Learners signing up for language learning courses have been rigorously progressing. The idea of learning a new language is no longer limited to the fun. Language learning plays an important role in the development of an overall professional structure to open options for higher education or jobs. The debate on what language to learn, opportunities for pursuing the language, and its difficulty level has been spread across the internet. You will find a good number of websites dealing with this topic and all educational institutions nowadays offer various language courses clearly showing how learning a corresponding language has become significant in today’s world.
Coming to the difficulty level of learning a language, primarily depends on the learner. Every learner has a different style of learning and faces his/her own set of difficulties. But, languages have their style and build that distinguishes one from another. This article will deal with is it harder to learn German than English?
Let’s get started-
Let’s first state the differences between English and German.
As experienced by linguists, German is linguistically a synthetic language and English is an analytical language.
What makes German more difficult than English?
German is a gender of nouns that modifies pronouns and adds suffixes. The plural in German changes as per different words and is complicated. The verb tenses are less logical and difficult to use. It has rigid structures and fixed word order which is complex to remember. The long compound is made of several others and comprises several rules (benefit for some) and has less flexibility in forming words and sentences.
What makes German easier than English?
German has a lot of rules and a few exceptions to the great rule. The structure makes it easy for you to construct easy meaningful sentences.
Coming to English now-
Why is English easy?
The majority of people regard English as an easy language keeping aside some hugely complicated spelling. But otherwise, the English learners review it as easy to speak. Standard British English has twenty-four vowels, many of which are not found in other languages. Besides, there are varieties of English- different regional accents make use of different vowels. Hence, the non-native speaker can manage to comprehend, their language is hardly ever vaguely anything near authentic- Pronunciation in English to begin with.
English is 50% grammar and 50% vocabulary while German is 75% grammar and 25% vocabulary. All the verbs in German are conjugated as per the subject and every noun has an article. Some adjectives change their ending depending on the article of the noun the adjective is describing. On the other hand, English grammar is easy, less complicated, has fewer rules, and is easy to use in articles.
The learners however express happiness in learning German. Once you get the hang of the language, it becomes easy to speak.
Coming to German, learn the gender and its plural while learning nouns, and that’s it. And if you get it wrong, it’s ok. On the other hand, English does not deal with grammatical gender unless you flamboyantly address a ship as feminine. But English has a noun class: countable and uncountable nouns. This means English and German behave differently.
Next, the strong verbs are quite comparable in English and German, and this applies to only the minority of verbs. German verbs behave like English cousins. German on the surface level might seem difficult but it is not. The simple rule is- Finite verb-second idea in main clauses
And, the last idea is subordinate ones. That is it. The German adverb order is time, manner, and place which is different from the English adverb order. But not that complicated.
But do you know the adjective order in English? Did you know if more than one adjective qualifies as an adjective, there they to be in order-
Quantity, Value/opinion, Size, Temperature, Age, Shape, Colour, Origin, and Material.
The environment that you live in
The environment that you live in matters a lot. What is your day-to-day language? If your TV is German, your shopkeeper is German and other signs are German, then you can easily pick up German.
If the Tv serials and movies you watch are in German, or the games you play are in German, then you are in constant exposure to the German language.
It is similar in the case of English. If you watch TV in English, watch Hollywood movies, or play computer games in English, you are likely to learn English faster.
How many people do you practice English or German with? You can easily find English speakers around (even online) while finding German can get challenging.
Depends so much on the learners
A lot of learners find it easy to learn German as they find it easy to understand, read and talk. They state it as logical and phonetically. A Russian learner on learning both German and English has feedback that may or may not resonate with your experience. The learner can translate each German word into Russian without changing its meaning. It is the same in the case of idioms. This might differ in case of other learners with a different mother tongue. The experience of language translation can easily vary.
Coming to English, each word has multiple meanings, making translation complicated. The vast vocabulary and its multiple meanings can be strenuous for some learners.
The German learners state German word building as functional which means you add word stems to form something like Familienzusammenführung.
Wh do most people find English easy to speak?
As already mentioned above, the exposure and the environment you live in play a huge role in learning a language.
The below stated are a couple of common reasons why English is easy for most the people-
1) A huge degree of exposure- The most popular movies, pop music, BBC, internet, science, and business agreements are in English.
2) English is the mode of communication in the majority of the world. In any country you enter, you are likely to find a good mass of English speakers. The most practical reason is communication. You are a travel lover, you can understand this well. Any place you travel to, you must know English to interact with the locals. It is obvious one cannot learn all the languages used in different places. So, one must know English for communication.
3) English is the language of academics. You find most of the books are either written or translated into English. You have to know English to access academics.
4) English grammar is simpler than German
But here is an exception for people who find German easy are-
1) People who speak languages closer to German than English- Alsatian, Swedish, South Tyrolia, Dutch, Norwegian, or Swedish.
2) Other people living in Hungary, Scandinavian, Slovakia, Czech Republic, and others.
Other factors influencing learning German
Now apart from the grammar and vocabulary of the German language, other factors decide if German is harder to learn than English. Let’s have a look-
a) At what level do you want to learn German
Undoubtedly, the more verses you aspire to be in speaking the language, the more time it will take. But the question here is how long it takes to learn German from a beginner to an advanced level.
If you are at an early intermediate level- it might take you about a year and a half to reach at least to C1 level (Besides, it depends on the learner as well). Whether you join a German course or learn from home, you can expect the same timeframe.
Henry Harvin, a challenging online language educator promises to cover from A1 to C2 level in a promising way. A1 and A2 have a timeframe of 56 hours whereas the B1-C2 level has 66 hours of timeframe each. It is a 9-in-1 course with 100% practical training. The candidates undergo projects for implementation, and get a golden chance to join Internship after the completion of the course,
The German Language Course from Henry Harvin offers professional certification, Govt. of India recognized & Award-Winning Institute. Besides, candidates get E-learning access to abundant tools and techniques, video content, assignments, & more. The learners also get access to hackathons and regular bootcamps spread across 12 months from the time of joining.
The trainers of Henry Harvin have 15+ years of working experience recognized by numerous leading organizations and have delivered 100+ keynotes and 350+ lecturers.If you are looking for a German Language Course in Delhi, you must consider Henry Harvin,
For passionate learners who want to achieve a C2 level in German, you must learn the language in detail, diving deep into German culture and etiquette. The learners reach a C2 level differently but one cannot expect to get hang of the language before 3 years or more.
b) The level of German Immersion
Immersion is the methodology used in language learning. Immersion means surrounding oneself with German as much as possible so you learn the language naturally with context and repetition. You will not be translating German and your native in the process.
Immersion is the fastest medium to learning a language. Total immersion comes the best when one lives in Germany. But if you live outside of Germany, you can take up other ways to completely indulge in the language. Take a flight to Germany for vacation, play fun games in German, and watch German TV shows and movies. You need to be involved in the process.
If you are not leaving German-speaking areas, join online communities of potential German speakers and learners to surround yourself with a German-speaking population. Join in online exercises, and interactive sessions to feel a part of the language. You can also create flashcards to practice vocabulary.
An online language exchange is a splendid way to enhance potential. The online language exchange program is a great way to scale your capacities and practice consequently.
c) Your capacity to co-relate German words
This can be otherwise called “Language sense”. Your intuition must be on an all-time high to learn a language. You need to associate words you hear in German with something you already know. English and German for that matter are cousins. You should develop the ability to co-relate German words with English to fasten the process.
For example, when you hear the word “sitzen”, you can quickly relate to the English word “sit”,
You can develop your ability to co-relating after learning some of the basic German rules.
d) Focus on German grammar structure
Pay close attention to German grammar structure. Only co-relating will not help. Don’t mistake translating German word to word in your native language will make you an efficient speaker. Understanding Grammar structures will make you sound more fluent in the language and learn faster.
Take for instance; verbs in German have fixed places in various kinds of questions and statements. If you translate German word to word in English, you ought to make mistakes.
Hence, to learn German quickly, you must focus on German grammar as much as possible. Keep a diary to note down the common German structures. One of the most effective ways of doing this is by noting down the most used phrases when you come across them while watching German shows or movies.
Here is when the immersion method comes in. This means you will naturally absorb the language by listening.
But keep in mind; that language learning is a continuous process. You will not certainly come to a place where you feel that you have learned the language. Even if you reach a C2 level, you should continue listening and reading German.
It is also important to bear in mind that learning a language is not a logical process. So you should have an open mind to develop your own logic to connect to the language.
Benefit for English speakers to learn German
English is a part of the branch of Germanic languages. This means English and German are similar. Both languages have similar words which are easy to recognize. This is why correlation (mentioned above) works well. When you hear German, you kind of intuitively understand it by correlating with English words. This makes learning German easy.
Factors that will speed up the learning
Factors that will speed up the learning include most of the points already mentioned above-
- a) Listen: Listen to German passionately. The more you listen you understand the pronunciation and structures of the language. Watch German movies or shows, and indulge thoroughly in the process to grasp the language.
- b) Speak: Try to speak even if it’s only a sentence. Continuous practice will get the flow eventually. If you are not surrounded by German speakers to practice with, you can join online communities and interact with other learners. Participate in an online language program, exercises, exciting games, and interactive sessions to become a part of German culture.
- c) Read: Buy simple books and read one topic at a time. Expose yourself to the language.
- d) Write: Maintain a diary where you can practice writing. Make a target of learning at least five words every day and note it down. Practice these words every day to get control over your word power.
- e) Note common grammar phrases: As you have already learned that German is mostly about rules, try to find common grammar phrases. Note the commonly used phrases when watching movies. This will build an overall approach to the language.
- f) Be passionate: Nothing works if you are passionate about learning. The slowest of learners have turned into fabulous speakers only with passion. An unwavering passion is a key to climbing the stairs of success.
- g) Join a professional course: This is an option. But joining a professional course can help you. Proper guidance can fasten your learning. But keep in mind that learning a language is a slow process and it takes a considerable amount of time. Besides professional guidance, you have to find your way of learning.
- h) Practice: Practice makes a man perfect. Learning means repetition. You have to repeat it again and again until it is locked in your mind. Practice every day to master the language.
Learning any language takes its own time. You must persevere to achieve your goals. Make it a daily habit to practice learning and without any doubt, you will ace the language. Besides, language learning opens job opportunities and enables your scope for applying for a range of jobs. Get on with your journey and success is assured.