Germanic vs romance

Hey all. Wanna hear abit how you went about learning a new language going from germanic to romance. Beeing 50% swede 50% norwegian with swedish as my mothertounge cant really say english was a struggle. sentences are easy to build in your head. but now when i am trying to learn Romanian, its syntax error in my head. whats (in your opinion) the best way of re-learning ?



I don’t know about Romanian, but the sentence structure in Italian, French or Spanish are somewhat similar to English, aren’t they?

As a native speaker of English I certainly found Italian sentences very much easier to get used to than German ones - in spite of the fact that German is technically a sister Germanic language. Really it was the sentence structure that was the hardest thing to crack in German. You often have to reorder almost everything. Like: “Today have I not to the town traveled, because I ill was and in bed remain had to” (!)

The only way to deal with this was immersion listening and continual practise in speaking. It kind of helped that I was living there, I guess. It still took at least 6 months before it became truly second nature to build these sentences…

Agreed Prinz!

Exposure is key!

Scandinavians hear English every day of their lives and start learning it directly when they go to school, some even in preschool. So they get their exposure.

English is a Germanic language although 60% of English vocabulary is Latin-based. The sentence structure of German is definitely harder to learn for native English speakers than the sentence structure of say, French.

Dennis, what language did you learn in school? If you chose Spanish or French for example, you’ve already had exposure to romanic languages and can build on that.

Prinz is right.

When I was learning French (to a certain level of literacy; I never could learn to speak it — speaking French is another matter altogether), grammar was never much of a consideration. Of course Modern English, dating back to the time of Shakespeare, and even back to the Middle English of Chaucer, is actually a hybrid of English and French anyway. Old English, of which the most famous work is Beowulf, is a completely foreign language altogether.

Learning Dutch, on the other hand, I have to constantly be mindful of grammar. And German and Dutch seem to have more in common with Old English. Consider even the word for first person singular: ik in Dutch; ich in German. That correlates with the Old English: ic. In fact, I automatically recognize certain words in Old English now, which I would not have recognized before I began learning Dutch.

Funny you should mention Romanian. My nephew’s former girlfriend is Romanian, and even though she went to school in the US and speaks flawless American English with no foreign accent, she says English grammar STILL makes no sense to her whatsoever!

And as a Swedish person, you probably can understand Beowulf better than I ever could!

i’ve found theword order in germanic languages more complicated than the romance ones in the beginning although when you add in indirect/direct pronouns comiing before verbs and also gender agreements to deal with in the romance languages they re not exacly like english either that is something you got to get used to

Thank you all for the input! i guess its just like maria said, all about the exposure. ive only been trying for a month too so it will fall into place eventually i hope :slight_smile:

Romania is a little weird at first but focus on the vocabulary and you’ll get it quick.

However, learning Swedish from English is not Easy. It’s easy to read but the pronunciation… My god. Pure craziness.

However, I would really love it if you could help upload some Norwegian content because right now Lingq has VERY little Norwegian content.

i can imagine that Swedish is hard to learn. especially en/ett. en bil, ett träd. e.t.c if i had norweigan content i would def upload it, but i dont have any. My mom is from norway and i basicly spent every summer there from 0-15 y/o. but havent been there since 1998 now. If u have any questions about norwegian or swedish however ill happily help to the best of my knowledge.

I have studied French for 4 years in high school (don’t remember any of it bar the grammar and impressions, due to the time period and consequently lack of interest to study and all that), BUT I am getting to a decent level of fluency now in German and English is practically a second mother tongue to me.

So, grammar and vocabulary wise French is closer to English than it is to German, but it has some wonky pronunciation rules and exceptions upon exceptions in its grammar (and not only) that can make it very frustrating.

German, however, can be much easier grammar and pronunciation-wise, although the vocabulary is not AS close and many of the close words take a bit of time to process that they are, in fact, related. Getting a proper feel for the language, like to know when to put a verb in the end or use this conjunction or expression or whatever is, I think, more difficult in German. Could be wrong, as I have never put that much effort into French anyway.