Which language?

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Pokémontrainer
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#1
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#1
Hello.
I want to learn another language, however, I am having quite a tough time deciding which one to study. My choice is between French and German. I would appreciate if anyone could respond to my questions:

1) Which one would be easier to learn in terms of grammar?

2) Which language will be more beneficial for a career in law, or just will be more useful overall?

3) Which language takes longer to learn? (I will be quite busy with study so need to know which one requires more dedication.)

Thanks in advance!
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TheAnusFiles
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#2
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#2
(Original post by Pokémontrainer)
Hello.
I want to learn another language, however, I am having quite a tough time deciding which one to study. My choice is between French and German. I would appreciate if anyone could respond to my questions:

1) Which one would be easier to learn in terms of grammar?

2) Which language will be more beneficial for a career in law, or just will be more useful overall?

3) Which language takes longer to learn? (I will be quite busy with study so need to know which one requires more dedication.)

Thanks in advance!
1) French

2) Not sure

3) German
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Pterodactyl
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#3
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#3
I'd imagine German would be more useful for a career in Law since a lot of powerful (in a financial sense) European countries speak German.
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MidnightDream
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#4
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#4
1) For me it's German - it's from the same family as English and it's easier to get the pronunciation right but that may be different for you

2) German

3) French probably
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Pokémontrainer
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#5
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#5
Thanks for the replies, I should also clarify I aspire to work in international law, and may move to another European country, so that's really why I am trying to learn another language.
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Pokémontrainer
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#6
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#6
(Original post by MidnightDream)
1) For me it's German - it's from the same family as English and it's easier to get the pronunciation right but that may be different for you

2) German

3) French probably
I'm assuming you speak German? How was it like to learn for you (if you are not a native speaker, that is!)
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AllyTee
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#7
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#7
I found French slightly easier, YMMV though
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MidnightDream
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#8
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#8
(Original post by Pokémontrainer)
I'm assuming you speak German? How was it like to learn for you (if you are not a native speaker, that is!)
Oh lol no I dropped it after gcse but I learnt both French and German up to year 9 and I just found German easier to pick up and speak
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ronmcd
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#9
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#9
(Original post by Pokémontrainer)
Hello.
I want to learn another language, however, I am having quite a tough time deciding which one to study. My choice is between French and German. I would appreciate if anyone could respond to my questions:

1) Which one would be easier to learn in terms of grammar?

2) Which language will be more beneficial for a career in law, or just will be more useful overall?

3) Which language takes longer to learn? (I will be quite busy with study so need to know which one requires more dedication.)

Thanks in advance!
1) German grammar has lots of things that are pointlessly complicated, but it doesn't have anything mind-blowing conceptually. Word order and the endless irregularity in verbs and nouns are also annoying. I assume French grammar is just the standard Romance language stuff and fairly straightforward.

2) Germany has a strong economy, and Switzerland is good for banking, though I'm not sure whether French of German would be more useful there. It depends on what kind of law you would be practicing really. I've come across loads of German speakers travelling outside German speaking places, not so many French ones though. I reckon culturally French literature cinema etc. are a bit richer, but Germany has plenty of nice writers and philosophers, plus an interesting history.

3) Both will take a long time. How long depends on how much you want to learn. Although French might be 'easier', if you're not motivated German may well be faster to learn.
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Pokémontrainer
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#10
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#10
(Original post by AllyTee)
I found French slightly easier, YMMV though
Can you speak it fluently? If so, how did you learn it, and how long did it take?
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suzywithaZY
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#11
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#11
I took both french and german GCSE. German grammar can be a nightmare, whereas french grammar is a lot simpler. I'd advise going with french.

That being said, German seems like it would be more useful for law.
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childofthesun
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#12
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#12
I think French would be easier for you to learn
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AllyTee
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#13
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#13
(Original post by Pokémontrainer)
Can you speak it fluently? If so, how did you learn it, and how long did it take?
Yep. It took me around 3 years, though - I started before GCSE
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Pokémontrainer
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#14
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#14
(Original post by ronmcd)
1) German grammar has lots of things that are pointlessly complicated, but it doesn't have anything mind-blowing conceptually. Word order and the endless irregularity in verbs and nouns are also annoying. I assume French grammar is just the standard Romance language stuff and fairly straightforward.

2) Germany has a strong economy, and Switzerland is good for banking, though I'm not sure whether French of German would be more useful there. It depends on what kind of law you would be practicing really. I've come across loads of German speakers travelling outside German speaking places, not so many French ones though. I reckon culturally French literature cinema etc. are a bit richer, but Germany has plenty of nice writers and philosophers, plus an interesting history.

3) Both will take a long time. How long depends on how much you want to learn. Although French might be 'easier', if you're not motivated German may well be faster to learn.
Thank you for this.
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Pokémontrainer
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#15
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#15
(Original post by AllyTee)
Yep. It took me around 3 years, though - I started before GCSE
Oh I see, I was interesting in pursuing it at GCSE at one point, however, my school didn't offer language GCSE so I foolishly gave up. Did you get a tutor, teach yourself or just have parents that speak French to help you? (If you don't mind my asking.)
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Pokémontrainer
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#16
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#16
(Original post by MidnightDream)
Oh lol no I dropped it after gcse but I learnt both French and German up to year 9 and I just found German easier to pick up and speak
Haha oh, I appreciate your input anyway, thanks- it was helpful.
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Iggy Azalea
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#17
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#17
(Original post by Pokémontrainer)
Hello.
I want to learn another language, however, I am having quite a tough time deciding which one to study. My choice is between French and German. I would appreciate if anyone could respond to my questions:

1) Which one would be easier to learn in terms of grammar?

2) Which language will be more beneficial for a career in law, or just will be more useful overall?

3) Which language takes longer to learn? (I will be quite busy with study so need to know which one requires more dedication.)

Thanks in advance!
1) It depends on your style of learning. German has a different word order and uses cases, which is often a struggle to begin with. French grammar is similar to English and word order is mostly similar. But it has a tonne of irregularities, so it's a lot more tedious than German.

2) French is often linked to law, and I know a lot of law vocabulary originates from French language, so it's lot more adaptable than German to law. But German tends to be better for business.

3) They should take the same time. FSI ranks learning German to be longer than French, but I disagree mostly. If you can tackle the grammar, then the rest flows at a nice pace. French however, with its obscure pronunciation and irregularities, can be time-consuming to learn after the 'honeymoon period' of learning.

In other words...

It's easier to string French sentences together, but it's harder to master.

It's harder to string German sentences together, but it's easier to master.

Both of them are not that difficult though, when you consider much more abstract languages like Icelandic, Japanese or Arabic.

I recommend you try both of them out, one week of German, and one week of French. Then see which one you preferred and which one interests you the most.

If you need any language help and learning tips, feel free to ask.
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MidnightDream
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#18
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#18
(Original post by Pokémontrainer)
Haha oh, I appreciate your input anyway, thanks- it was helpful.
You're welcome dear I hope you enjoy learning whichever one you choose :grin: and good luck with the law thing
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Pokémontrainer
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#19
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#19
(Original post by Iggy Azalea)
1) It depends on your style of learning. German has a different word order and uses cases, which is often a struggle to begin with. French grammar is similar to English and word order is mostly similar. But it has a tonne of irregularities, so it's a lot more tedious than German.

2) French is often linked to law, and I know a lot of law vocabulary originates from French language, so it's lot more adaptable than German to law. But German tends to be better for business.

3) They should take the same time. FSI ranks learning German to be longer than French, but I disagree mostly. If you can tackle the grammar, then the rest flows at a nice pace. French however, with its obscure pronunciation and irregularities, can be time-consuming to learn after the 'honeymoon period' of learning.

In other words...

It's easier to string French sentences together, but it's harder to master.

It's harder to string German sentences together, but it's easier to master.

Both of them are not that difficult though, when you consider much more abstract languages like Icelandic, Japanese or Arabic.

I recommend you try both of them out, one week of German, and one week of French. Then see which one you preferred and which one interests you the most.

If you need any language help and learning tips, feel free to ask.
Thank you, this was very helpful! I like your suggestion of doing one week of each, I think I may just try that. Can I ask you how you would go about learning any of them though? I can get Rosetta Stone but I have heard some rather bad reviews. I would also be able to get a tutor if needs must.
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Iggy Azalea
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#20
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#20
(Original post by Pokémontrainer)
Thank you, this was very helpful! I like your suggestion of doing one week of each, I think I may just try that. Can I ask you how you would go about learning any of them though? I can get Rosetta Stone but I have heard some rather bad reviews. I would also be able to get a tutor if needs must.
It's no problem.

I would not recommend you use Rosetta Stone for learning a language. I was given a copy of the German version and I was highly disappointed. It's essentially flashcards with no words and ambiguous pictures. It is not worth the money, which could probably buy you a trip or a years worth of language lessons at a college or tuition etc. Plus with Rosetta Stone, I never really learnt anything from using it over the course of a month.

The way you go about learning a language is unique to you. But what I recommend you do as a starting point is:

- Listen to the music, radio, TV, film (with Eng. subtitles is fine). You don't have to understand it, but you need to become accustomed to the sounds of the language and this will improve your accent before you even start talking.

- Buy a phrasebook with a CD, or some audio phrases. Lonely Planet or Berlitz are two good choices. Learn the basic phrases, such as greetings and numbers 1-50. Remember to speak aloud when learning words, mimicking the accent as best as you can.

- Use a flashcard application to learn your vocabulary. I strongly recommend Quizlet, Anki or the new Memorang. You simply create sets of words and play games, tests, spelling exercises to learn them. It's great if you don't have much time as it works on your PC and mobile phone. Every week or so, set yourself 20 words to learn, while casually reviewing your old vocab every now and then.

- Get a coursebook. I cannot help you with this, but the BBC, Dummies Guides and Teach Yourself are popular choices. But make sure you have a good search on Amazon or the bookshop before getting one. The book will basically act as a guide and reference point. Cover a lesson weekly and you'll progress bit by bit.

- If you are struggling with certain grammar or vocabulary, ask on a language forum. (Word reference is a good one)

- Skype is also effective if you don't want a tutor, since many people are willing to do a language exchange with English speakers for free.

You should find it will come together now and you will know what you will need to know now. I recommend you set yourself a qualification or test, whether it's a GCSE or A Level or CEFR style test (the European language levels). It will give you direction.

Some useful sites are:

Duolingo (brilliant language learning aid)
Wordreference (dictionary and forum)
BBC Languages (online course)
Memrise (Online language lessons + revision aid)
Fluent in 3 Months (Language learning blog with tips)
Quizlet (flashcard app)
French About.com
German.about.com
TuneIn Radio (for radio and music)

Hope that helps.
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