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Contention : that Spanish is easier than German to learn for an English-speaker

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  • Contention : that Spanish is easier than German to learn for an English-speaker

    Extract from a post I made on the ‘‘Why do the English speak German? ’’ thread

    While English is considered a Germanic language (because languages are classified by their grammar) it's interesting to note that because of the large Latin vocabulary it's easier for an English-speaker to learn Spanish than German.
    To make my side stronger I will also mention that Spanish grammar is much easier than that of German.
    The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. Thomas Jefferson.

  • #2
    Perhaps better placed in the barracks, Cosmos
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    • #3
      Originally posted by Cosmos View Post
      Extract from a post I made on the ‘‘Why do the English speak German? ’’ thread

      To make my side stronger I will also mention that Spanish grammar is much easier than that of German.
      ¡Ni hablar amigo!

      A common vocabulary based on Latin helps, but one of the pitfalls for Spaniards learning english are the "false friends", words that are the same but that have different meanings. So that is a double edged sword.

      Grammar in Spanish is very precise but complex, I remember the joke on one of my textbooks wich showed a middle age British couple in a travel agency, with the walls plastered with ads for Spain, Italy, France.. and when asked what country they wanted to visit, the gent said:

      "Somewhere without irregular verbs"


      I don't know German, but bits and pieces, and whatever little I can understand it has been helped by my knowledge of English. So it has always puzzled me when reading military history that there are so few German speakers among the British.

      I will concede that Spanish is comparatively easier to learn for foreigners because it has precise rules and is more limited phonetically but the simplicity is deceiving.

      The problem is not that German is exceedingly difficult, but that it takes a big leap to change from a grammar of subject plus verb plus accesories to a one based in declinations , like Latin, German, and Russian. But I think it is not harder than learning a Latin based tongue.
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      • #4
        Actually the British Royal family used to speak mostly German, but that has mostly dried up after World War II. I wonder if any Royals can speak Gaelic or Welsh?

        Pruitt
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
          I wonder if any Royals can speak Gaelic or Welsh?

          Pruitt
          Prince Charles learned to speak Welsh for his Investiture as Prince of Wales. I imagine it would have been relatively easy for him to learn as he was still quite young. I know that he also speaks French fluently but I don't know about Spanish or German.
          The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. Thomas Jefferson.

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          • #6
            Well, by the time I started to study Spanish, I already spoke German and, more importantly, French.

            I failed my first exam in Spanish by completing a paper in (I was subsequently informed) perfect French.

            I certainly find French easier than German, but my Spanish is only marginally better than my Esperanto, and nothing to write home about.
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            • #7
              Spanish definitely easier for me. Mein Deutsch Sprachkenntnisse sind grauenhaft.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                Actually the British Royal family used to speak mostly German, but that has mostly dried up after World War II. I wonder if any Royals can speak Gaelic or Welsh?

                Pruitt
                Did any of 'em speak German after William IV (I'm not sure even he did/had need to regularly)? certainly not as a native/first language.
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                • #9
                  Don't forget Victoria marrying Prince Albert. He made sure the family considered itself German. George V married a Danish Princess. It was not until George VI that we had a non-German spouse let into the family tree. Lots of people forget Prince Phillip is from a German family. His two sisters married into families in Germany that supported the Nazis.

                  I think the Princes Charles and William are the ones that don't think automatically they are German.

                  Pruitt
                  Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                  Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                  by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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                  • #10
                    Recently heard a record of the last Kaiser Wilhelm II speaking English. You could just about detect a German accent, but otherwise.....

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by GreenTiger View Post
                      Recently heard a record of the last Kaiser Wilhelm II speaking English. You could just about detect a German accent, but otherwise.....
                      He probably learnt it from his English mother (Princess Victoria) who was the eldest daughter of Queen Victoria.
                      The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. Thomas Jefferson.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Cosmos View Post
                        He probably learnt it from his English mother (Princess Victoria) who was the eldest daughter of Queen Victoria.
                        Wasn't Queen Victoria the grandmother of just about everyone? All the European Royalties of that age should just about sound alike?
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                          Don't forget Victoria marrying Prince Albert. He made sure the family considered itself German. George V married a Danish Princess. It was not until George VI that we had a non-German spouse let into the family tree. Lots of people forget Prince Phillip is from a German family. His two sisters married into families in Germany that supported the Nazis.

                          I think the Princes Charles and William are the ones that don't think automatically they are German.

                          Pruitt
                          Nah, I think you'd have to dig a bit deeper to show they thought of themselves as German considering, I could about think Albert and Vickie did, but not Willy IV, as I don't believe he'd have need to speak German, he was born here, his best friends were British, as were his court, same for Bertie really. Wasn't Albert quite eager to be seen as an Anglophile and settle into his new home?Fairly sure Bertie or George V didn't think of themselves as German, unless there's evidence to the contrary.
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