Main differences between German and English?
Main differences between German and English
Although evidently related, derived from the same Germanic roots, German and English have developed in a completely different manner. German remained closer to the original language, while English was strongly influenced by the numberless invasions that were set on English soil, culminating with the Norman one which created a strong French-ish vocabulary. Because of that, Germany developed with stricter rules, and the German language, much like the German people, can be learned based on its rulebook.
Notable differences between the two languages include:
– English genders are applied only when talking about people, while in German every word has a predefined gender (not always the one we might guess – one of the most baffling experiences being das Mädchen, literally meaning “the girl” but of a neutral gender!).
– English nouns are not declined, while in German, based on the case, each gender is declined differently (which translates in articles attached to the nouns) and the number of possibilities can be mind-numbing for the English speaker. The good news is that once you learned the rules, you can’t go wrong.
– Like nouns, German verbs have a considerable amount of forms they can take. Unlike nouns, there is a considerable number of irregular verbs, but still, certain rules can be applied.- Prepositions used in a sentence often decide the case of the noun that they are linked to. For example, MIT (“with”) is always used with the Accusative.
– In the German language, there is a strong tendency of merging words. Words like Fremdsprachenkenntnisse (merging three words and meaning ‘knowledge of foreign languages) is quite common. The good news about this is that generally, this makes it easier to understand the words by splitting them.
– Most of the time, in German, the verb and the verb auxiliary can be found at different parts of the sentence (ex: they can say something like: “The girl has the zoo visited”).
As a side-note, due to the common origin of the two languages, many German words’ meanings can be easily guessed by an English speaker. Do bear in mind, though, that there are some traps, like for example “rock”, which in English usually means stone while in German it means “skirt”.
Why learn German?
Germany is a great advantage career-wise – Germany has one of the strongest economies in the European Union (we all know about the cars!) and knowledge of German can help you develop your business (if you have one) or have a good chance at a faster career development (if you are employed). There is a great demand for German-speakers everywhere.
Other reasons may include:
– German is the official language of a quarter of the Europeans and is among the top ten spoken languages in the world.
– With time most English speakers will find German to be easy to learn – with many German words adopted into the English language. There are many rules, but once learned, they can be easily applied.