jetblue777
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Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:10 am

I'm already multi-lingual and I want to learn more language(s)

I narrowed it down to Spanish and German. I heard German is the easiest language to learn if you are a native English speaker but then I'm also fluent in Filipino which is sorta-Spanish like with a lot words derived from Spanish and I have a good Spanish accent when I talk. What language is more useful in real life? When I apply for jobs? I live in New York which Spanish is basically the secondary language, so Spanish or German?

I also thought of learning French but I cant even pronounce Bonjour right! 
It's a cultural thing.
 
tb727
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:18 am

German. I took 1 year of Spanish in HS then 2 of German. I should have taken 3 years of German but my German grandparents said I wouldn't learn anything, one of the only times they steered me wrong lol I really enjoyed learning it and need to brush up on it some, maybe take more classes on it.

I also heard that German is one of the major business languages on the world, whatever that may mean, but a lot of companies do business there.
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NoUFO
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:20 am

Spanish.
It's easier to learn and more useful in any case.

German only if you (want to) study history and are interested in our, well: troubled history and want to read the original historic documents.

Edit:

Quoting tb727 (Reply 1):
I also heard that German is one of the major business languages on the world, whatever that may mean, but a lot of companies do business there.

Even if: Changes are that they speak English.

[Edited 2011-01-10 19:22:12]
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LAXintl
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:21 am

Spanish amigo.

Not much use for German in the US, and even in Germany many are very conversant in English.

Spanish as you said is the secondary language of the US, and will only continue to grow in importance.
Having Spanish under your belt can make you more attractive to employers and also might help in your personal life. (speaking Spanish here in LA can be very helpful in all types of situations, so I'd guess its about the same in NYC).
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Longhornmaniac
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:27 am

Chock up another vote for Español.

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Fly2HMO
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:30 am

Spanish by far, as much as I am interested in learning German. I am 100% bilingual English/Spanish and it is definitely very useful. Just think about it, pretty much everywhere important south of the US border has Spanish as an official language, Brazil being the major exception. Also, though this will only come once you reach advanced fluency, if you understand Spanish you can easily understand Portuguese and Italian, and to a lesser extent, French. I've come across Italians and Brazilians many times and I have a much much easier and enjoyable time communicating with them in Spanish than if I would in English.
 
stratosphere
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:38 am

Spanish will help you more in this country now than German ever would. I took German for 4 years in HS and wish I had taken Spanish instead.
 
jetblue777
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:56 am

Thanks for all your replies!

I'll take Spanish then. I have to take three years Spanish in my high school and I already took two years of Spanish in Junior High, so might as well continue it. I'm thinking of getting Rosetta Stone, is it worth it? It's pretty expensive! $299 for one edition and $699 for the whole set, IIRC.
It's a cultural thing.
 
Aeroflot001
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:04 am

Quoting jetblue777 (Reply 7):
I'm thinking of getting Rosetta Stone, is it worth it? It's pretty expensive! $299 for one edition and $699 for the whole set, IIRC.

Spanish is very useful in the United States more so than German especially in places like SoCal, MIA and NYC. Even though I was born here I speak th 2nd official Language of the US   very fluently and when I travel to Argentina people who dont know me are amazed at how naturally and well I speak the language. This is coming from someone who is currently studying German.

I also recommend Spanish because it shows a lot of effort and Spanish speaking people will appreciate it. In many LatAm countries I have heard people speak of Americans Negatively because they say that Americans dont try to learn anything about the culture before travelling to the country while they are working their butts off learning English. I certainly hope that this is a stereotype that can be changed.

Any questions let me know, I speak Argentine and Puerto Rican Spanish however Im stronger on my Argentine side

Saludos!
 
fridgmus
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:50 am

Quoting Aeroflot001 (Reply 8):
Any questions let me know, I speak Argentine and Puerto Rican Spanish however I'm stronger on my Argentine side

Is there a big difference in both of those dialects?

Thanks,

F
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Mortyman
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:03 am

Spanish

Spanish is a world language. A language that is usefull in far more countries than German.
 
LAXintl
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:47 am

Quoting fridgmus (Reply 9):
Is there a big difference in both of those dialects?

Spanish dialects can be quite different, and often humorous. Pronunciation varies, and entire words or even meanings of the same words can differ between regions or countries.
Travel between countries or even regionally in larger nations and one should be able to pick up differences quite clearly. I believe even a non-Spanish speaker should be able to sense the differences in sound between many dialects.

Sometimes I actually go a bit crazy here in LA listening to what to me is often quite grammatically poor versions of Spanish used in Mexico or Central American with sometimes bizarre vocabulary including local Spanglish.

For the specific Argentinian vs Puerto Rican Spanish, my experience is Argentinian Spanish is closer to Castilian (central Spain) with maybe a twinge of Italian inclination, a higher quality Spanish, while Puerto Rican is very different with a casual yet bit brutish with definite Spanglish mixed in.

p.s.-hope I dont offend anyone. Was a little hard to come up with the words to best describe the feel of the languages to me.

[Edited 2011-01-10 22:49:16]
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Geezer
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:49 am

I'm gonna take a crack at this one even before I read what everyone else advises !

Say you live in NYC, eh ? I think you just answered your own question; I'm sure there are a fair number of German speaking folks in NYC, but I don't think you need me too tell you that there a LOT of Spanish speakers ! So, being fluent, (or even "conversational) in Spanish is going to do you a lot more good.

And as for German being "easy" for English speakers to learn ? Someone wuz LYING to you ! Nothing easy about it !
( Unless you're a German...) ( I'll probably hear from a few after that ! )

Seriously..........if I were to make a concerted effort to learn another language, I'd study Italian. ( Even though Spanish would be 10 times more useful to me. ) I have a whole lot of friends in south Texas who are Americans by birth, but are Mexican by origin. Even though they all speak better English than I do, I would still love to be able to "chit-chat" with some of them in Spanish when we go to visit. I know a few words, but my mouth just won't cooperate ! Sure don't want to "murder" their language, just trying to "impress" !

What ever language you want to take up, the quickest, surest way, is to get "Rosetta Stone"; IT WORKS ! Isn't free, but it isn't all that expensive either.

As for Italian, that would be a great choice for living in NYC. But for me.........I just love the language; I love Italian names, but most of all, I love Opera ! ( at least Italian operas ) Especially if they were written by Verdi ; ( and all of Verdi's operas are written in.........what else.......Italian ! ) ! But that's just me...........you probably like Rock and Roll !
( so do I, to a limited extent )

Whatever you decide, good luck ! It's a great idea; being multi-lingual is a huge advantage for a lot of reasons, and living in NYC, it has the practical aspect also.

BTW...........keep us posted on how you are progressing.

Charley
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DocLightning
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:01 am

Let me throw a few facts at you:

1) The vast majority of German-speakers in the world speak English (IIRC, 1/2 of school in Germany is taught in English after 5th grade)
2) The vast majority of Spanish-speakers do not.
3) German is spoken in Germany and Austria.
4) Spanish is spoken on most of the South American continent and Spain, not to mention Equatorial Guinea. Not to mention anywhere north of 96 st. Not to mention all over the U.S. You DO want to be able to order from those really good taco trucks where they don't speak English, right? You DO want to be able to communicate with the maid at your hotel, right? She doesn't speak German.
5) German is *NOT* easy for English-speakers to learn. The grammar is hideous, they have run-on WORDS, and German is unpronounceable for humans.  
6) If you speak Tagalog, you can already count in Spanish.

Now, if you're gonna do business or live in Germany or study German literature then by all means learn German. But as a Spanish speaker, I use that language almost every day. I can count on one hand the number of times in my life I've wished I knew German.
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AirPacific747
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:24 am

I would prefer German as it is easier to pronnounce for me, and being Denmark's biggest export market, this makes sense. I already had it in school for about 4 years, but forgetting quickly because I'm not using it so much. I do however usually understand the context in a German text.

I would like to learn Spanish too though.
 
racko
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:01 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 13):
3) German is spoken in Germany and Austria.

I agree that Swiss German can't be classified as German at all.   
 
hka098
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:13 pm

I think it depends where you are. If you are going to spend some time in Germany, then that is the obvious choice. I took Spanish and it has helped greatly in the U.S. and overseas.
 
signol
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:35 pm

Another vote for Spanish. On the world scene, far more people speak it.

http://www2.ignatius.edu/faculty/turner/languages.htm

I'd point out specifically this table:

1. Mandarin Chinese (1.12 billion)
2. English (480 million)
3. Spanish (320 million)
4. Russian (285 million)
5. French (265 million)
6. Hindi/Urdu (250 million)
7. Arabic (221 million)
8. Portuguese (188 million)
9. Bengali (185 million)
10. Japanese (133 million)
11. German (109 million)

as total number of speakers, as first or second language. Given that most Mandarin speakers are in China (not one of EK's most prominent destinations!) and you already speak English, then Spanish would seem to be the next most useful, worldwide.

signol
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AustrianZRH
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:52 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 13):
The grammar is hideous, they have run-on WORDS, and German is unpronounceable for humans.

Maybe I'll have to take you off my RU list after all . What is the problem with Donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitänskajüte?  

But for the OP, I'd go for Spanish as well. You'll have no problems in Germany, Austria or Switzerland with English while in Spain or Latin America there will be some. German is - contrary to what you've heard - rather difficult to learn and your benefits are lower as in learning Spanish.
WARNING! The post above should be taken with a grain of salt! Furthermore, it may be slightly biased towards A.
 
racko
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:52 pm

Quoting signol (Reply 17):
11. German (109 million)

as total number of speakers, as first or second language.

That can't be correct, the number of native speakers alone has got to be around 100 million. This would mean that next to nobody speaks German as a secondary language, and that's not case in my experiences, especially not in Europe.
 
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Scooter01
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:57 pm

Quoting racko (Reply 15):
I agree that Swiss German can't be classified as German at all.

I can support that statement...

In the days of Microfiche readers, the BMW Canada Parts Departement used films that were produced in Switzerland, and a rear sidewindow (seitenscheibe) became a "sidewasher"

Scooter01   

[Edited 2011-01-11 06:15:36]
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Aeroflot001
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:57 pm

Quoting fridgmus (Reply 9):
Is there a big difference in both of those dialects?

Thanks,

F
Quoting LAXintl (Reply 11):
For the specific Argentinian vs Puerto Rican Spanish, my experience is Argentinian Spanish is closer to Castilian (central Spain) with maybe a twinge of Italian inclination, a higher quality Spanish, while Puerto Rican is very different with a casual yet bit brutish with definite Spanglish mixed in.

Yes, the differences are a world apart! The 2 accents/dialects are possibly the biggest contrasts in the language, many Spanish speakers I have spoken to often recognize my accent and they tell me that to them Argentine Spanish is in a class all in its own and that it sounds like we are speaking Spanish with an Italian accent. Puerto Rican Spanish and Caribbean Spanish in General (Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba) is very different it seems almost kind of slang l, I dont know how to describe it, the best way to do it is to listen to it.

Here in MIA Spanish is mixed so I have a more neutral accent with a strong Argentine touch, I can force my Argentine accent out however If I try to force my PR accent out I sound like Im trying to imitate the Cubans . However whenever I go to PR after 4 days it just naturally comes out.

Now Spanish from Spain is really in a class all its own but I rarely hear it.

I hope all of this helps! Any questions feel free to ask!

Quoting AustrianZRH (Reply 18):
But for the OP, I'd go for Spanish as well. You'll have no problems in Germany, Austria or Switzerland with English while in Spain or Latin America there will be some. German is - contrary to what you've heard - rather difficult to learn and your benefits are lower as in learning Spanish.

Absolutely agree with you! Your lucky that your a Native Speaker because Im taking it this year in School with a teacher that Just Started learning the language to boot (she spent a month in Munchen this summer to freshen up) Im gonna have to call it quits next year because me and the language just dont mix, I would do much better learning it by being in Deutschland or Osterreich but then everyone would want to practice their English with me and I would get nothing done 

I have to say that I really appreciate the effort that you guys make to learn English and English speakers should not take it for granted. The problem with many Americans is that they seem very closed off to learning Spanish or any language because they are only proudly speaking English and wont budge to learn something else, however I am starting to see a change which is great!

Aeroflot001
 
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falstaff
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:08 pm

I took Spanish in high school and what a waste of time that was. I have never lived anywhere that had a lot of Spanish speakers near where I lived. Metro Detroit has Spanish speakers, but they are in parts of town I don't visit.

I was told back in my high school days that I should learn Spanish. I should have learned German. I have had the oppertunity to speak German far more times in my life than I ever have Spanish.

Quoting AustrianZRH (Reply 18):
You'll have no problems in Germany, Austria or Switzerland with English

I would disagree. The parts of Germany I have been in (eastern) don't seem to have a lot of English speakers. The young people may be different, but I usually am around people that are over 40 .

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 13):
You DO want to be able to communicate with the maid at your hotel, right?

I usually never see the maid... I have been to a lot of hotels recently that have maids from eastern European countries.

Quoting jetblue777 (Reply 7):
I'm thinking of getting Rosetta Stone, is it worth it?

I have the same question.... Anyone here use it?
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cybergus
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:39 pm

Mi voto va para el Español!!!


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racko
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:39 pm

Quoting falstaff (Reply 22):
I would disagree. The parts of Germany I have been in (eastern) don't seem to have a lot of English speakers. The young people may be different, but I usually am around people that are over 40 .

You'll get by with Russian there.  
 
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falstaff
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:43 pm

Quoting racko (Reply 24):
You'll get by with Russian there

Yes.... The friend that I stay with there doesn't speak English, but he is fairly good with Russian. He learned it when he was in school.
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DucatiRacer
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:14 pm

I have a Bachelor's Degree in German language and literature, and I would still advise you to learn Spanish. While German was fun as a major in college (it made the whole study abroad thing an easy sell with my parents), Spanish is much more useful in the US these days. Also, in my experience travelling in Germany, most folks will be able to tell you are not a native speaker and even if you start a conversation in German, they often respond in English. My parents did live in Geneva for years, and I found the folks in the German speaking areas of the country would happily carry on a conversation with you in German, however.

Finally, I second the comments above about German not being particularly "easy" to learn. For me, Spanish was easier.
 
sw733
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:23 pm

My vote is for German, but I am biased as a fluent German speaker. I also much, much prefer German culture to Spanish culture, meaning I am more likely on any given trip to go to a German speaking country than a Spanish speaking country.

It helps, too, that my company works much, much more frequently in and with German speaking nations than Spanish speaking nations. We rarely work in Spain, Mexico or the like...but we are ALWAYS working in Germany and Switzerland. Yes, that's one case, but it proves that just because Spanish is spoken more around the world does not mean you will always use it more.
 
NoUFO
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:47 pm

Quoting Geezer (Reply 12):
Nothing easy about it ! ( Unless you're a German...)
Quoting DocLightning (Reply 13):
German is unpronounceable for humans

I'll take that as a compliment.  
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ajd1992
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:26 pm

Quoting Geezer (Reply 12):
And as for German being "easy" for English speakers to learn ? Someone wuz LYING to you ! Nothing easy about it !
( Unless you're a German...) ( I'll probably hear from a few after that ! )

Maybe it was difficult because you can't spell "was".   (I joke, I joke)

German is a Germanic Language, English is a Germanic language. They are very similar. Saying that, as an American, Spanish would be far more useful. Most Germans speak English, and unless you are fluent they would rather you speak English anyway, instead of speaking broken German.
 
Venus6971
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:49 pm

I was taught by my grandparents to speak a Wisconsin dialect German and when I try to speak German to a German he says can we just speak english. My Aunt was a German translator of POW's and when Wehrmacht officers were interviewed she told me she wasn't very good because she could not understand the high German Berlin accent. I here the same thing happens to French Canadians in Paris. Plus I'm getting fluent in OKlahoma City Spanish, not quite there yet.
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EA CO AS
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:59 pm

Quoting jetblue777 (Reply 7):
I'm thinking of getting Rosetta Stone, is it worth it? It's pretty expensive! $299 for one edition and $699 for the whole set, IIRC.

Rosetta Stone is only helpful if you have absolutely no experience with the language whatsoever - those who have taken the language in school, even for one semester, will find Rosetta Stone tedious and lose interest quickly.
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:26 pm

Are you learning for pleasure or to better chances in the business world? Your OP wasn't super clear. If it's to put on a resume to help earn employment I'd tell you neither. I'd try Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Arabic, or French. Spanish might be beneficial socially, but it's not widely regarded as an international trade language. I speak it and globe travel and the most I use it is to communicate when we are ordering dinner. Russian is a good one to know if you want to work for a contractor or government entity.   
 
einsteinboricua
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:41 pm

You already picked, but another vote for Spanish can't be bad.

Quoting fridgmus (Reply 9):
Quoting Aeroflot001 (Reply 8):
Any questions let me know, I speak Argentine and Puerto Rican Spanish however I'm stronger on my Argentine side

Is there a big difference in both of those dialects?

Thanks,

F

Consider it like Australian English and American English. Not only is there a difference in the way people speak, but also different meanings to the words. One phrase I'll never forget in Australian English: Lock the nipper in the dunny. Translation: lock the kid in the bathroom.

If you want a more Spanish oriented example, try the word "coger". In Puerto Rican Spanish, it means grab or take. In other countries (I believe Venezuela is one of them), it means rape.

I must admit, my native language is Spanish and I never liked Spanish classes. I like to communicate in English...to me, it comes easier and it's less complicated. But I'm proud to be able to speak two language fluently, without so much as a hint of where I'm from.
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signol
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:21 pm

Quoting ajd1992 (Reply 29):
English is a Germanic language

Actually, English is a hybrid Germanic / Romance language. Blame the Saxons who arrived first, then the Normans who spoke French  

From an ease of learning point of view, I'd say German is easier, as more words are the same in English, and the written form is very phonetic - just by looking at a word you have never seen before, you can say it accurately. I'm not so sure about Spanish, but English for sure is not the same!

signol
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captaink
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:43 pm

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 33):
If you want a more Spanish oriented example, try the word "coger". In Puerto Rican Spanish, it means grab or take. In other countries (I believe Venezuela is one of them), it means rape.

Well I dunno about Venezuela, but here in Mexico it means "to f**k", as in consensual sex. But you are correct, in Spain, and many other countries it means "to take." For "coger" they use the word "follar."
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iakobos
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:40 pm

Quoting signol (Reply 34):
the written form is very phonetic - just by looking at a word you have never seen before, you can say it accurately
Quoting AustrianZRH (Reply 18):
Donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitänskajüte?

The written form is über phonetic, isn't it ?

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 13):
1) The vast majority of German-speakers in the world speak English (IIRC, 1/2 of school in Germany is taught in English after 5th grade)

I lived in Germany in the 70's and at that time very few Germans understood English.
Things have changed thanks to the digital age and now possibly a majority of people under say 30 will understand English and a substantial number will speak but I doubt the majority of the population does.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 13):
2)3) German is spoken in Germany and Austria.

Add Luxemburg, Liechtenstein, part of Belgium, a good chunk of Switzerland, some spots in France and Italy, and my local very successful fleischer/metzgerei here in Greece.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 13):
5) German is *NOT* easy for English-speakers to learn. The grammar is hideous, they have run-on WORDS, and German is unpronounceable for humans

Nothing is impossible for the hardworking....


  
 
LH459
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:52 pm

By now you've already decided, but I wanted to reinforce your decision. I am a fully bilingual German and English speaker. Spanish was the language I learned by choice, and I use it constantly, in all kinds of situations. Though I do use German in my work, I still don't recommend it as a business language. You would have a difficult time reaching the same level of fluency which many Germans have in English, because contrary to what you've heard, German is a VERY difficult language to learn.
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Derico
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:21 am

I already can write, speak and work in English.
Ya puedo hablar, escribir y trabajar en Español.
Che sho besto el Argentino y lo laburo, arre.

Just go with the % when it comes to languages unless you have a real real desire for a particular one: number of speakers, quite frankly. And geographic relevancy. Number of speakers? Spanish wins. Relevancy in your geographic area? Spanish again. Once you do, go with German or French.

Since I have English, Spanish and now closing "fast" on German (fast means almost), I myself am torn whether Portuguese or French should be next.

Now when I mean I'm close to learning German, it means I am close to finishing my major grammar conventions and basic volabulary. I problably as of this moment know 1,000 words in German and can understand another 1,000. The difference is I can remember the 1,000 I know, while the other 1,000 I will understand their meaning when I read them but not recall them so easily. It's a matter of practice practice practice to get it to stick to your head. I am taking a VERY intense German course that take a lot of time and commitment and sacrifice. So in a matter of three months I have learned a year and a half worth of language. So for you in Spanish it will depend how much effort you put in it. Quite frankly I am in the camp of total immersion and extensive time consuming.

I think that when you see results in a short time, you get motivated and excited. Yes it is VERY TOUGH at first because you will feel like you are banging a wall, but one day it just sort of happens. That's how it was with me in this German experience. I can increasingly read German without using a diccionary, and I can now understand many words I don't know from context. I can also write German. Very complex sentences with multiple subordinates and infinitives are still a bit challenging but they become easier as I practice. If I had to wait almost 2 years under a normal course, I would have gotten either bored or discouraged. I really think there is no substitute to the ''if you need it you grow it'' theory. I spent 2 hours in a classroom, another 2 hours at home on my own, plus I just watch German tv. At first I didn't understand ANYTHING, I just simply listened to the language. Now, I can follow shows not word by word but I can get the main point and even pick up jokes or funny lines, which I couldn't till a month ago.

The hardest part of German quite honestly is not the cases which I really do find really cool and intersting, but the usage of some preopositions in verbs. To this day I just quite don't get why in one situation one would use ''zahlen'' to say I'm paying, and ''bezahlen'' (''drohen/bedrohen'' is another example, to threaten), in another when they seem to be totally interchangeable.

The hardest thing in Spanish is VERBS and tenses. Much harder than English, French, Italian or German. Because so many verbs are irregular, but also because Spanish still uses multiple a ton of tenses: whereas French, Italian, or German use the present perfect (Io ho fatto, J'ai vendu, ich habe getan, I have called).

Spanish still uses both the simple past and composite for conversation all the time, and in writing at times the historic past which is quite archaic. You have to learn both if not all three because one is a completed action in the past, the other is a completed action that still influences the present, the archaic past is a completed action related to another completed action (and the pluscuamperfect is for an unrelated action before another action).

Let's not even get into the Spanish subjunctive: Si HUBIERA sabido, no te habría llamado. Si no HUBIESE sabido, te habría llamado. One is a positive subjunctive, the other a negative, thus different verbs. Hahaha, thankfully most people ignore this obscure rule, but you still have to learn to recognize both forms.

The imperative is the same: Spanish has a positive and negative imperative: Id! (Go!) vs No vayaís! (Don't go!)

 
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Aeroflot001
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:45 am

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 33):
If you want a more Spanish oriented example, try the word "coger". In Puerto Rican Spanish, it means grab or take. In other countries (I believe Venezuela is one of them), it means rape.

Yes you are right about that 100% in Argentina it is rarely used to pick up something or to grab something instead it means to pick up and grab someone and get some...

One of the most common words in Argentina is Bicho for bug and in Puerto Rico it means d**k, I couldnt help but grin when someone outside an icecream shop yelled out "Se me esta subiendo el Bicho!" literally the bug is getting or climbing up me. Puerto Ricans would have had quite a laugh due to the very different take on that expression.

Quoting Derico (Reply 38):
I already can write, speak and work in English.
Ya puedo hablar, escribir y trabajar en Español.
Che sho besto el Argentino y lo laburo, arre.
Quoting Derico (Reply 38):
Let's not even get into the Spanish subjunctive: Si HUBIERA sabido, no te habría llamado. Si no HUBIESE sabido, te habría llamado. One is a positive subjunctive, the other a negative, thus different verbs. Hahaha, thankfully most people ignore this obscure rule, but you still have to learn to recognize both forms.

Che te mandaste tremenda Explicacion!

Very Interesting to read all of that Information and Im sure it was of great value to jetblue777

Quoting fxramper (Reply 32):
Russian is a good one to know if you want to work for a contractor or government entity.   

Exactly why Im learning it.
 
einsteinboricua
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:57 pm

Quoting Derico (Reply 38):
The hardest thing in Spanish is VERBS and tenses. Much harder than English, French, Italian or German. Because so many verbs are irregular, but also because Spanish still uses multiple a ton of tenses: whereas French, Italian, or German use the present perfect (Io ho fatto, J'ai vendu, ich habe getan, I have called).

Not to mention that Spanish words (French and I believe Italian too...don't know if Portuguese and Romanian, the other Romance languages) have genders. In English, everything is with "the". In Spanish, for instance, umbrella is feminine, so it's LA sombrilla (lah som-BREE-yah). Airplane is masculine, so it's EL avión. Another issue with Spanish is the accent in some words. Notice on "el avión" that the 'o' has an accent. This denotes the strength of the syllable. If read using English (speaking Spanish by reading English...), it would be said:

"L(like the letter L) ah-vee-OHN"...emphasis on OHN.

Quoting Aeroflot001 (Reply 39):
One of the most common words in Argentina is Bicho for bug and in Puerto Rico it means d**k, I couldnt help but grin when someone outside an icecream shop yelled out "Se me esta subiendo el Bicho!" literally the bug is getting or climbing up me. Puerto Ricans would have had quite a laugh due to the very different take on that expression.

Iba a escribir esa, pero pensé que era muy fuerte para el foro. Frankly, though it's still vulgar, it's quite common to hear people say it nowadays, just not in public.
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Quokka
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:31 pm

Quoting jetblue777 (Thread starter):
I also thought of learning French but I cant even pronounce Bonjour right!

Don't worry too much: neither can the French, as any Canadian can confirm.  

I guess the question is what you want to learn the language for. If it is to be able to communicate with the greatest number of people in the largest number of counties, go for Spanish. If it is to get a job, think about where you would like to be working and in what field. If it is to study history or literature, that may give you some hints.

Quoting racko (Reply 15):
I agree that Swiss German can't be classified as German at all.


Which reminds me of the old joke: "Das ist nicht deutsch, es ist eine Halsentzündung." Although to be fair, the joke was comparing Hochdeutsch to Bavarian.

Quoting racko (Reply 24):
You'll get by with Russian there


That is funny. Try speaking Russian in Poland and no-one, no-one speaks it even if they learnt it at school. Oddly enough, I tried my best (dreadful) Croatian in Dubrovnik and Split and they insisted on replying in German. Go figure.

Quoting LH459 (Reply 37):
German is a VERY difficult language to learn.


Hey, I learnt it from my mother and she isn't a school teacher!  But yes, German can be confusing to someone who is unfamiliar with it but so too can any of the so-called latin languages. But at least you have the advantage of not having to learn a new way of writing like Cyrillic or Arabic script.

Quoting signol (Reply 34):
Actually, English is a hybrid Germanic / Romance language. Blame the Saxons who arrived first, then the Normans who spoke French


You forgot the Romans who were there before both the Saxons and the Normans.
 
signol
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:07 pm

Quoting Quokka (Reply 41):
You forgot the Romans who were there before both the Saxons and the Normans.

True but I'm not sure they left much of a linguistic legacy.

Quoting iakobos (Reply 36):
Quoting signol (Reply 34):
the written form is very phonetic - just by looking at a word you have never seen before, you can say it accurately
Quoting AustrianZRH (Reply 18):
Donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitänskajüte?

The written form is über phonetic, isn't it ?

Yes - it may be a long word but it is said exactly how it is written.

signol
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Derico
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:21 pm

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 40):
Not to mention that Spanish words (French and I believe Italian too...don't know if Portuguese and Romanian, the other Romance languages) have genders. In English, everything is with "the". In Spanish, for instance, umbrella is feminine, so it's LA sombrilla (lah som-BREE-yah). Airplane is masculine, so it's EL avión. Another issue with Spanish is the accent in some words. Notice on "el avión" that the 'o' has an accent. This denotes the strength of the syllable. If read using English (speaking Spanish by reading English...), it would be said:

Yes, but that's a problem English speakers would have with most languages from Europe, all which have gender of some sort.

Spanish is very straightfoward however in that the noun 99% of the time tells you the gender by the ending, so once you catch the pattern it's good.

Italian is a llitle more difficult because it is a bit more ambigous but still pretty straight, however it has more definite articles depending on the noun being a certain vowel or consonant, that makes it a little harder. French is still a bit harder even because the pronounciation has pretty much eliminated the gender distinction, unless the noun starts with a vowel so that you can hear it's a plural because of the liasion.

German is irrational when it comes to nouns and plurals. There is a very vague pattern but it has so many exceptions that it's really useless. Only feminine nouns are predictable. I always was surprised that such a society with a reputation of being structured and logical, could have such totally disorderly plurals!

[Edited 2011-01-12 07:23:13]
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Lufthansa411
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:22 pm

I am not going to tell you to take one or the other, both have their place. However I will suggest you do some thinking about what generally you want to do with your life. I know you are young and may have no idea, but it pays to give it some thought:

If you are taking a language because you have to and don't plan on making it a focus in any way as part of your larger education, take Spanish. It will come in much more handy on the streets of NYC or the US compared to German. At least you could get a few basic words that you know to understand someone who is speaking the language even if you don't master the language.

If you plan to take a language and really learn to speak it and take it to fluency, then German is the best language to do that with. There is a high demand for German speakers, especially in the NYC area. The jobs that demand the skill pay a hefty premium for it- I am being paid a 33% percent bonus for being able to speak German. (and no, I would not consider the language native as I grew up with english and a bit of Plattdeutsch at home). The same thing does not happen with Spanish as the supply is much higher. Why would they choose you for a spanish-english job when there are hundred of thousands in the NYC area that speak both almost perfectly?

Just depends on where you want to go with it.
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AustrianZRH
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:33 pm

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 40):
Quoting Derico (Reply 38):
The hardest thing in Spanish is VERBS and tenses. Much harder than English, French, Italian or German. Because so many verbs are irregular, but also because Spanish still uses multiple a ton of tenses: whereas French, Italian, or German use the present perfect (Io ho fatto, J'ai vendu, ich habe getan, I have called).

Not to mention that Spanish words (French and I believe Italian too...don't know if Portuguese and Romanian, the other Romance languages) have genders. In English, everything is with "the".

So have German nouns - and we have three, not just two (masculine, feminine, and neutral).
der Mann - the man (m)
die Frau - the woman (f)
das Flugzeug - the airplane (n)
WARNING! The post above should be taken with a grain of salt! Furthermore, it may be slightly biased towards A.
 
signol
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:35 pm

Quoting AustrianZRH (Reply 45):
die Frau - the woman (f)
das Flugzeug - the airplane (n)

and another anomoly -
das Mädchen - girl (n)

  As compound words take the gender of the last segment, and the diminutive -chen is neuter...

signol
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Derico
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:42 pm

There is a Spanish neuter noun, but it's much more infrequent because it is only reserved for adjetival abstract nouns (nouns formed from adjectives about ideas or concepts). That's actually the same rule as in German.

Lo bueno, lo bonito, lo importante .... Das Gute, Das Schöne, Das Wichtige.
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Zkpilot
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:10 pm

Quoting signol (Reply 17):
2. English (480 million)
Quoting racko (Reply 19):
Quoting signol (Reply 17):
11. German (109 million)

as total number of speakers, as first or second language.

That can't be correct, the number of native speakers alone has got to be around 100 million. This would mean that next to nobody speaks German as a secondary language, and that's not case in my experiences, especially not in Europe.

Same with the English numbers.... Close to 300m speakers in the US, 25m in Canada, 22m in Australia, 4m in NZL, 60m in UK, 4m in Ireland, 10m in South Africa. Thats 425million. There are more than 55m people in the world who speak English as a 2nd language. Most people in Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Holland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland can speak it, That alone brings the numbers up to or over 480m then there are businessmen in particular all over the place who speak it. I would say people who are somewhat fluent in English to be more like 550m with another 300m able to converse in it to a lessor degree.
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Aesma
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RE: Spanish Or German: Which Language Should I Learn?

Sat Jan 15, 2011 1:07 am

When I was 11, to get in the better class at school, you chose German as first second language. So I did that. In fact I already had 2 years of German under me by that time. I continued till graduation, so that makes 9 years. I can't say more than maybe 20 words now, can't make a correct sentence. That's because of English. After the first year of English I was already better at it than I ever was in German, and it only got worse. French is quite a complicated language, and German is up there as well, whereas English is much simpler. I could never get around the overlong words, even if they were in fact made of smaller ones, my memory just didn't work the good way to learn them. I also studied ancient Greek and I found it easier to give you an idea.

Now I wish I had chosen English first and Spanish second language. I also wish my mother would have taught me Italian as she's Italian and we go there often, but I don't learn much as all the family there speaks a good French !

PS : I'm not saying anything bad about Germans or Germany, I enjoyed my trips there (well, I made an overdose on sausage !), and it was actually going there that I took my first flight, in an LH A300 !
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