When I decided I wanted to learn a second language before I entered college, I originally picked Arabic. "Great!" Everyone said. "You will get a job with the state department no problem!" They were obviously missing the point, but I will get to that later in the post. Here is a hint: it has nothing to do with the fact that I believe governments of the world solely exist to keep people separated, and therefore ensuring government has a job.
For native English speakers the hardest concept for them to grasp when learning German is that of cases. Cases used to exist in Old English, they don't anymore except for the word whom and the last time someone amongst your friends said "whom" they most likely were ostracized. I have often had arguments with other German major friends because I believe that it is easier for a native German speaker to learn English than a native English speaker learning German because one does not have to grasp new concepts that do not exist in their mother tongue.
|Deciphering this chart should be the first priority of a German language student|
Take for example the dative case which is actually Latin for "to give". Had I known this earlier and not simply because I read it in a book on psycholinguistics a week ago I probably would have stopped thinking it was a case that denoted when something happened. The dative case is used in three different contexts:
1. As the indirect object of a verb:
Er gibt dem Chemiker das Salz
2. As an object of certain prepositions, verbs and adjectives:
Wir helfen unseren Nachbarn.
3. To denote possession when referring to parts of the body or to articles of clothing:
Sie wäscht dem Kinde die Hand.
Number three is an exception to the genitive case, which is used to denote possession. Confusing, no?
German is not any more tougher than Latin, and I remember my Latin high school teacher telling the class that one of the finals he had in college was translating copies of Latin notes taken in shorthand.
|Just fucking kill me now|
Of course if you make the decision not to learn a language based on how tough you perceive it to be, you are in the wrong mindset and you will never learn the language. Everyone I have met, from my high school Latin teacher to foreign university students in the US have loved the language they study; and to a certain extent obsess over it. If there's on thing I have noticed it is that the foreign student who tell me that they want to learn language because it will be useful when they have a career never speak as well as the students that have a general interest in the language. Take that as you will.Take a language that you're interested in, and if you don't care about learning one then just take whatever is going to get you an A.