Which language should I learn?

Pawel Kowalczyk   Tuesday, August 10, 2004, 18:49 GMT

Scottish accent is indeed very nice. When I was in England, it was easier for me to understand my Scottish host than other people around (I was staying in Bournemouth). He somehow put more stress on words. I could understand every single word without difficulties. (After a bit of hanging around I could even understand a lady selling tickets at the bus station ;-). But all the same she was terrible - no intonation, bored tone of voice, etc.)


I would choose German. I have several friends who tried learning French. Most of them have given it up. Main problems were too complicated grammar and difficulties with understanding spoken language. Also, here in Poland, most people can easily pick up many German TV stations. And Germany is closer than France :-).
Dani   Wednesday, August 11, 2004, 07:33 GMT
Nic wrote:

"Italian is spoken for example in tirolian city called "Tarvizzio", am I right?
About the "Vallée d'Aoste", Mussolini tried to stop the use of french, i believed he made it, i am surprised to learn some aostian still use french. I have heard some piemontese speaking, it's very very close to french, saloparia saloperie, bordel bordel... very interesting. Are you italian? Have you read Primo Levi who was from Torino, very nice town. When you are french, especially from Lyon, Torino has a very bad reputation, when i came the 1st time in Torino, i found a very interesting town, typically north italian with strange mixes between french and italian culture. I liked Trieste, where some italian speak as 1st language Slovenian.

Guys, you forgot greek which is spoken (is it again?) in (i don't remember where but it's certainly not in Calabria") in a south place."

Hi Nic, yep I am Italian. As for Tarvisio that is an Italian village, near the border with Slovenia and Austria. French is definitely still spoken in Val d'Aosta, I have friends who learnt it since children as their second mother tongue.

In some villages of Salento (Puglia) and Calabria they still speak a Greek dialect (Griko), but it cannot be considered an official regional language like French and German (and Slovenian as well) in the above mentioned northern regions.
nic   Wednesday, August 11, 2004, 09:15 GMT
I know very well Italy, it's the most beautifull country in the world, all the cities have something to show, and i like the italian sense of humourism, their food.
North italian culture is very close to the french one but it's more interesting. I all the time thought France is a boring country and Italynot.

I know very well Trieste that's well i heard some italians speaking slovenian and where some people told in the sud Tirol some italians speak german, all the french know La vallée d'Aoste is francophone, but we believed it was less and less spoken since Mussolini.

The same with piemontais which was spoken on the 2 Alpes sides.

Italians are the people french love the most (with Spanish).
All the time i go to Italy, i find some new common points between italy and France, as said Curzio Malaparte, Italians and french are cousins.
Axel   Wednesday, August 11, 2004, 11:15 GMT
In fact we can say (even if it is a bit naïve) that the French from the South-West of France are cousins with the Italians, from the South-East with the Spanish, from the North-West with the German and from Brittany and co with the Brits (especially with the Welsh and the Scottish).
Anyway that has nothing to do with the topic!
About the language you should learn, I think you have to think about your future plans of course : where you want to work, what country you would to visit or which one sound more beautiful for example etc.
If you stay in Europe maybe you should learn German, as German is the main language in our continent and Germany is the main economic power (I guess that something like 100 million people speak German here -please tell me if I am wrong- while there are about 70 million French speakers in Europe)... On the other hand French is more spoken in the world than German and France has a strong economy too.
So it is up to you!
Axel   Wednesday, August 11, 2004, 11:18 GMT
Oups sorry... of course you guess I made a stupid mistake, I meant South-East with the Italians, South-West with the Spanish etc (am I that bad in geography huh??? Or am I still dreaming? Hope this is the second one!)
Sanja   Wednesday, August 11, 2004, 16:10 GMT
In my opinion, French sounds better, but German is more useful. I don't know which one is harder, because I don't speak either one. Why don't you learn both? LOL :)
Adam   Tuesday, August 17, 2004, 19:58 GMT
rike Friday, August 06, 2004, 18:40 GMT
Hi! I'm a Latvian girl. I learned english for three years now. I just decieded to learn another language. I thought about German or French. But what is the better one?
I found the folowing points in old topics and the internet:

German: + Most spoken language in Europe (offical language in Germany,
Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and
Italy) and widely spoken in Poland, Cz, Hungary and some
Balkan countrys as a forigin language.

+ Great and very old culture. Especially Music (Bach, Beethoven,
Haydn, Mozart etc...)

+ Big economy

- Most Germans are able to speak english nearly perfectly, so
you can also travel to Germayn without speaking the language.

French: +Very popular in the World (but only offical language in poor
African countries)

+ Also a great old culture

+ Many French people don't speak english, so you will need the
language, if you visit the country

But what I want to know: Which language is harder to learn?
I planned to master the language within three years.
German isn't the official language of Italy. Italian is. It also isn't the official language of Belgium. French and Dutch are. Germany might have a large economy but Britain (an English-speaking nation) will overtake Germany to become Europe's largest economy in about the year 2025, and the US (another English-speaking nation) is the world's largest economy.

French isn't just the official language in poor African countries. It is the official language of Canada, Belgium, France and maybe 1 or 2 other non-African countries.
cuypers   Tuesday, August 17, 2004, 23:09 GMT
German is one of the three officila languages in Belgium:


"Britain (an English-speaking nation) will overtake Germany to become Europe's largest economy in about the year 2025"

A stupid and absurd speculation from an EU and Euro hater, based on the GDP growing rates of the last 3 years. Nothing to do with serious economical researches, only propaganda used by EU haters.
Sure, France and Germany have some major problems but many reforms haves passsed the parlaments and the GDP of Germany and France will grow this year around 2% and around 2,5% in the next year.

Imagine: We are in 1987: I say to you:
-In a few years, Germany will be reunited and the Berlin wall will fall down.

-The Soviet Union will pass away

-Poland, Hungary and many other eastern European countries will join
the EU

-Islamic terrorists will atack the USA and destroy the WTC

and and and........

All political and economical specualtions, which have a timeline from over 5 years are totaley unrealistic! By the way: Your speculation is Bullshit.
Cuypers   Tuesday, August 17, 2004, 23:55 GMT
"German isn't the official language of Italy"

The official languages of Italy:
Italian (whole country), German (parts of Trentino-Alto Adige region are predominantly German speaking), French (small French-speaking minority in Valle d'Aosta region), Slovene (Slovene-speaking minority in the Trieste-Gorizia area)

I guess you are an englishman. May be this is the reason why you cannot imagine that a country has more than one official language, because you are all monolingual.

"...France and maybe 1 or 2 other non-African countries."
1or2: which are??

"...French and Dutch are"
In Belgium they call it Flemish and not Dutch!!! Ok, the languages are more or less the same, but the "Dutchmans" of Belgium are Flams.

And as a dutchman who visit Belgium several times each year, i can tell you that you will find a German version of Belgium laws in every Court and town hall in Belgium!

Both languages are very interesting and beautiful. And both are useful in Europe. And I can tell you German is extremely hard to learn(3 Genders, Case-System...). And both languages are splitted in informal and formal systems: Sie/Du - Vous/Tu. You will need at least 200% more time to master German or French, than to master English language(no Genders, no formal language system....).
Just learn one of the both. You cannot do something wrong.
Axel   Wednesday, August 18, 2004, 11:20 GMT
That is very funny!
Economists have great difficulties to predict what will be the economy in 6 months, and some people are able to predict now GB will be the main economic power in Europe in 2025 : where is Nostradamus?!