The new issue was released just as you managed to find some spare time to start learning a new language. You are unable to choose which language to learn, are you? Is it Spanish or German? Well, that is the real trouble but you need to consider some factors before making the final decision.
If you are confused between the debates of German vs Spanish, this post is for you. The overview of both languages, their similarities and differences will make your decision much easier.
How similar are German and Spanish
You already know that Spanish and German are two very different languages. German and Spanish do, however, have a lot in common when compared to other languages. Within the Indo-European family, they are both distant cousins. Both of them employ the Latin alphabet.
You won’t be able to avoid that part for very long because they both have grammatical gender. (Spanish has two genders, male and female, while German also has a third, “neutral” gender.) Furthermore, both of their pronunciations are fairly simple.
Key differences between German and Spanish
The most noticeable distinction between Spanish and German is that they share a long linguistic history that dates back thousands of years. German is a Germanic language, while Spanish is a Romance language (like English, Danish, and many others). Both of these language families developed around the time of the Roman Empire.
German and Spanish have different word orders and sentence structures in addition to having very different sounds and vocabulary. Spanish and English both have an SVO structure, making them similar languages (subject-verb-object).
German has a flexible word order, which might make your mind work a little harder. By positioning the verb or subject in two or more different locations within the sentence, you can sometimes say the same thing in two or more different ways. It does have its own logic, so don’t worry. Just one that, at first, you might not be accustomed to. There are several German language levels due to the word orders and structures that you need to master in order to be fluent in German.
Spanish doesn’t really place as much emphasis on the idea of noun cases, whereas German has four: the nominative, genitive, dative, and accusative. You will definitely take less time to understand it, at the very least.
Number of speakers
One of the reasons to begin learning a language may be the number of people who speak it. A language learner’s chances of getting practice are better the more people who speak the language.
Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world, right after Chinese Mandarin, with more than 415 native speakers. German, on the other hand, only has 130 million speakers worldwide compared to Spanish.
It is somewhat disappointing for Germans, especially considering that there are more than 82 million people in Germany. The fact that there are 21 countries that speak Spanish and only six that speak German as their first language may be one factor.
Both Spanish and German use vocal cords to produce letters when comparing their pronunciations. Since English sounds can be used to create every Spanish sound, you probably already know most of them.
Some combinations that are a little different from English are:
- While some countries that speak Spanish pronounce the letter “c” as “s,” others, like Spain, insist on pronouncing it as “th.”
- The sounds of “B” and “v” are nearly identical. Finding differences in pronunciation can be difficult for many Spanish language learners.
- In some words, the sound that becomes ‘y’ is a double ‘l’ or ‘ll. But in Argentina, this sound is said with a soft “j” or “sh.”
Even though there are accent marks in the German pronunciation, the situation is fairly straightforward.
- The letter ‘z’ is pronounced as ‘tz.’
- Umlaut Ä is pronounced as ‘e’ or ‘ay’ depending on the short or long version; Ö is pronounced by placing the lips to say O. and you pronounce Ä; Ü sound is pronounced like you want to say ‘ee,’ but you say ‘oo.’
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Spanish follows a pattern that is comparable to English. The “subject-verb-object” grammar rule also applies to Spanish.
The situation with German is a little different. The “subject-verb-object” pattern is not shared by German and English, despite the fact that English is a Germanic language.
The past participle, for instance, is put at the end of a sentence in the past tense, apart from the auxiliary verb and the subject. Additionally, the sentence’s subject can be positioned in a variety of places.
Even though the German sentence structure can be difficult at first, you eventually come to understand that it makes sense. You just need to commit yourself to that odd logic.
Which language is easier to learn
Spanish was ranked third on Babbel’s internal list of the easiest languages for English speakers to learn, and German didn’t even make the cut. But don’t worry, German didn’t make the list of the hardest languages to learn either.
German and Spanish both have a large number of cognates—words that resemble one another phonologically or morphologically—with English. So you won’t likely have too much trouble with either vocabulary set.
Both languages are largely spoken in the same way that they are written. And even though German is known for its lengthy, complex compound words, once you approach them methodically, they are actually not that difficult to master. In fact, you can also learn German for free using various media resources such as videos, podcasts and German series, etc.
Overall, Spanish might be simpler than German at the beginning stages, but once students reach the more advanced stages, the two languages tend to be equally challenging.
German grammar rules are more complex and require early mastery, but once understood, learners find that they are fairly consistent. While learning Spanish is somewhat simpler at first, more experienced speakers eventually run into more complications and exceptions to the rules.
Which language is more useful to know
That depends on where (and how) you plan to use it. Spanish is superior in terms of pure demographic diversity. With 543 million total speakers worldwide, you can communicate in Spanish, which has the second-largest native-speaker population in the world (behind Chinese).
Furthermore, being fluent in Spanish will allow you to travel throughout much of the world, including Spain and the majority of Latin and Central America. Spanish is spoken in numerous other countries and is the official language in 20 total countries. You can look for the best apps to learn Spanish before getting into any Spanish-speaking country.
With about 155 million speakers, German is the eleventh most spoken language in the world. About 80.6 million of those people speak German or roughly half of all speakers.
German and Spanish are additional languages that will help you succeed in the business world. German is a useful language to know if you plan to work in Europe. German is an official language in a few countries in central Europe, and it has the largest economy in the European Union. German is ranked third globally in terms of economic opportunities according to We Forum’s Power Language Index.
Given the vast number of speakers worldwide who might be looking for services in their native tongue, Spanish is also in high demand. Several South American economies that are expanding use it as their official language. Due to a number of factors, it is ranked fourth overall on the Power Language Index, surpassing German, which is ranked seventh. However, when it comes to opportunities for employment, German is superior to Spanish. However, since everyone is different, there is no definitive answer as to which will be the best to learn.
Frequently asked questions about learning German and Spanish
Q. How Spanish and German are similar?
A. German and Spanish do, however, have a lot in common when compared to other languages. Within the Indo-European family, they are both distant cousins. Both of them employ the Latin alphabet. You won’t be able to avoid that part for very long because they both have grammatical gender.
Q. What is the importance of learning German?
A. Your employment prospects with German and international businesses both domestically and abroad are increased by your knowledge of the language. German proficiency enables you to work effectively for a company with connections around the world.
Q. What should I learn first when learning German?
A. If you are a complete beginner, we recommend you start with the alphabet. The German language has 26 letters, just like English.
We hope you are no more confused between German vs Spanish. You need to assess your learning objectives before making the decision of learning any particular language. Note down your learning goals before deciding on the language you are required to learn.
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