Thursday, 27 August 2015

So why is German so hard to learn? (hat-tip: Jacek Saryusz-Wolski)

I feel a bit of a fraud even posing this question. Apart from a smattering of French, I speak no other language (apart from Glaswegian, of course). So all languages are hard to learn as far as I'm concerned. But linguistically gifted friends and acquaintances assure me that Italian and Spanish are far easier for English-speakers to learn than German, which, given that they're in a different language "cluster" and that German is in the same cluster as English does seem odd. French, I get, as the Normans ruled England for a long time, and, besides, it's only a few miles across the Channel. And I realise that the languages spoken by earlier invaders (the Angles and Saxons) were probably more Frisian and Dutch than German - but, still: why is it so verdammte difficult? And why is Italian comparatively facile - because of the shared Latin? Similar structure? Or is it just a much simpler language than English or German? (I think I already know that the answer to that question is "yes".)

From the above map, I'm guessing that Albanian and Finno-Ugric are absolute sods to master.

Wish I'd paid more attention in language lessons at school.

No comments:

Post a comment