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View Poll Results: What is easier for English speakers to Learn?
French 57 39.04%
German 47 32.19%
About as hard as each other 24 16.44%
Don't care, I work in IT. 18 12.33%
Voters: 146. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 21.02.2007, 19:17
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French or German -which is easiest to learn?

Having been here more than 5 years I still find German challenging, and have not yet conquered the written part to a professional level.

Having a interview on Friday for a job where I may need to learn French as well, it got me thinking: Is it going to take me another 5 years? Or is French harder/easier than German to learn for English native speakers?
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  #2  
Old 21.02.2007, 19:53
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Re: French or German -which is easiest to learn?

I think it is easier to learn French than German. French has fewer inflections and the verbs are more regular (although that is relative). Besides, English borrowed a lot of its vocabulary from French which makes it even easier for an English native speaker to learn. But do not underestimate it because there are always a lot of details to consider. However, I do think it is easier than German and it might even be easier to pronounce, as it doesn't have "ch", "pf" and the like...

Good luck! French is definitely a language worth learning!
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Old 21.02.2007, 20:19
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Re: French or German -which is easiest to learn?

I like the option "I don't care I work in IT" No really, I live in the French speaking region of Switzerland and don't need it at work, but it helps to socialize outside of work. After 8 months here...i can get around and get the jest of what's being said, but am in no way fluent. All I have to say is good luck! Cheers, Brie (BTW:Where are you interviewing?)

Last edited by brie; 21.02.2007 at 20:49.
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Old 21.02.2007, 20:45
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Re: French or German -which is easiest to learn?

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(BTW:Where are you interviewing?)
Zürich, but the job description requests D/E/F. I can give a D and E, but I can't give an F.

Last edited by litespeed; 22.02.2007 at 01:03.
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Old 22.02.2007, 00:53
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Re: French or German -which is easiest to learn?

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Zürich, but the job description requests D/E/F. I 've can give a D and E, but I can't give an F.
litespeed, you are going to need to give an F to learn French!

If I had my way, I would vote in the poll that German and French are equally hard to learn. But there is not that option.

What made the difference for me was liking French. I don't tire of it as I do with German. It is just so much prettier to my ears.

With the proper motivation or interest or desire, learning something is always easier. I hate it when people say they are learning something for their job - there needs to be something more than just obligation keeping you going.
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Old 22.02.2007, 01:06
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Re: French or German -which is easiest to learn?

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If I had my way, I would vote in the poll that German and French are equally hard to learn. But there is not that option.
Good point. The poll has been adjusted accordingly.
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Old 22.02.2007, 10:09
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Re: French or German -which is easiest to learn?

Hello

I've learnt french and german, although french has really been more since I lived here. However I would say that I feel as if I had more of an affinity (if thats the right word to use!) with the German language, it seemed to be easier for me.

I guess English part of the same Germanic language group, as far as I remember so maybe its easier for english speakers to learn
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Old 22.02.2007, 10:27
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Re: French or German -which is easiest to learn?

I had to vote for the last one, but I would say G is easier. I learnt both in school to some degree and definitely found German easier then. Perhaps to get to a decent level F is easier or they are equal, but to start I definitely found German easier. What I also find though is that since I spent more time "learning French" (actually: messing about at the back of the class) I still understand some when I hear it spoken. Maybe that means French is easier... Anyway, I'm amazed at my brain's capacity to remember something I never had an interest in *mumble* years ago, and that I never expected to use again.
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Old 22.02.2007, 10:30
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Re: French or German -which is easiest to learn?

My french & german language teacher at school said that german is hard for beginners, but easy when you get the hang of it; whereas french starts easy but gets harder....

I think I've reached the (relatively low) threshold in german where the effort is diminishing returns.

dave

Quote:
I had to vote for the last one, but I would say G is easier. I learnt both in school to some degree and definitely found German easier then. Perhaps to get to a decent level F is easier or they are equal, but to start I definitely found German easier. What I also find though is that since I spent more time "learning French" (actually messing about at the back of the class) I still understand some when I hear it spoken. Maybe that means French is easier...
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Old 22.02.2007, 11:02
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Re: French or German -which is easiest to learn?

In Switzerland French is easier to learn as it is, which a few nice exceptions like 70, 80 and 90, the same language that is written and spoken in France.

But German and Swiss-German are really two languages and high-German learned here will always be hindered by lack of practice and interference from dialects.

Thus French is easier...
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Old 22.02.2007, 11:09
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Re: French or German -which is easiest to learn?

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My french & german language teacher at school said that german is hard for beginners, but easy when you get the hang of it; whereas french starts easy but gets harder....
Either your teacher was wrong or I am strange. I find either quite easy to believe
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Old 22.02.2007, 14:50
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Re: French or German -which is easiest to learn?

Is it true that Swiss German is never written down? Has this always been the case? It's obviously practical to have a standard written form of German which can be used across the German-speaking lands but are there no Swiss authors/poets etc writing in their native tongue?
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Old 22.02.2007, 14:52
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Re: French or German -which is easiest to learn?

It's very intresting to have an option of "I dont care i am in IT"

I am in IT and really feel the importance of learning german to make life easy in CH.
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Old 22.02.2007, 14:59
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Re: French or German -which is easiest to learn?

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Is it true that Swiss German is never written down? Has this always been the case? It's obviously practical to have a standard written form of German which can be used across the German-speaking lands but are there no Swiss authors/poets etc writing in their native tongue?
Still, Swiss German is sometimes written, particularly in emails, sms and so on, but also some in literature. However what you are actually referring to as Swiss German is a bunch of different idioms. High German is a standardised language not naturally spoken, altough many people do speak it in Germany, especially those who want to suggest that they are educated.
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Old 22.02.2007, 15:46
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Re: French or German -which is easiest to learn?

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It's very intresting to have an option of "I dont care i am in IT"

I am in IT and really feel the importance of learning german to make life easy in CH.
You are in the minority! I've worked with loads of IT bods who don't want to learn either French or German (I've lived & worked both sides of the Rösti Grabben). A lot of them it's because they are only here short term so don't see the point others just can't be bothered. Personally I find speaking at least some of the local language to be really helpful and want to learn more.
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Old 22.02.2007, 16:03
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Re: French or German -which is easiest to learn?

What about Italian?
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Old 22.02.2007, 16:10
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Re: French or German -which is easiest to learn?

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What about Italian?
That's a doddle - even the kids next door speak it...
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Old 22.02.2007, 20:18
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Re: French or German -which is easiest to learn?

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But German and Swiss-German are really two languages and high-German learned here will always be hindered by lack of practice and interference from dialects.

Thus French is easier...

Does that mean if you're trying to learn some German before going to Switzerland it's pointless unless you're specifically learning Swiss-German?
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Old 22.02.2007, 22:13
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Re: French or German -which is easiest to learn?

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Does that mean if you're trying to learn some German before going to Switzerland it's pointless unless you're specifically learning Swiss-German?
Nope, they (the Swiss-Germans) can all speak High-German, it's just that some of then speak English just as well. It depends on your long-term plans...
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  #20  
Old 22.02.2007, 22:27
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Re: French or German -which is easiest to learn?

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Nope, they (the Swiss-Germans) can all speak High-German, ...
Well 99.9% of them. When I was in hospital a few years ago I had an old Appenzeller farmer in the bed beside me who either could not, or would not, speak High German.
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