Ihr seid Frauen und wir sind Mädchen.
It has only been a week of learning German, and I am immensely happy with the progress I’ve made with the language. If you’d asked me to translate the above sentence to/from German, I’d have totally given you a blank stare but now, I can translate the above statement to the following: “You are women and we are girls.” Pretty impressive, eh?
In this post, I thought I’d talk a bit about how I got interested in the German language and what I’ve achieved so far. I have always been keen to visit Germany, and knowing that it is almost next to impossible to get around without knowing the language (the situation may be different now) I primarily took a few German language classes in order to get a feel for the language.
Fun fact: German is also the most commonly spoken language in the European Union (EU).
While I was studying French in high school, the seemingly large overlap of vocabulary (or vocabulaire) with English, made me realize how both languages must be related. To give an indication of the lexical similarities between the two languages, a few words are horrible, important, and intelligent. Did you know recapitulation is the expanded form of ‘recap’? Or that all of the English words that start with the letter ‘v’ are of French origin i.e. valise? Learning the French language has helped my discover and expand my English vocabulary.
It was only later that I learnt that while French and English belong to the Indo-European language family, French is a Romance language from the Italic subfamily while English is from the Germanic subfamily (refer to the chart below).
As you can see, the dashed line that connects French to English indicates the lexical similarities between the two languages. It is interesting to note that the French language has had some influence on English since it was once the official language in England from the Norman conquest in 1066 until the end of the 13th century. It was also during this time that there was a huge influx of French words into the English language, in all aspects of life including government, law, art, literature and food.
Below is a link to an inspirational video which will hopefully encourage you to start learning a new language:
P.S. The title translates to “Alone Together” in German. It is also the name of a book I highly recommend. 🙂