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Old 04-17-2013, 01:43 PM
 
Location: San Diego, California Republic
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I mostly hear that English is closest to German linguistically. Sometimes I wonder about that. Looking at vocabulary at least, Dutch seems closer. Take words like street. In German it's "streiss" in Dutch it's straat. Or train which is trein in Dutch but banhoff in German. the word for "to". Nach in German but naar in dutch. I use this example because the English "to" has a related meaning to the word "near" which probably shares a common ancestor with "nach" and "naar". Then there are simple sentences; "Was ist das?" clearly sounds like a different language to English speakers where as "Wat is Dat?" sounds like English spoken with an accent.

I've also heard that Frisian is even more similar to English but I've virtually no knowledge of Frisian.
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Old 04-17-2013, 02:07 PM
 
Location: The Netherlands
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The relationship between West Germanic languages is shown in this diagram:



As you can see, Frisian (language spoken in the north of the Netherlands) is the closest to English, followed by Low German (aka as Low Saxon, dialect spoken in the border region between The Netherlands and Germany), followed by Dutch. I happen to come from the region where Low Saxon is spoken (my family speaks it, I understand it) but I never knew it was closer to English than Dutch was.

By the way, the German word for train is Zug (Bahnhof means "station"). Like English, Dutch has quite a few loanwords and influence of French - which is where I assume train/trein comes from. The word for "to" is "zu" in German and "te" in Dutch (as in: to have, to give, to take, etc.), that's how they're related.

Last edited by LindavG; 04-17-2013 at 02:20 PM..
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Old 04-17-2013, 02:11 PM
 
Location: San Diego, California Republic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LindavG View Post
The relationship between West Germanic languages is shown in this diagram:



As you can see, Frisian (language spoken in the north of the Netherlands) is the closest to English, followed by Low German (aka as Low Saxon, dialect spoken in the border region between The Netherlands and Germany), followed by Dutch. I happen to come from the region where Low Saxon is spoken (my family speaks it, I understand it) but I never knew it was closer to English than Dutch was.

By the way, the German word for train is Zug (Bahnhof means "station"). Like English, Dutch has quite a few loanwords and influence of French - which is where I assume train/trein comes from.
had that backwards again. It's ben so long since I studied these languages. yes now that you mention it, doesn't Dutch also use station which I think is a French word originally?
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Old 04-17-2013, 02:29 PM
 
Location: The Netherlands
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Originally Posted by Gentoo View Post
had that backwards again. It's ben so long since I studied these languages. yes now that you mention it, doesn't Dutch also use station which I think is a French word originally?
Yes, Dutch uses station (pronounced "stah-shon").
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:15 PM
 
Location: North West Northern Ireland.
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When you say frisan is close what do you mean? Could we understand it?
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Old 04-17-2013, 03:28 PM
 
Location: The Netherlands
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Originally Posted by owenc View Post
When you say frisan is close what do you mean? Could we understand it?
It is close in terms of roots but I don't know how much of it you would be able to understand today. It's quite easy to recognise the similarities in isolated words, though. From Wikipedia:

Quote:
A saying, "As milk is to cheese, are English and Fries," describes the observed similarity between Frisian and English. One rhyme that is sometimes used to demonstrate the palpable similarity between Frisian and English is "Rye bread, butter and green cheese is good English and good Fries," which sounds not tremendously different from "Brea, bûter en griene tsiis is goed Ingelsk en goed Frysk."
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:54 PM
 
Location: Somewhere flat in Mississippi
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I met some Dutch people in a public library I worked at a long time ago. We started talking about the language and one of the people, a woman, gave me an example of what I learned is a "false friend". She said the Dutch word "door" does not mean "door" in English but instead means "through". So what is the Dutch translation for "Open/close the door"?

False friend - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Notice the child is saying mean things to her mother!
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:57 PM
 
Location: The Netherlands
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mouldy Old Schmo View Post
I met some Dutch people in a public library I worked at a long time ago. We started talking about the language and one of the people, a woman, gave me an example of what I learned is a "false friend". She said the Dutch word "door" does not mean "door" in English but instead means "through". So what is the Dutch translation for "Open/close the door"?

False friend - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Notice the child is saying mean things to her mother!
Open the door = open de deur
Close the door = doe de deur dicht

Also, "false friend" in Dutch would be "valse vriend". Can you see why we get the v and f mixed up sometimes?

Speaking of "false friends", here's one mistake I ALWAYS make: using "lemon" for "lime". You see, the word "lime" in Dutch is "limoen" (while "lemon" is "citroen") so my instinctive reaction is to translate "limoen" as "lemon" because they sound so similar. I've made that mistake a million times

Last edited by LindavG; 04-17-2013 at 08:05 PM..
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:42 PM
 
Location: San Diego, California Republic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LindavG View Post
Open the door = open de deur
Close the door = doe de deur dicht

Also, "false friend" in Dutch would be "valse vriend". Can you see why we get the v and f mixed up sometimes?
:
just like for and voor. "Is dit voor mij? Nee het is voor mouldy?" If I said that right it is completely intelligible.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:53 PM
 
Location: The Netherlands
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gentoo View Post
just like for and voor. "Is dit voor mij? Nee het is voor mouldy?" If I said that right it is completely intelligible.
Yes, that was correct apart from the punctuation

Also vind/find, vorm/form, vijf/five (pronounced the same), vis/fish, vloed/flood, vlees/flesh, vol/full, etc. The F is not that commonly used at the beginning of a word in Dutch.
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