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Old 12-03-2006, 01:31 PM   #76
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I don't know too much about the Dutch language, especially the grammar. I only know that I can understand some of the written Dutch. When people speak it's much harder.
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Old 12-03-2006, 01:37 PM   #77
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Dutch grammar is a mess
we have rules, but many more exceptions to these rules (they basically make the grammar rules we do have close to useless)

at least when one learns the German grammar rules one knows all there is to know

the Dutch and German vocabulary do sound quite alike


Ich möchte ja sehr gerne wieder Deutsch studieren
es ist schon wieder eine lange Weile her das Ich in Deutsch gereden habe
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Old 12-03-2006, 01:41 PM   #78
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Quote:
Originally posted by Vincent Vega
I don't know too much about the Dutch language, especially the grammar. I only know that I can understand some of the written Dutch. When people speak it's much harder.
I only know Dutch because I copy words and phrases when I listen to it. I can barely write in the lingo and don't understand the grammar.

I find Spanish and French grammar the most difficult. I'm afraid next year I could be a French or Spanish teacher and they'll finally catch me out and realise my language skills are woeful.
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Old 12-03-2006, 01:55 PM   #79
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I experienced myself how fast you are out of a language when you haven't spoken it for a while.

Komm nach Berlin und wir können den ganzen Tag Deutsch reden, Salome.

Good luck with your students, Lara Mullen.
Spanish also was very interesting to me, but I didn't have the chance to learn it, yet.
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Old 12-03-2006, 03:15 PM   #80
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I'm offended by people speaking languages I'm too lazy to learn.
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Old 12-03-2006, 03:37 PM   #81
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There is always someone offended.
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Old 12-03-2006, 05:09 PM   #82
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Originally posted by Vincent Vega
I think it's faster writing in English because you don't have to hit Shift that often. Then again there is the apostrophe which always demands to hit the Shift-key.
With capitalized verbs/adjectives is a bit complicated. Normally you don't capitalize them, only in certain grammatical relations. So don't think too much about that.

The English language is more lively and changes, like nite/lite becoming more popular than night/light.

In German the spelling of words is fixed, i.e. there's a committee that decides on how to spell a word, when to use a comma, when to capitalize an Adjective and so on.
That gets written down in the Duden, something like the Oxford Dictionary, and only the spelling and grammar rules in the Duden are the right ones.

Sounds a bit communistic, doesn't it?
Danke fur das, and I do think it sounds a bit communistic. Are there different committies for Oesterriecher and the weirdo Schweiz Deutsch?

By the way, nite/lite aren't actually common English spellings (except lite to refer to food), they are just popular online. But the English language does do quite a bit of evolving in print/mainstream speaking, I read a really interesting column on it weekly in the Boston Sunday Globe.


Quote:
Originally posted by Lara Mullen
I find Spanish and French grammar the most difficult. I'm afraid next year I could be a French or Spanish teacher and they'll finally catch me out and realise my language skills are woeful.
Spanish is easy grammatically! Well, if you're an English speaker at least, the grammar is so similar.

Deutsch grammar wasn't actually that hard for me, because I took Latin for way longer than I ever desired to, but it's the little things that are different from both English and Latin that trip me up, like gendered "it" words.
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Old 12-03-2006, 05:14 PM   #83
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Quote:
Originally posted by Varitek

Spanish is easy grammatically! Well, if you're an English speaker at least, the grammar is so similar.
Yes, they are very similar, which is why we've spent years having classes on it.
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Old 12-03-2006, 05:20 PM   #84
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^ ya know, I actually had an easier time learning Japanese than I did Spanish. I don't know why. You would think Spanish would be easier b/c English and Spanish are romance languages. But noooooooo not me. And I'm mexican-american

It's funny though, many of my relatives also took spanish courses, and didn't get more than a B. Maybe learning the grammar is different than speaking it all the time.
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Old 12-03-2006, 05:56 PM   #85
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Quote:
Originally posted by Varitek


Danke fur das, and I do think it sounds a bit communistic. Are there different committies for Oesterriecher and the weirdo Schweiz Deutsch?

By the way, nite/lite aren't actually common English spellings (except lite to refer to food), they are just popular online. But the English language does do quite a bit of evolving in print/mainstream speaking, I read a really interesting column on it weekly in the Boston Sunday Globe.




Spanish is easy grammatically! Well, if you're an English speaker at least, the grammar is so similar.

Deutsch grammar wasn't actually that hard for me, because I took Latin for way longer than I ever desired to, but it's the little things that are different from both English and Latin that trip me up, like gendered "it" words.
I think genders were introduced to make foreigners learning German just crazy

In Österreich and Schweiz () they just follow us Germans and use the same rules, thus they also introduced the new rules.
But in Switzerland they also speak a very different German. Some different Germans you could say, because nearly every city has its own German.
I couldn't understand one of them.

Latin is the real masterpiece. I always have to think of the scene in Life of Brian.

Interesting, I've read an article explaining the difference between German and English where the author said that the English language is a lively, evolving language. And he used the example of lite and nite.
Goot to know that it's in fact only online.
I've learned to use night and light, so I wasn't going to change that anyways.
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Old 12-03-2006, 07:06 PM   #86
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Originally posted by redhotswami
Pecan pie

btw, there is such a thing as meat cake http://www.blackwidowbakery.com/demo/meatcake/
I am so offended by this atrocity.

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Old 12-03-2006, 07:09 PM   #87
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Quote:
Originally posted by redhotswami
^ ya know, I actually had an easier time learning Japanese than I did Spanish. I don't know why. You would think Spanish would be easier b/c English and Spanish are romance languages. But noooooooo not me. And I'm mexican-american

It's funny though, many of my relatives also took spanish courses, and didn't get more than a B. Maybe learning the grammar is different than speaking it all the time.
I find Spanish grammar hard the same way the Spanish people in our classes find English grammar difficult.
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Old 12-03-2006, 07:54 PM   #88
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Quote:
Originally posted by redhotswami
^ ya know, I actually had an easier time learning Japanese than I did Spanish. I don't know why. You would think Spanish would be easier b/c English and Spanish are romance languages. But noooooooo not me. And I'm mexican-american

Mia, hon, English is a Germanic language, not romance. But yeah, I hear ya, I do NOT have an ear for Spanish and haven't taken it since third grade . German was fine for me since I'm Dutch and grew up with Dutch, which is basically German one step closer to English (and our area's particular Dutch dialects, which are even closer to English). I really wish I'd had room in my college schedule to take more German. Damn liberal arts college! My German teacher before college taught us German as it is spoken in Hamburg, and I've always been interested in taking classes from profs that speak other dialects. I try to listen to as much German music as possible, to keep myself tuned.
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Old 12-03-2006, 07:56 PM   #89
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Quote:
Originally posted by redhotswami
^ ya know, I actually had an easier time learning Japanese than I did Spanish. I don't know why. You would think Spanish would be easier b/c English and Spanish are romance languages. But noooooooo not me. And I'm mexican-american

It's funny though, many of my relatives also took spanish courses, and didn't get more than a B. Maybe learning the grammar is different than speaking it all the time.
Well, a lot of native English speakers have trouble with formal (English) grammar lessons in grade school and junior high school, so that's probably not surprising. I remember being embarrassed when my eighth grade teacher asked me to tutor some fellow students who were struggling with their grammar tests, which I always did well on--I had to shamefacedly admit at that point that I didn't really understand any of that dangling participle stuff and so forth either; it was just that because I read so much, I somehow had an intuitive feel for what "sounded" right, even though I was at a loss to articulate what rules I was applying. Personally, I've found the same thing to be true with pretty much every foreign language I've studied--I'm often bewildered by the technical explanations of various grammar points when I read them, but once I get a look at sentences which apply them, it all just makes sense and I understand what to do, even though I couldn't really tell you why.

I've never studied Japanese, but I did the Berlitz phrasebook thing when I was there and was surprised by how easy the pronunciation was. I've heard their grammar is pretty tough, though? The Indian languages I've studied were probably the hardest for me, but there too I found that just because a language is more closely related to English doesn't necessarily make it easier--for the most part I actually found Tamil, which is completely unrelated, easier than Hindi, which is a distant relative but nonetheless still an Indo-European language, like English is. So much of what makes language learning easy or difficult seems to be peculiar to individuals; I know lots of linguists, most of whom speak and/or read several unrelated languages, and they have no consensus whatsoever on what the toughest ones to learn are.

And yeah, like Lies said, English isn't a Romance language--it's a Germanic language that happens to have been heavily influenced by a Romance language (French, thanks to the Norman Conquest). I remember taking a Brit Lit survey in college where we read Canterbury Tales (late 14th century) in the original Middle English, followed by Richard III (early Modern English), which was written just two centuries later--it was amazing to see how much the language changed in that short period (even more so if you listen to recordings of each being read more or less as they would've sounded at the time). At first glance, when you look at Chaucer in the original, you think "WTF?!? Right, like I'm ever gonna understand this" and you do need annotations of course, but I found that after a couple long reading sessions, my ear got the feel of it and I could read at close to normal speed. In fact, I actually found Chaucer's grammar easier to follow than Shakespeare's--I often get confused about what, e.g., the subject of a clause is supposed to be when I read Shakespeare, a problem I never had with Chaucer--although to be fair, Chaucer wrote more colloquially than Shakespeare did, which may have something to do with it. I've always been curious how difficult authors like these are for people who didn't learn English until adolescence or later, since they're often quite difficult even for native speakers. Neither of my parents (both non-native speakers) ever read them, but my mother had major difficulty following the dialogue when we took her to a performance of Hamlet here awhile back.

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Old 12-03-2006, 08:11 PM   #90
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Well, a lot of native English speakers have trouble with formal (English) grammar lessons in grade school
My whole class is gonna find this out tomorrow when they get a test back.
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