J. Ríos
Professional Teacher
Should native English speakers study other Germanic languages?

The Dutch, Swedes, Germans, etc have the greatest ease when learning English, so why do many native English speakers find these languages difficult and complex and opt for Spanish, French, or Italian?

May 10, 2014 6:15 PM
Comments · 4

I also notice the english speaker prefer to learn romantics languages that the germanics language ou others. I think that romatics languages have beautiful sounds and they choose then.

May 10, 2014

i think it is because we live in europe and all the countries are so close to each other. Thus the need is greater to learn foreign languages as well as the ability to travel to other countries.The US is huge and Americans don't travel as often to countries abroad or need those other languages.

May 10, 2014

Several reasons come to mind: (a) Compared to English, German has quite complex inflections for nouns (or adjectives) and verbs, for example. So at least regarding these very basic things, it actually *is* more difficult for a native English speaker to learn German than vice versa. Of course English has its traps too, but they aren't necessarily about such constructions that you need in every sentence. (b) Learning English probably also is made easier by the fact that you already encounter the language in many places. There's tons of music in English on the radio in Europe, for example, but I doubt that an average native English speaker gets in touch with many songs in German or Swedish in everyday life. (c) Similarly, especially Spanish may simply seem more useful than other Germanic languages when looking at the number of speakers it can get you in touch with, so that's why people might prefer it, unrelated to the difficulty of the languages. What I mentioned in (b) might play a role here too, especially in the US where many people do have some contact with Spanish already.

May 10, 2014

I don't know about difficulty... Every language is difficult and it's not in the same time.

My native language is Russian , but i have never burnt with the desire to learn Ukrainian , Bulgarian , Polish etc , too. Maybe English speakers find learning these languages boring? O perhaps some of English speakers don't like Germanic phonetics?

 

May 10, 2014
J. Ríos
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), Chinese (Cantonese), English, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Vietnamese
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin), Chinese (Cantonese), Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Vietnamese