Das ist gut c'est fantastique Das ist gut c'est fantastique
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    Default Das ist gut c'est fantastique

    I've been trying to learn both French and German at the same time, which is possibly a mistake. The French is a bit of a refresher having passed my O-level many years ago, and I can sort of follow written French but the problem is the French speak so fast it's virtually impossible to pick out any words I might recognise.

    With German, I've gone from knowing absolutely zero to something thanks to my Michel Thomas CDs. Moving the second verb to the end of the sentence is confusing me completely; I don't know how you're meant to make your brain work that way. I thought German was meant to be more like English, but if anything I'm finding the structure of French and German is more similar and English is wierd.

    Any tips?

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    English is a Germanic language, it's roots in low German, which is basically Dutch. But there are a lot of words in English from French. Loads, many more than the obvious ones.

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    Think of Germans as being Yoda, that helps.
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    Sounds like I'm at a similar level with French. Can read it OK, can speak to tourist level but can't understand it when it's spoken naturally. Every 6 months or so I get out the Michel Thomas CDs but keep getting stuck about CD 5/6 when it goes from being quite a slow pace to fairly whizzing along.
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    I alwas understood that English was one of the most unstructured languages in, and as such incredibly difficult for non native speakers to get to grips with.

    French and German are apparently much easier since they have clearly defined rules about how the language works.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Lone Gunman View Post
    Think of Germans as being Yoda, that helps.
    Surely only half yoda - at the end of the sentence.

    An example from the Michel Thomas thing:

    Everything will be ready for you soon, translates to Alles wird fur Sie bald fertig sein, which word for word is: everything will for you soon ready to be.

    I can understand the verb being at the end, but why is it "for you soon ready" and not "ready for you soon".

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    Quote Originally Posted by VectraMan View Post
    Surely only half yoda - at the end of the sentence.

    An example from the Michel Thomas thing:

    Everything will be ready for you soon, translates to Alles wird fur Sie bald fertig sein, which word for word is: everything will for you soon ready to be.

    I can understand the verb being at the end, but why is it "for you soon ready" and not "ready for you soon".
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveB View Post
    .. French and German are apparently much easier since they have clearly defined rules about how the language works.
    I have a huge doorstopper of a book, with thousands of wafer-thin pages called something like Dictionnaire des Difficultes Francais, which I bought in a charity shop for a fiver or something (wouldn't have bothered otherwise).

    I've never more than glanced at it, as I have no intention of wasting brain cells learning French, but I gather it is a kind of giant equivalent of Fowler's Modern English Usage.

    As I say, it has literally three or four thousand pages. So there must be quite a few rules for how French works, and a vast number of nuances and turns of phrase you need to know to really get into it.

    P.S. I did a quick search, and have a vague perception it may be this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveB View Post
    I alwas understood that English was one of the most unstructured languages in, and as such incredibly difficult for non native speakers to get to grips with.

    French and German are apparently much easier since they have clearly defined rules about how the language works.
    Because of its unstructured nature is easier to achieve the intermediate level in English but very hard to move to the advanced level. Instead in languages like German takes very long to move to the intermediate level but comparatively less time to achieve the advanced one. Languages like german are frustrating because you need to wait a long time before you are able to have a normal conversation while english (but also italian and spanish) requires less to complete the beginners steps.
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    Mark Twain had some interesting observations to make on German.

    I think Pascal said something on the lines of English being nothing more than French, badly spoken.

    I speak French and German, the former semi-fluently. French is more difficult to understand because native speakers tend to use flowery language and speak quite rapidly. The élides between words makes life difficult as well. My French vocabulary and grammar is much better than my German, but I find German usually easier to understand - so long as they don't go into dialect...

    Watch TV in German or French. But not dubbed programs. I also have my car radio tuned to German stations.

    I find the shifting of the verbs to the end of the sentence difficult, because I often start a sentence, make a mental note of the verb, then forget to put it on the end. It does start to come more naturally with time.

    If you're speaking German to natives, I found often that if you don't get the pronunciation just right, they really don't understand you.

    65% of words in German are very similar to English. Only 25% of French words are similar to English - usually the latin based one. The more complicated an English word, the more likely it is almost the same in French.

    My kids have learned French (taught in German), while still learning German. They seem to cope.

    When my German has improved a little more, I'm going to take up Spanish. Apparently that's easier then French or German, and gives you a running start at Italian and Portugese.
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