Snufkin
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:france::fuhrer::france::fuhrer:

I'm thinking about signing up for an Open University language course but I can't decide which language to take. Posting this here because I'd like as wide a variety of replies as possible. Any advice?

There are four modules for each language: beginners (A2), lower intermediate (B1), upper intermediate (B2) and advanced (C1). If I choose German then I'd start with beginners, if I choose French then I would skip ahead to lower intermediate.

Reasons for taking French:
  • I have a (little) head start. I self-studied a French IGCSE some years ago, although I've forgotten a lot.
  • My grandparents live in France, when I visit I can get some useful speaking practice (which is gold dust when you're learning a language remotely).
  • It seems easier than German.

Reasons for taking German:
  • I'm interested in Germany/German history.
  • I'd prefer to live in Germany than France.
  • I like WW2/Cold War/Eastern Bloc films.
  • It will be useful for learning Norwegian.

Reasons not to take French:
  • France/French is kind of boring. Nice for holidays, but that's all.

Reasons not to take German:
  • It looks extremely hard, and I'm not naturally good at languages.
  • I've never been to Germany and I don't know anyone living there.
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barnetlad
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The grandparents would swing it for me. French. You could trace their ancestry as well (I have done with my French family and have found out a lot).
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s4b3rt00th
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German women are hotter. (Yes, that is a factor.)
German sounds sexier (in my opinion).
German is far easier than French to learn. I have tried learning both at the same time and it definitely is.
German has more speakers.
German is spoken in more countries.
German grammar makes sense, whereas French doesn't.
German pronunciation is easier than French.
German is more closer to English (I think).
German has more loan words.
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nox1
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German really isn't that difficult, I personally found it easier than French, but your reasons for taking French are a lot better. It looks like French will have more use for you in the future.
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Snufkin
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(Original post by barnetlad)
The grandparents would swing it for me. French. You could trace their ancestry as well (I have done with my French family and have found out a lot).
Ah, well they're actually British - they just moved to France 20 years ago.
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Boss_Rhythm
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Since I know both I'd have to say that french is easier to pick up than German in terms of getting to the advanced stuff...

BUT German is pretty straightforward when it's the basics since you just need to learn set phrases and set rules for different words. Also, French rap is s*** compared to German rap :cool:
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JordLndr
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Spanish
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UWS
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You could always do both, like I did at GCSE.
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artful_lounger
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Of the languages I learned in school, German was by far the easiest, and "nicest" to learn. The basic grammar is very logical and intuitive, pronunciation is a breeze, and there are tons of cognates with English. If you're interested in linguistics German might be more interesting I suppose, from a historical point of view as well.

Having conversational partners can be helpful, which is a point in the favour of French. Also English language skills among Germans tend to be pretty good, whereas the French are notoriously terrible - even expatriates living in the UK tend to have pretty patchy English in my experience. So German is less "useful", in that sense.
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Snufkin
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(Original post by UWS)
You could always do both, like I did at GCSE.
Way too expensive (we're talking nearly £3k per module)! :emo:

(Original post by artful_lounger)
Of the languages I learned in school, German was by far the easiest, and "nicest" to learn. The basic grammar is very logical and intuitive, pronunciation is a breeze, and there are tons of cognates with English. If you're interested in linguistics German might be more interesting I suppose, from a historical point of view as well.
Really? I mean French grammar is no walk in the park, but I've heard all sorts of scary things about German cases.
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by Snufkin)
Way too expensive (we're talking nearly £3k per module)! :emo:



Really? I mean French grammar is no walk in the park, but I've heard all sorts of scary things about German cases.
The very basic stuff is all very logical, and I found the cases very intuitive personally. I'm not a grammarian though, and I stopped after IB ab Initio German (although regretfully, as the period where I could study random languages had sort of ended by the finish of 6th form ).

Some of the more advanced grammar is likely to be more complex but the same is true of any language when you are trying to reach near-native proficiency levels. How you qualify "complex" would vary between individuals and languages I imagine though xD

A friend of mine who is studying German found contemporary German rap a good source for familiarizing with contemporary culture and picking up unusual grammatical forms, which while correct may not come up in every day speech.
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Snufkin
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
The very basic stuff is all very logical, and I found the cases very intuitive personally. I'm not a grammarian though, and I stopped after IB ab Initio German (although regretfully, as the period where I could study random languages had sort of ended by the finish of 6th form ).

Some of the more advanced grammar is likely to be more complex but the same is true of any language when you are trying to reach near-native proficiency levels. How you qualify "complex" would vary between individuals and languages I imagine though xD

A friend of mine who is studying German found contemporary German rap a good source for familiarizing with contemporary culture and picking up unusual grammatical forms, which while correct may not come up in every day speech.
Hmm, interesting. Grammar horror stories aside, my major concern with German is not getting much speaking/listening practice. Essentially I'm wondering whether I should take a language I don't particularly love just because I will have the opportunity to practice speaking.

CheeseIsVeg Paracosm Reality Check - I assume you are all in team French, but I don't know any Germanists on TSR. What do you think?
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by Snufkin)
Hmm, interesting. Grammar horror stories aside, my major concern with German is not getting much speaking/listening practice. Essentially I'm wondering whether I should take a language I don't particularly love just because I will have the opportunity to practice speaking.

CheeseIsVeg Paracosm Reality Check - I assume you are all in team French, but I don't know any Germanists on TSR. What do you think?
There are some "matching" schemes online where speakers of various languages sign up and correct each other's written work - and this may lead to e.g. Skype/Discord/etc contacts you can practice speaking with. There was one I used way back in IB but I can't remember the life of it for me - I just used it for writing though.

It you are more interested in German then that's much more likely to sustain you in the process of studying it
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Dg9057
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Definitely do German the grammar rules make a lot of sense and it is a very literal language.
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cheesecakelove
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When I had to pick a language for GCSE, I picked French because I liked the language more.

If you prefer German culture and may want to live in Germany, why not go for it and learn German. You think it might be harder but that is what the course is for, to help you learn! Most of my friends picked German over French because the grammar was easier.

What makes you want to learn Norwegian?
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Miss.Unknow
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Do both and the see which one suits you better?
i prefer French tbh
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eden3
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German
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Snufkin
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(Original post by cheesecakelove)
What makes you want to learn Norwegian?
Oooh, just a long running obsession. Norway is my spiritual home, even though I've not actually been there... :shh:
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Dysf(x)al
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I found German pretty easy. The grammar and word-order rules are mostly quite logical once you get the hang of it.
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PlainDoll
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I'd say German. Its surprisingly similar to English as we are a Germanic country and our language is Germanic.
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