What’s the Relationship Between German and English?

When deciding what language to learn it’s often based on what is most useful not how easy it is to learn. However, if you are an English speaker choosing German offers more advantages because of the English and German language relationship. There are some similarities between the two languages. This makes it easier to learn than Chinese languages and Japanese which aren’t written in the Latin alphabet.

German and English Languages Alike

The Following Points show in what way are the German and English Languages Alike and why are English and German Similar

● Why are English and German Similar and is English a Germanic language?

One of the main reasons for the English and German language relationship and their similarities is because English is a language which originated from West Germanic at least 2,000 years ago. This means German and English are both members of the family of Indo-European languages’ Germanic branch. This means today they still have some similarities. At least one-third of English’s non-technical lexicons come from a Germanic origin.

● The same Alphabet is used by both German and English

In what way are the German and English languages alike can be seen by the fact that they share the same alphabet. They both use 26 letters which make up the Latin alphabet. This makes it far easier for a German learner as they can begin to write immediately in the new language.

● Some German Words can be Found in English

What do German and English have in common can be seen over the years where some German words have become embedded in the English language so there is no need to learn them when taking on the challenge of learning German. One word is rucksack and another is angst. On the food and drink side there are several words heard in English which are actually German. These are bratwurst, pretzel and strudel and spritzer meaning apple, which is sometimes used when referring to alcohol. There are other words that one hears in English that come from German like kindergarten, delicatessen, dachshund, a dog breed, noodle and waltz.

● German uses some English Words

It’s not just English that uses German words but German also uses some English words. You will see amongst German text the following English words: image, designer, computer, laser, album, aerobics and skateboarding. That shows what German and English have in common. There are other words borrowed from English and they are outsourcing, lifestyle, in-house, download, lobbyist, terminal, brainstorming and wellness.

● Words that Sound Similar in German and English

When learning a language for the first time pronunciation is often a major stumbling block. However, because of the English and German language relationship both share similar words which may be spelt differently but sound almost the same when spoken. The word for house in German is haus, for university, it’s ‘Universität’ and for ‘camera’ it’s ‘Kamera’, for water it’s Wasser.

● Some Grammar Rules are Shared

It’s a plus when languages have similar grammar rules as do English and German. A good example is when looking at the ways verb tenses change. Using the verb ‘to drink’, which in German is ‘trinken,’ in English, the word drink when the tense is changed is drink, drank or drunk. In German trinken changes to ‘trinkt’, ‘trank’ and ‘getrunken’

● German and share the same Numbering System

The shared numbering system is the Arabic numbering system which shows what German and English have in common. As with English, the numbers make up the sequences of the 0-9 digits. This can be seen when looking at the numbers between 10and 20.

In English, they are: ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty, while in German they are: zehn, elf, zwoelf, dreizehn, vierzehn, fünfzehn, sechzehn, siebzehn, achtzehn, neunzehn, zwanzig. The suffix in English used throughout is teen and in German it’s zehn.

● Both German and English are Highly Respected Global Languages

In what way are the German and English Languages alike can be illustrated by the fact that they both share a high status in the world so this may be considered to be a good reason to learn German. Also, it’s the most common language spoken in the EU. It has been given official status in a number of countries which are Belgium, Austria and Switzerland. It also has minority language status in countries spread far and wide across the world such as Namibia, Denmark, Brazil and Kazakhstan.

● Employment Prospects are Good for Bilingual German/English Speakers

German has gained status as an important business language and it is the second most used language in the science field. Surprisingly, 10% of all books published around the world appear in the German language. German must be one of the easiest languages for an English speaker to learn.

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