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German or French – what should you learn?

Deciding which language to learn next is always an exciting quest. If you’re stuck on the decision between German or French, you’ve come to the right place.

Although exciting, the decision on which language to learn can be hard and will determine a significant part of your future time, so it is important to take certain factors into consideration.

Here you will get an outline of 5 major points you should consider before deciding on one of the two languages!

Your purpose for learning

This might not come as a surprise – your purpose for learning a new language obviously plays a key role in which language you want to learn.

If you don’t have one yet, one of the first things you should do is identify your purpose. This will not only simplify your decision immensely, but it will also be the why that keeps you motivated on days when learning might seem tough.

If nothing comes to mind when thinking about a purpose, think of these scenarios: maybe you want to attend school or university in Germany.

Or maybe you are intrigued by the French cuisine and culture. Or maybe you want to be able to read German philosophers in their original language.

If you tend toward German, this article will give you a great overview of the reasons why learning German is worth the effort.

When deciding between the two, think about which language appeals to you the most.

Language technicalities

Both of these languages are relatively easy to learn for English speakers, especially when compared to harder languages such as Hindu.

English is a Germanic language and therefore shares its language family with German. This will make it easier, as the two languages share many sentence structures and vocabulary.

However, French is rich in words similar to English, as well.

If you already know another Romanic language that will give you a great advantage when learning French.

On the contrary, if you speak another Germanic language (like Dutch, Yiddish, or even further cousins like Swedish), German will feel a lot easier to learn.

German grammar is relatively tricky. The language has three genders, masculine, feminine, and neutral. French on the other hand has only two.

In German you also use declensions. What that essentially means, is that words will change slightly depending on the gender, number, and case they are in.

For comparison: German has six versions of the word “the”, and French only has two.

German tends to get easier the more you learn it, whereas French is said to become more and more complicated the deeper you get.

When it comes to pronunciation, German is definitely easier. Once you get a hang of how the different letters are pronounced, it will never change. French has quite a complicated pronunciation.

As you see, there are points for and against both languages when it comes to technicalities.

Whenever you learn a new language, there is gonna be work involved with it. Maybe you know other languages that will make the decision of which language to learn easier.

Culture

Culture is a big aspect when learning any new language. You will get a closer look into how people live in different countries.

When it comes to the question of whether to learn German or French, neither culture will disappoint.

With French, you will dive deep into the world of art, architecture, and food. Legends like Descartes, Proust, and Monet all come from France.

With German, you will get more into scientific theory, engineering, philosophy, and analytical thinking. Think of Einstein, Nietzsche, Diesel, and Kant, just to name a few.

“Usefulness”

This point is relative, as every language you learn will be useful, even if it just in the way it reshapes your brain and your connection to other languages.

When deciding on whether to learn German or French, however, this is a valid question. How are you planning to use the language?

Is one of the two more useful for your scholastic or professional career? Or do you want a language that will prove useful when traveling?

French is spoken all over the globe, from Belgium to Africa all the way to Canada and French Guiana. In Africa alone, French is spoken in 31 countries!

On the other hand, Germany has the biggest economy in all of Europe.

It is an important language for scientific writing and it is spoken by many people all throughout Europe, so it will help you when traveling, as well.

Your situation

Of course, you can choose whatever language you feel you are called to learn, but if you have certain circumstances that speak for one language more than the other, you should take that into consideration.

A big factor of that is having people who speak either German or French around you. This will help you immensely in learning the language.

For example, if you’re located in Lousiana you will have access to French speakers and French history, whereas in Philadelphia for example you have better access to German-speaking communities.

Or maybe you work for a company that is linked to one of the two languages and will have the chance to be transferred to a German or French-speaking country!

In the end, it all comes down to you and your goals!

Which language will it be?

As you see, the question of whether you should learn German or French cannot be answered easily. Neither can anybody else tell you what the smarter choice would be.

If it is any help, whichever language you end up choosing will be great and beneficial in your life.

But to really make a decision that will keep you motivated in the long run, you should take some time to consider all of these points in detail.

After all, learning a language will consume a significant part of your time and you want to feel like every minute of that is well spent!

German or French – the decision is ultimately yours. If you end up choosing German, check out the rest of our website for some amazing resources!

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