Is it difficult to learn German?
Is it so difficult to learn German?
“German language, difficult language” is the phrase with which German speakers acknowledge the challenge and aversion inherent in the reputation of the most widely spoken native language in Europe. Is it true that German is more difficult to learn than other languages?
As with all languages, there are “more difficult” and “easier” elements to learning the German language. Your personal practice in foreign language learning depends on your specific language experience. For example, if you can speak a little Latin or speak a Slavic language, all 4 cases will not seem so wild to you! Let’s take the opportunity to take a closer look at the usual complaints of German students:
English speakers are not familiar with this quirk. There are three grammatical forms of gender in German, namely masculine, feminine and neutral. Each noun has a gender, so “the knife”, “the fork” and “the spoon” are said.
The problem is that the grammatical gender doesn’t always match what you would initially think. So “the girl” is neutral, while “the peak” is feminine. If you learn a noun in German, you must learn its gender at the same time. Good news: word endings often provide important clues about gender type . Words that end in “I” or “ling” are generally masculine.
Cases and declines
In the German language there are four grammatical cases: nominative, accusative, dative and genitive. The function of the word determines the case, which in turn determines the item to be used. Then “the girl” becomes “the girl” (dative) if you give her something, for example, and from the moment she becomes the object that receives the article. The accusative would then read: “A pretty girl.”
If you are new to the practice, the cases can be quite confusing. But everyone who has learned Russian (with 6 cases!), Latin (seven!) Or a Slavic language has already had their experience in this area. Long ago, these cases also existed in English, but they were used quite generously. In the Middle Ages, when French had a growing influence on the language, it was finally abandoned entirely.
The German language loves to make you move to the end of the sentence! The second verb of the sentence is placed at the end of the sentence. Also, certain conjunctions (mainly because) come at the end of the verb. Verbs also tend to be at the end of the sentence, especially if the sentence is in the past tense . But once you become familiar with the German rhythm, the order of the words becomes second nature.
It hurts, but it is inevitable! There are 5 different plural endings in the German language , while in English you can simply add an “s” and thus define the plural … But as I said, in English it is not always so easy: “children”, “men” and “sheep” they are only three of the numerous exceptions that exist in English when forming the plural.
The spelling and pronunciation are obvious
Unlike English and French, in German you say what you read . That makes pronunciation and spelling easier. Also, all syllables are pronounced in German. In this way, German television programs, songs and conversations are often easily understandable.
Time sequences are very easy
In German it is quite normal to use the present when talking about the future. “I’m going to the movies tomorrow” is a grammatically correct sentence. In many parts of Germany and everywhere south of the equator of the white sausage (also in Austria and Switzerland), when speaking in the past, the speakers use 99 percent of the past tense (it was busy), which is easy to to learn. Compare that to the selection of past tenses in English or Spanish!
Everything is very logical
All nouns are capitalized. But there are many other very logical things in the German language. For example, once the prefix of the verb is clear, the meaning of the verb is easy to guess. If you are fluent in grammatical gender and cases, you will appreciate the strong sense of the language. Some people (wrongly) suspect that the old cliche of humorless Germans may stem from the precision of the German language, which does not allow for double meanings, and is known to be so popular in English humor.
Have fun with the word design
The German language is known for its word combinations . This means that you can join two or more words to create a new one. The longest German word recorded in the Guinness Book of Records has 79 letters. Can’t think of a certain word right now? Then create a new one!
So is it so difficult to learn German now?
Some elements of the German language are fairly easy to learn, others less so. However, what is easy and what is difficult depends a lot on personal feelings. One thing’s for sure: you’ll have more fun and learn easier if you fully immerse yourself in the language using one of our award-winning programs!
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