getting a badge for bragging about getting a badge… that’s a new one
Dutch is German without the crazy declensions - and with one handy consonant to clear your throat while you speak depending on which part of the country you live in
I’m currently trying to learn Dutch (yeah, non-professional way with a smartphone app ), and I think it is relatively easy for me, as a native German speaker. I think the grammar is actually pretty similar - good for me, I’m terrible at learning grammar - and lots of words have at least some resemblance. Still, it is a language of its own and not some “dialect” of German or such… one could as well say that German is a dialect of Dutch
The second language I’m currently learning is Icelandic - the most unchanged nordic language of all, as far as I know, and that’s really hard for me. Grammar is so different from what I know, and if you think Dutch has some funny-sounding consonants, there is a lot more of that in Icelandic
From what I’ve heard it’s far easier to go from German to Dutch, than the other way around. The main reason I’ve heard is that German has 4 cases, while Dutch just sometimes has genitive.
This makes learning Dutch grammar not very hard for a German speaker, but the other way around is rough (just as rough as learning German as an English speaker ). The extra cases are awful.
I definitely meant Germanic as far as origin (rather than implying it was a dialect), and it’s generally seen as so due to what I mentioned. Dutch originally had the same 4 cases as modern German, but they’ve disappeared over time, leaving Dutch as simplified compared to the shared ancestor of Dutch and modern German.
That was the way I understood you, don’t worry
It just happens frequently that people just say that Dutch is so similar to German that is has to be “just a dialect” of it (even in Germany -.- ), so I was more aiming at “those people”, not at you
Honestly, I wouldn’t understand my own language if I had to learn it… German is just terribly complicated, at least it looks like that for me.
A friend of mine is studying German, and we recently talked about how stupid some words here are - for example, the word for “to drive around sb.” is literally the same word than the word for “to drive over sb.”. It’s both “umfahren” - in the first case you stress the second syllable, in the other case you stress the first. But the meaning is exactly the opposite…
I first knew I was in trouble when my high school German teacher showed us this chart the first week of class:
That class was all downhill from there… (just kidding, I really loved learning German, I took 3 years of it, and it was a highlight of my high school experience). Ich liebe Deutchland .
Yeah, and that’s what I meant - I can speak German “instinctively”, because it was the first language I learned and because I am always surrounded by it, but if I had to learn it as a second language, I would totally fail
To be honest, people who have to learn German might end up with a better understanding of this grammar than native speakers…
Try Finnish case endings sometime German looks positively simple compared to that.
I learned it enough to get myself a passport and I still couldn’t tell you why i say the stuff I say how I say it. Guess cause I never took classes or learned the grammar but just parroted after other people and mumble through my word endings.
That’s totally legitimate!
And actually, I’m fine with the general article of “de”, considering lots of (especially younger) Germans already use it that way
Mind to show some examples? (yeah I know we’re totally derailing this again, but languages are such an interesting field! )
Well, I’m not saying it was Rosco…even though his was the first post in the split…
Actually, I was probably the instigator of that one, Just Roscos was the more natural split point
I studied German for a few years in college from a Bavarian instructor and later learned that he taught us some strange stuff LOL He was a crazy old man but it was fun.
Sure. Here’s a simple example sentence to translate into Finnish: “There is no sauna room in your German house”.
Base forms of the words:
To be: olla
Sauna: well… sauna
Now let’s combine things:
- Sauna room: saunahuone
- … in partitive case (because there is no room, the sentence is negative and equivalent to “there is not ANY” - so partitive): saunahuonetta
- in the house: talossa (-SSA/-SSÄ ending = inside)
- in your house: talossasi (-SI possessive ending: your. The possessive ending is appended to the -SSA/-SSÄ ending because the language is agglutinative)
- German: saksalainen (-LAINEN/-LÄINEN endind - type, kind, nature of something)
- in something German: saksalaisessa (-SSA/SSÄ ending applies to saksalainen also - agglutinative language. But the N of -LAINEN can’t stay because you can’t have -LAINENSSA / -LÄINENSSÄ, because there are 3 consonants, so it changes to -LAISESSA/-LÄISESSÄ)
- in your German house: saksalaisessa talossasi
- Is (to be, third person): on. But! Here it’s “is not”, so it’s “ei ole” and not “ei on” - litterally "[third person not] [base form of “to be”]: you conjugate the negation, not the verb when the sentence is negative in Finnish
- The “there is…” sentence construct doesn’t exist literally in Finnish. It is typically expressed by reversing the sentence: “In your German house is not any sauna room”
Putting it all together:
Saksalaisessa talossasi ei ole saunahuonetta.
Frighteningly logical and fiendishly clever language, only it’s a totally different kind of logic
Totally logical, but very complicated… I’m pretty impressed that such gigantic words can come off of such tiny little base words. I was always surprised about the length of finnish words (when I read them on food packaging or whatever), but it makes some sense that way.
Still, I’m happy that I currently have no plans to learn finnish. Even less now.
And yep, you’re right, I don’t have a sauna. Or a saunahuone. I mean, a saunahuonetta.
And Pilgrim, as usual - thanks for splitting
Agglutinative languages lend themselves easily to all kinds of strange world records. German is semi-agglutinative, but Finnish is almost completely. But that don’t mean squat, because it’s really a lot of words and endings stuck together.
But just for shits and giggles:
- Longuest Finnish word that has a meaning in real life: Lentokonesuihkuturbiinimoottoriapumekaanikkoaliupseerioppilas - that would be a “airplane jet turbine engine auxiliary mechanic non-commissioned officer student”
- Word with the most consecutive vowels: riiuuyöaie
You should: it’s a really interesting pastime and it makes you more clever. I’m not even kidding
Agree to this - learning languages most certainly makes you more clever, especially if they are as complicated-but-consequent like your example. And they force you to change old habits, to re-think your own language and all that. I really like that
But I do not plan on visiting Finland in the near future, so it is of more use for me to learn Dutch (for my annual festival visit there ) and Icelandic (where I might be going this autumn, hopefully) - and Icelandic is pretty agglutinative as well… their longest word is “Vaðlaheiðarvegavinnuverkfærageymsluskúrslyklakippuhringurinn”, which is “the key ring to the tool work shed in the road works of Vaðlaheiði”, a mountain road in North Iceland. Yep, I copy-pasted the word. And the description, since I’m too lazy to search the codes for all those wonderful characters
Damn, there goes my plan to lure you here with my clever Finnish sentence (which was actually pretty basic, incidentally)
Oh that’s okay then, you can still come here: I can give you a few Dutch lessons too.
It takes me less than two hours to drive to a place with lots of native speakers of the Dutch language - the Netherlands
So I think it might be a bit easier for me to go there than travelling to Finland to learn Dutch…
I appreciate your efforts