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Thread: Russian or German

  1. #1
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    Russian or German

    Hi forum,

    I am a new member Nice to meet you.

    I am keen to learn a new language, however, I am unable to decide between Russian or German. I am interested in both countries but have no real knowledge of either which makes my decision hard. I have tried googling Russian/German culture, currency conversion (what my countries dollar is compared to Russia and Germany as I would like to travel to that country sometime) and the the difficulty of learning each language from an English speakers standpoint (Which I got different answers for on every forum and website ><) to help me decide but with no luck. I was hoping that if someone else here had a problem choosing between a language to learn what you did to help you decide. Please try not to take this as a silly question as I really am having a hard time choosing one over the other and would just like any help whatsoever that will help me make a decision and let me go on with being dedicated to learning a second language.

    Oh.. I am also aware this is a Russian forum but I couldn't find a German one and your German area was actually better than anything I had found on the web So I thought I would get both opinions on here.

    Thank you,

    Josh.

  2. #2
    Завсегдатай sperk's Avatar
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    Re: Russian or German

    Quote Originally Posted by Moskau
    I was hoping that if someone else here had a problem choosing between a language to learn what you did to help you decide.
    Being interested in the country, the culture, the people. Without that I can't imagine studying a language (unless you have to for school.)
    Кому - нары, кому - Канары.

  3. #3
    Почтенный гражданин bitpicker's Avatar
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    Re: Russian or German

    From the viewpoint of English as a native language I think the languages might be similarly difficult. Russian has the added complication of a different system of letters, German has a more complex tense system. I agree with the previous poster that interest in using the language, in the culture etc. are probably the most important things to consider. But if you're equally interested in both languages, then you should base your decision on the available training material.

    As for forums, when learning German the best place is this: http://forums.delphiforums.com/aboutgerman/

    Of course I am biased, I teach German there... For Russian, you already are in the best place I know of.

    Robin
    Спасибо за исправления!

    Вам нравится этот форум, и вы изучаете немецкий язык? Вот похожий форум о немецком языке.

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    Re: Russian or German

    Why not learn both?

    Maybe not at the same time but after you've attained some sort of fluency in one, you can start the other. Since you're native language is English, it might be better to start with German (perhaps not a very popular opinion on a Russian forum). It also depends on the fact if you have previous language learning experience. German has the same writing system, there are quite a few cognates (being a germanic language). Yes, the grammar is difficult but you'll find yourself (I'd suspect) progressing much more rapidly in the beginning than you would studying Russian. And if it's your first foreign language, it's very important to stay motivated. And then, when you start Russian, you'll already know how you like to study a language, you'll be familiar with cases, ...

    Anyway, that's just my humble opinion. The most important thing is to find out what interests you the most.

    And of course: welcome to the forum!

  5. #5
    Hanna
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    Re: Russian or German

    Ease of learning:
    In my opinion, German is much easier than Russian. Personally I have snapped up a lot of German without even trying, because I have had a fair bit of exposure to it. It will sound more "familiar" to you. With Russian you cannot easily guess words that you don't know. The word order and speaking patterns are different than in Germanic/Romance languages, so you might even come across a sentence where all words are familiar, yet you don't get the meaning.

    Usefulness:
    Russian is more practically useful -- it has many more speakers (not only in Russia..) and the native Russian speakers are less likely to speak good English than the native German speakers. But that's not to say that German is not a very useful language.

    Economic:
    German is a bigger business language than Russian right now, unless you are in the energy or mining industries, or a few other very narrow fields. But remember, most people in Germany, particularly those who work in international companies, can speak English.

    Culture:
    By pure amount of material available in each language, I think that Russian wins out. Both countries have amazing cultures -- It is impossible to say that one is better than the other. Each has its own merits.

    Summary:
    In short I'd say: If you are going to live in the EU -- German is by far more practical. If not, you'll probably get the most use out of Russian. On the other hand it will take you longer to get good at it. We are talking about years of effort.

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    Re: Russian or German

    I would have thought German must be a lot easier for a native English speaker, since English is a Germanic language. Many words have similar roots, etc. It's too difficult to advise in such a case. Just take them both, one by one...
    Alice: One can't believe impossible things.
    The Queen: I dare say you haven't had much practice. When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

  7. #7
    Hanna
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    Re: Russian or German

    I am VERY intersted in becoming fluent in both. Germany and Russia are the BIGGEST and most influential neighbours of my country. They both happen to have great cultures as well. I like both countries for different reasons, although right now I am much more interested in Russia.

    But unfortunately my skills and abilities for language learning are AVERAGE, I have no particular talent for it.

    I was meaning to start studying German alongside Russian but I'm finding that Russian is so hard that I wouldn't be able to make fast enough progress in Russian unless I focussed exclusively on it. So I put German on hold.

    It's a pity -- German would be SERIOUSLY useful for me profesionally and as a native/fluent speaker of two Germanic languagess already, I would be able to learn it twice or three times faster than I can progress in Russian. Not sure what to do about this dilemma actually.

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    Re: Russian or German

    Actually,it depends on your personal reasons for learning a new language.If you want to learn a new language for hobby,German is far much easier than learning Russian as it's closer to English in any means.But if it's a need for a work and you're planning to use it in different job fields,(f.e you're an engineer and you know 2 languages,that's a big + for you )Russian is absolutely will help you better than it.And if you consider both as hobby,then try learning German first and if you won't knocked out yet to learn another one you'll learn Russian after that lol
    Главное что есть ты у меня...

  9. #9
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    Re: Russian or German

    Go 6 years to Russia and learn German there You will learn both.

    ps. It's not a joke, I did it, and I had French too.

  10. #10
    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    Re: Russian or German

    German is much easier for an English speaker to learn because there is so much familiar stuff in the language -- verbal system, nouns Mutter Vater Haus I mean, only 4 cases cases NGDA, fixed word order. Piece of cake. When I was in college I proed out of Russian I and so I eventually ran out of Russian courses. Took German the last two years and spoke it fluently, better than Russian actually, when I graduated. As an undergrad I took a course in Indoeuropean linguistics. Taught by a prof. from Germany. Three students, me and two graduates, one of whom was German. We voted to take the course taught in German. I don't know how I did it, but as I said, German was as easy as falling off a log for me. At the same time in my Russian history course I chose to do a book report on a book (in Russian) about скифы and the very early populations of that part of the world.

  11. #11
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    Re: Russian or German

    Quote Originally Posted by Moskau
    Hi forum,

    I am a new member Nice to meet you.

    I am keen to learn a new language, however, I am unable to decide between Russian or German.
    Hi, Josh!

    I remember myself deciding which languages do I want to learn. This was 7 years ago. During the last 7 years I've mastered German (close to mother language), Italian (advanced), Dutch (beginners), Chinese and Indonesian (both Intermediate).

    The main questions I've asked myself were:
    1. Why do I want to learn a language - for cultural issues? Business? Their modern culture /daily life? Travel?
    2. Suppose, I've learnt some language and I speak it fluently, what shall I do with it next?
    3. How long will it take me to learn the language enough to reach my goal

    Regarding Russian and German, well, Russian is slightly more difficult than German, and German is much more difficult than English. German economy is much stronger than Russian. There are nearly twice as many Russian speakers as German, and they live not only in Russia, but in the Ukraine, Belarus, Central Asia and Caucasus republics. German culture is closer to Anglo-Saxon.

    You may write me a personal message, I can advise you on both starting with German and with Russian.

    Hope this helps.

    Dmitry
    Language is the history of a nation. Language is the path, that culture and civilization are going along. Therefore, learning Russian language is ... a vital necessity. / A. Kuprin (1870-193, Russian writer, explorer and adventurer

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