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Old Yesterday, 01:03 PM
 
164 posts, read 128,157 times
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German is part of the "West Germanic Languages" family along with Dutch, English, etc.

So I would imagine German is more similar to English than Nordic/Scandinavian languages (which are "North Germanic languages")

Taking this into account, I wonder why Scandinavians/Nordics speak English better than Germans/Austrians/Swiss (or at least that's my impression, I could be wrong)

-Is it because Nordics have more intensive programs to learn English while very young at kindergarten?

-Is it because "Nordic" languages are so "tiny" population-wise and therefore they're "forced" to learn English in order to communicate with the rest of the world? Also, there are very few resources already written/spoken in Nordic languages compared to German materials.

-Is it because English movies/shows are subbed rather than dubbed like in Germany?

-Is it because "Nordic" languages are actually more similar to English than German despite being from another language family? (West vs North Germanic languages)

-Is it because "Nordics" don't feel their languages "threatened" by adopting a more active use of English in general than Germany?

I've always had this doubt, I hope someone knows the reason behind this. This doesn't actually apply only to Germany but also in other German-speaking countries like Austria and Switzerland. This can easily be confirmed here by sorting the list/column by "% of Total English Speakers"

I look forward to your answers.

P.S. On a similar note, native Finnish-speaking people might speak English even better than German-speaking people which is very surprising given the fact that the Finnish language isn't even a Germanic language at all.

P.S N2º I really hope I don't offend anyone with my question (I'm sorry if I do), it is only my impression (I could be wrong). Needless to say German-speaking people speak English far better than me. This question is just a curiosity of mine. Thank you very much for reading.

Last edited by adrianf91; Yesterday at 02:14 PM..
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Old Yesterday, 01:06 PM
 
1,191 posts, read 389,880 times
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A Dane once asked me if I were German,I said what gave you this idea?
He said you tend to swallow last words of a sentence?
Arent the Scandinavian language more sing-song,I mean more melodious than the German?
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Old Today, 07:13 AM
 
515 posts, read 368,047 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adrianf91 View Post

-Is it because English movies/shows are subbed rather than dubbed like in Germany?

-Is it because "Nordic" languages are actually more similar to English than German despite being from another language family? (West vs North Germanic languages)
I think these are the main reasons (and in that order).

English and Scandinavian share some fundamental characteristics such as word order (syntax), articles and grammatical genders. Germans have a weird obsession with grammatical genders and a tendency to put their verbs in the end of a sentence. This is confusing for English and Scandinavians.

So, a Scandinavian does not need to learn English grammar, he just need to build up a English vocabulary.
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Old Today, 08:38 AM
 
Location: SE UK
9,302 posts, read 7,921,620 times
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English is far more than a 'Germanic' language, it has a lot of French influence (French was the spoken language for a couple of centuries after the Norman invasion) and Nordic influence (the North East of the British isles was ruled by the Danish (see Danelaw)). This idea that Britain is some kind of pure Anglo Saxon breed is Victorian nonsense, Britain has a LOT of influence and heritage from across the European continent, which is strange when you look at how our European 'brothers' like to treat us now.
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Old Today, 09:17 AM
 
816 posts, read 502,738 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDentist View Post
I think these are the main reasons (and in that order).

English and Scandinavian share some fundamental characteristics such as word order (syntax), articles and grammatical genders. Germans have a weird obsession with grammatical genders and a tendency to put their verbs in the end of a sentence. This is confusing for English and Scandinavians.

So, a Scandinavian does not need to learn English grammar, he just need to build up a English vocabulary.
In latin languages for example a portuguese and spanish speaker can understand a lot of italian, 40% i guess someone well educated can uderstand and vice versa. Even french we cat a word here and there, we understand where words are separate, we need just listening to learn another latin language, school classes is not really necessary.

I mean just being exposed to other latin language in few months someone will start speak and understand fully, reading and writing is much easier because grammar are simmilar too.

Is it the same for english and the nordic germanic languages? Can they start learning and getting vocabulary just listening and reading?

The normal when someone starts learn a language not related your own mother tongue is having classes for some years, so someone will be able to understand much of the native speakers speak, so will start became fully fluenty when immersed minimum 6 months or 1 year at least in the new learned language.
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