to some degree and very miniscule amount of german and french. All those are useless. Now I will devote myself fully to Japanese language. Next I will conquer Korea. Then Korean.
post #90 of 106
Aah. One more thing about german language. They never say "yes". They always say "Ja". One would almost think that they believe that "Ja" is english. Ja or no?
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