Why German (and Polish too:D ) is so difficult?

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pawelk1986
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02 Sep 2014, 8:30 am

Hi, I am a Pole, I like the Germans despite the fact that we here in Poland still remember how much damage did here German Wermaht.

I wonder why the German language is so difficult, I'm studying library science, in the first year of college I had to choose a foreign language which I will learn. In high school I learned English, but the university enroll in the English, and when I remembered it was too late to enroll in an English course, because the group was already full, it was my only choice A1-1 course of the German language, or Italian, if I remember correctly.
I thought that I choose German because it is similar to English. Unfortunately, it was a terrible choice, after a year, I changed the German into English. German is very difficult and strange grammatical rules(just like Polish:D), and I thought of my mother tongue Polish, nothing beats the terms of the foolish and hinder life, the grammar rules : D

When I was in High School I had better grades in English than Polish: D

English has a relatively simpler grammar rules than Polish or German.



downbutnotout
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03 Sep 2014, 3:58 pm

English is my native tongue, so I can't speak for how difficult it is to learn. It's supposed to be a tough one, though, and I see a lot of ESL students where I work having trouble grasping the fine points of things like tenses. I have a native German friend online who makes some interesting slip-ups in English if I watch carefully.

I'm learning German, too. It's been a transition because English isn't so concerned with things like genders, but it's more the amount of things I need to learn than the difficulty of it. Everything can be explained clearly if I go to the right source and people live functional lives using the language every day. It gets easier with time to adjust...

Sorry it didn't work out for you, though. I can see how it's not everyone's thing.



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06 Sep 2014, 4:15 pm

The closest language to German that I've learned in school is French. The French language has many difficult rules and has two genders. The German language has three genders and rules too. The German language must be even harder. I've heard a few words of the German language before and they sounded strikingly similar to English words. Like "trinkt" and "drink". (I think they both have the same meaning.) And some of the darker sounding words in English sound as if they have been taken from the German language too, in my opinion.

When I was learning French, I struggled to understand the concept of genders and the rules. It might be the same for some non native English speakers trying to learn English. They might struggle to understand the concept of non-gendered nouns and the lack of rules in the English language because there are so few rules in English and their language may have had many grammatical rules. I have heard that English is a difficult language to learn.



WellThatsDantastic
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06 Sep 2014, 7:16 pm

Apparently, people who have knowledge of Irish can pronounce Polish better than some others.

There's a huge Polish community in the town I go to school in, and I can read a few words since I shop in the Polish-owned shops. I find German fairly easy, but it's because I'm used to Irish. Same goes for Polish, but the thing that confused me with it was the complex pronunciations like "Dzem" (I can't get special characters on my laptop, Polish word for Jam) because of my accent.

I can sympathise with you for it, though. Some languages just aren't really made for us, and for me, Polish was one of them. I'd say though, you have very good English, which is a great accomplishment! There are some languages which are somewhat similar to German and English such as Danish, Swedish or Norwegian. Have you tried them?



CivMaster
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19 Oct 2014, 4:35 am

i am native german, while i do use the rules(couldnt name them if my life depended on it) i ignore 2/3 of the tenses, because they are not needed in most cases. why would you use a tense where you talk about a point in the future where the thing you are talking about has already happenened but hasnt yet in the present?
well most people get confused by the three genders the words have in german. from hearing about other languages they mostly are gender neutral(may be wrong gut it seems so).
the three genders is probably the most confusing thing.
it gets even harder because german has (lets call it:) "combined nouns" where the gender may not be easily to spot for most secondary or third german learners.
uhm so to make an example:
"the car" is "das Auto".
"the tire" is "der Reifen".
you can combine it and get "the car tire".
in german "der Autoreifen".
so how do you decide if it is "das" or "der"?
generally just use the genderspecific from the last noun in the combined noun.
sometimes the gender specific doesnt make sense.
we have "the dog"(der hund). here a male specification.
and we have "the giraffee"(die giraffe). and here a female specification.
why? i dont know, it doesnt even make sense to a native german.



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19 Oct 2014, 5:48 am

CivMaster wrote:
i am native german, while i do use the rules(couldnt name them if my life depended on it) i ignore 2/3 of the tenses, because they are not needed in most cases. why would you use a tense where you talk about a point in the future where the thing you are talking about has already happenened but hasnt yet in the present?
well most people get confused by the three genders the words have in german. from hearing about other languages they mostly are gender neutral(may be wrong gut it seems so).
the three genders is probably the most confusing thing.
it gets even harder because german has (lets call it:) "combined nouns" where the gender may not be easily to spot for most secondary or third german learners.
uhm so to make an example:
"the car" is "das Auto".
"the tire" is "der Reifen".
you can combine it and get "the car tire".
in german "der Autoreifen".
so how do you decide if it is "das" or "der"?
generally just use the genderspecific from the last noun in the combined noun.
sometimes the gender specific doesnt make sense.
we have "the dog"(der hund). here a male specification.
and we have "the giraffee"(die giraffe). and here a female specification.
why? i dont know, it doesnt even make sense to a native german.


I remember speaking to a native Croatian speaker. I know that Croatian is not the same as German, but it also has the three gender rules and my mother tried to get me to learn it to stay in touch with my Yugoslavian roots. The Croatian speaker, and I recall this word-for-word, told me that because of the three gender rules, Croatian is a "f***** up language" and that they didn't make sense to him either.