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Re: French

From:Ina van der Vegt <gijsstrider@...>
Date:Thursday, January 22, 2009, 2:12
2009/1/21 Adam Walker <carrajena@...>:
> --- Erbrice <erbrice@...> wrote: > >> >> Nederlands is de eerste taal ik leerde . Fonetisch >> is het fascinerend >> en zeer mooi. Helaas de Nederlander spreken veel >> talen erg goed. Zij >> hebben niet het geduld om mij te laten spreken lang. >> Maar ik lees >> heel vloeiend. Ik ben niet verbaasd dat de lijst >> kwamen van daar. >> (Deze tekst is vertaald automatisch ...) :) :) :) > > See, this is what always gets me. Frisian, Dutch and > Flemish are, historically, English's closest > relatives, yet I struggle to put together the basic > idea of a post like this. German is somewhat less > closely related, but not really any more > incomprehensible. The Skandinavian languages are > significantly less closely related, but rather more > inteligible? How can that be? And then we move on to > the Romance languages and even one spelled as > interestingly as French is far more comprehensible. I > have no problem picking up a novel in Galician (which > I have never studied) and following along well enough > to enjoy it. (I do admit Romanian is somewhat less > comprehensible than the other Romance languages, but > still comprable to Swedish or Norwegian, not nearly so > opaque as Dutch.) I even find Greek easier to muddle > through than Dutch. > > It probably boils down to the massive importation of > Latin/Romance and Greek vocabulary, but English still > has a vital core of Germanic vocabulary. So why is > this so topsy-turvy for me? Do others find the same > to be true?
I, as a native speaker of Dutch, and someone who's had no education in any Norse-Germanic language but has had five years of formal secondary education level education in High German, find it (on average) easier to read Danish texts than High German texts, and Swedish and Norwegian are slightly more difficult than High German but still reasonably comprehensible. When we go to spoken, however, High German becomes much more comprehensible while the Norse-Germanic language lose comprehensibility. Even so, the Norse-Germanic languages still sound more familiar, even when I don't understand them it sounds like I should. High German that's not understood is immediately categorized as foreign language stuff, not so with the Norse-Germanic parts I don't understand, where my mind spends much more time trying to figure out what it means, because it sounds like I should know.


Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets <>