What is the closest language to English?
I was looking at a Norwegian site yesterday, partly because I was interested to see if Northern English landscape names (which I figured were probably Norse) bore any resemblance to modern Norwegian. To my surprise quite a number fit closely. In Cumbria, for example, mountains are fells, streams are becks, a waterfall is known as a force and valleys are dales etc. In Norwegian it seems that these are fjell, bekk, foss, and dal.
OK, this might not be standard English, but many other parts of the language are more familiar.
The months of the year:
januar, februar, mars, april, mai, juni, juli, august, september, oktober, november, desember
The days of the week:
mandag, tirsdag, onsdag, torsdag, fredag, lørdag, søndag
Or even numbers:
en, to, tre, fire, fem, seks etc
There seem to generally be a lot of words which are similar to English. I don't generally know a great deal about foreign languages, but I would be interested to know what other languages are close to English.
Well Rick, English is a mix of Germanic and Latin, Romanic languages. The Germanic and Romanic languages are also related to each other but on a very distance. You count english as a Germanic language because the basic words have often a Germanic background. For example the name for "often" in Swedish is "ofta" and "for" is "för" and "für" in German. You can also take some simple weather terms rain-regn snow-snö wind-vind thunder-dunder slushy-slaskig etc. The bodyparts words are also related to each other, for example lipp-läpp hand-hand arm-arm foot-fot knee-knä finger-finger nail-nagel knuckle-knoge hair-hår etc etc
Germanic languages: Dutch, Frisian, Afrikans, German, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Icelandic and some others
Romanic:Romanian, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French etc etc
I am from norway
and we use many english words like cookies etc ,
in the ninth and tenth centuries , invaders from came from scandinavia and occupied a large part of eastern england and many everyday words in modern English come from their language, old norse wich is related to Anglo saxon, and many place names end in -by , who is our word for village \ city. and words like Sky , leg , call , take , dirt etc is from scandinavia ;)
The closest language to English* is Frisian.However the closest language to Frisian is Dutch and the closest language to Dutch is German so... <sigh> it's quite complicated.
*(When you abandon the French vocabulary,and only look at the core.)
The closest language to English spoken by more than 2 million people is Dutch,even though in most cases Dutch is only superfaceially close to English.Eg:
The relatives of Eng. "Clear" are , Ger. "Klär" , Dutch "Klaar" If you had to choose you'd choose Dutch.However, Dutch "Klaar" doesn't mean "Clear",it means "Finished".But the German version does mean the same, "Alles klär?" = "Everything clear?".So even though Dutch looks more related,it isn't.
But let's compare Frisian with English:
And the numbers:
1 = ien
2 = twa
3 = trije
4 = fjouwer
5 = fiif
6 = seis
7 = sân
8 = acht
9 = njoggen
10 = tsien
Last thing,=>In Cumbria, for example, mountains are fells, streams are becks, a waterfall is known as a force and valleys are dales etc. In Norwegian it seems that these are fjell, bekk, foss, and dal.
I don't know the Frisian variant but I can give you the Dutch and German equivalents:
Mountain: (G) Berg (D)berg
Stream: (G)Bach (D)Beek
Waterfall: (G)Wasserfall (D) Waterval
Valley: (G)Dal (D)dal
=>I am from norway
and we use many english words like cookies etc <=
Hahaha,funny that you mention that because "cookies" derived from the Dutch word (koekjes).
We use many of the same words too many words in english with the ph sound we just change it with F like , telephone - telefon , phobia - fobi , philosophy - Filisofi
Sander are you sure that Valley is dal in German, I think the german name for it is "Tal"
But scandinavian is more like German than English if i consentrate when a german speak i can understand allitle of what he says like sander Sed Mountain = in German Berg we say Berg and Fjell and Waterfall in german Wasserfall we say fossefall
The only use I can think of in english of berg is in iceberg which I think may originally be from dutch. The word fell (fjell) is used in English to describe the sport of fell running- I've never heard anyone refer to mountain running.
Sorry...The Swede ;) You're right "Tal"!
=>We use many of the same words too many words in english with the ph sound we just change it with F like , telephone - telefon , phobia - fobi , philosophy - Filisofi <=
Hmm,those arren't English words,they are Latin and Greek words very common in languages around the world. ;)
The names of the days are in German virtually the sames as in English (and any other germ. languages, but that goes without saying).
Montag, Dienstag, Mittwoch (okay, this one is different. Mittwoch is the middle of the week; Mitt=middle, Woch=week), Donnerstag, Freitag, Samstag, Sonntag. Also the numbers are rather similar: eins, zwei, drei, vier, fünf, sechs, sieben, acht, neun, zehn, elf, zwölf... .
The german word for "dal" is "Tal" and in german it isn't "klär" but "klar"!
Well, Philosophy is not an english word either, it´s from greek, but anyway we have borrowed many English words too. An other Old Norse word is weak and weakling.
When you say klar in German then you mean Ready?
Out of interest, is a "th" sound used in any Scandinavian words because originally this sound only came into English from the Vikings e.g. Thursday from Thor's day. How would Norwegians or Swedes pronounce "Thor"?
i would prounounce it like "Tår" if i knew it was the week day Thursday but if i had tought that it was a name i would say "Tor" if pronounce Torsdag (Thursday) "tårsdag" in norvegian maybe like "tåshdag" sometimes