German or French?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by DeSnousa, Nov 13, 2006.

  1. DeSnousa macrumors 68000

    DeSnousa

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    #1
    Well recently I have thought about learning a foreign language, however I'm stuck on deciding which one. German or French? I would like to visit both countries one day. So my question is what would you prefer and most importantly which will be the easiest language to learn?

    A bit of background, my first language is English and I speak Portuguese quite well as its my parents native tongue.
     
  2. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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  3. kretzy macrumors 604

    kretzy

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    #3
    I did German all through high school and found it pretty enjoyable and easy. There are many similarities between it and English - probably more so than with French. French sounds much better and romantic, German is kind of guttural and harsh.

    Each language has it's advantages and disadvantages so it's kind of hard to pick one over the other I guess.
     
  4. Queso macrumors G4

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    #4
    If you already have Portuguese I would go with French. The structure of all latin languages is quite similar even if the vocabulary and verb usage differs. So there's more chance that you will become fully fluent in French, and as a bonus learning French will improve your Portuguese.

    I also find that once you have two latin languages sitting in your head, it's really easy to extrapolate what you know into the others, so you'll find you will be able to understand Italian, Spanish, and even Romanian when you come across them, even if you can't easily communicate back.

    German on the other hand seems to have a structure all of it's own, the three genders make it extremely difficult to learn, and for some reason every German on the planet speaks fluent English anyway :)
     
  5. DeSnousa thread starter macrumors 68000

    DeSnousa

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    #5
    Thanks for the input, I just came across this,

    Apparently German would be easier for English speakers. However speaking Portuguese (similar to Spanish), French also sounds like a good choice. However my English is much better.
     
  6. DeSnousa thread starter macrumors 68000

    DeSnousa

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    #6
    That is a very good point, thanks :) What languages do you speak and what made you decide.

    At Abstract why do you feel French is easier?
     
  7. Compile 'em all macrumors 601

    Compile 'em all

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    #7
    German can sound more like English than French does, but it is extremely hard to speak grammatically correct German. The grammar constructs are arcane and not always following pre-defined rules. The key to learning any language fast is to stay away from people that can speak your native language. This will push you hard to try and speak their language.

    My choice goes to German though. Quoted from Wikipedia
     
  8. Queso macrumors G4

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    #8
    I speak Spanish well, but also quite a bit of Italian and French, and some Catalan. I have property in Catalunya, but learned Spanish because Catalan is nearly impossible to learn unless you are living within 100 miles of Barcelona. However, learning some Catalan was still necessary to deal with the bureaucracy and I found that once I knew the basics, hearing people speaking it became a lot easier so picked it up as I went along.

    Italian is down to having family over there, both in Torino and near Genoa. Although I can speak Italian, I never have need to write it, so can't really say I'm good at it as I know I make mistakes and have problems with written communication. I will be in Italy again in two weeks time, so I'll try buying some newspapers or books to improve on that front :)

    Lastly, French was sort of mandatory when I was at school, but I took to it well enough and having France just off the coast definitely helps. I visit France quite a lot, even if I'm just passing through on the way to Spain or Italy, but having the language makes the world of difference.
     
  9. hotboiled macrumors member

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    #9
    french

    more people speak french worldwide than german

    orange = french

    [​IMG]
     
  10. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603

    MacBoobsPro

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    #10
    I did German in high school. Its very similar to English with easier pronunciation than French. However I now wish I had studied French as my family have a house in the South of France.

    That being said I am currently learning Spanish. :D
     
  11. Compile 'em all macrumors 601

    Compile 'em all

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    #11
    That is only when taking into account secondary speakers. See Below

     
  12. Tymmz macrumors 65816

    Tymmz

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    #12
    I would go with French. I always loved the sound of that language. I wish I could speak it.

    A lot of people in Germany speak English, but if you only speak English and go to France you will have a much harder time.
     
  13. Queso macrumors G4

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    #13
    Not wanting to get off topic but...

    English only 320m native? Considering the population of the UK is 60m, the USA is 300m, Australia is >20m, then you have the majority of Canada's 32m, New Zealand's 4m, a large portion of South Africa and the Caribbean speaking English natively, I find that a rather low number.

    BTW, how confusing is that map? Could they not have found some colours that weren't virtually the same as all the others?
     
  14. kretzy macrumors 604

    kretzy

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    #14
    Yeah I found both things confusing as well. Perhaps it took into account that many people in those countries are immigrants, so they might speak English perfectly, but it was still not their first language. :confused:

    Even then, those figures don't seem right.
     
  15. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

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    #15
    precisely what I was going to say.
     
  16. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #16
    German is pretty easy to learn, I picked up a good part of the language during my freshman years in college- it was a lot of fun. :)
     
  17. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603

    MacBoobsPro

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    #17
    Dont forget England is immigrant heaven. Theres only me and markleshark that speak english overhere. :D
     
  18. katie ta achoo macrumors G3

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    #18
    I'd learn German. It's quite awesome. :)

    The only things I can say in it are "how much is it" "where's the water closet" "where are the viennese men?" and "no pants, faster!"

    I wish I knew more German. :( :p
     
  19. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #19

    Sounds like you got the important phrases memorized though. :D :)
     
  20. joepunk macrumors 68030

    joepunk

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    #20
    Isn't that map missing all those French Canadians? :confused:
     
  21. gadgetgirl85 macrumors 68040

    gadgetgirl85

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  22. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603

    MacBoobsPro

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    #22
    No pants, faster is invaluable in the redlight district of Berlin. :D
     
  23. falcon1 macrumors regular

    falcon1

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    #23
    German may be easy to learn but you won't use it very much if you go somewhere other than Germany. I would say French for a number of reason. 1. More people speak French than German and 2. because women love when you can speak French to them. haha
     
  24. ieani macrumors 6502a

    ieani

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    #24
    German is more useful in Europe than French as it is the second most widely known language after English. I am currently taking German and would like to learn more after I finish next quarter. But my schedule is going to be too tough to fit it in and studying abroad ist sehr teuer.
     
  25. Phat Elvis macrumors 6502

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    #25
    I would go with French. It has a much more pleasant tone. I remember flying to Switzerland and wanting to bolt from the plane when the pilot gave instructions in German. Not a comforting language.

    Besides, if you speak French you can order easily at the pastry shop.
     

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