French or German – Which Language is Easier to Learn?

French or German – Which Language is Easier to Learn?

Learning a second language is highly valuable to any person because of the communication skills that are developed in the process. Being bilingual allows you to establish deep connections and cross-cultural friendships. 

What should be your go to foreign language? 

The French and German languages are both considered to be tier one languages for the native English speaker. 

What does that mean, exactly? 

Tier one languages are Western European languages and are the most similar to English. While French and German both fall into this category, it is suggested that French is the easier language to learn. This is mostly due to the complexity of German grammar. 

What Makes Learning French Easy?

The English languages pronunciation is not consistent.  Unless you are a native English speaker the rules will not come naturally to you and have proven to be difficult for non natives to learn. The silent letters and differences in feminine and masculine pronunciation may make French a difficult language to learn at first. There are several rules for French pronunciation that English speakers may have difficulties with. However, there is a big reason why those difficulties will be easy to overcome. 

French is a popular language that is spoken by nearly 76 million people around the world so chances are you are already at least somewhat familiar with it. You have at least heard soe French words. Just like in your native English language, when learning French you will already know and be prepared for issues pronouncing that gruff ‘r’ at first. You also know that many words end on silent letters, and you will  be aware of the fact that contractions are mandatory in the French language.

French, one of the major Romance languages, shares a large vocabulary with the English language. Throughout history of wars and conquests between France and England, pieces of the language parts were passed from one country to the other as the French-speaking government had a tremendous influence on the English language. It is estimated that nearly one-third of modern English has been influenced and passed down from the French language. 

Gender Pronouns

Native English speakers are used to gender pronouns that are directly associated with the biological sex of the noun while inanimate objects stay neutral. The whole concept can come off as pointless or confusing to English speakers. However, that does not change the fact that gender and gender pronouns are crucial to the French language. There are several rules that make this concept easy to comprehend. 

  1. Particular nouns relating to animals as males of the species are going to be masculine, like le taureau (bull). This rule holds true for females of a species, such as la jument (mare / female horse).

  2. There are generic terms, which can refer to either a male or female of a species. Le mouton for example, can be a sheep of either gender.
  1. Place names not ending in -e are masculine (Bordeaux). If they do end in -e, they’re feminine. (L’Irlande)
  1. Its relatively easy to guess the gender of a word, depending on the ending. Words ending in –ment, -er, -eau and –ou tend to be masculine, while words ending in, -tion, -sion, -son and -ée are feminine.

French is not a difficult language to learn so long as you can you can keep these gender rules and slight differences in mind. Be persistent and make learning a daily habit. With time the rules of pronunciation, silent letter and gender pronouns will come natur

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