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Foreign Language Advice Needed


pbjdude91

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Alright, first a little background. I'm going into my junior year of High School, and also my fourth year of German. I consider myself fluent in German right now: I've read the first three Harry Potter books in German, speak it and write it fluently, and looking at the AP German Language exam, it was quite simple. Last summer, I even had a native German ask me whether or not I spoke English. Apparently, she was unsure whether or not I was actually German.

 

 

 

This is my dilemma. I'm looking into learning Latin right now, and I've been considering this for about 3 months now. I have no background to it at all, and am fully aware of the "difficulty" of the language. I started looking around for books, and decided on Wheelock's Latin. I've had a growing question though, will it mess with my German? Some people on the internet have said that it will, but they were talking about learning Spanish and Italian at the same time, which are closely related languages. I know German and Latin are not in the same family of languages, so if anyone has any experience with this, please help me.

 

 

 

TL;DR Will learning Latin mess with German?

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If you're fluent enough in German (Which you can tell by when you have dreams in that language), then would probably be the same as learning German from English. English has Germanic roots, which has Latin roots, so that might help as well.

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I took four years of Latin in high school. Needless to say, after two years of no practice it ain't exactly fresh, but I've still retained enough to get by in reading it. Heh, I actually have a Wheelock's Latin right here in my room, and it's definitely useful for refreshing so I'd say you made a good choice. I wish you luck if you intend to self-teach though; the grammar structure of the language is a living hell. You could change the ending of a verb in over a hundred ways to fit different situations, and the nouns and adjectives aren't exactly nice on the forms either.

 

 

 

As for the main problem, I don't speak a lick of German, so I can't really help you there. All I can say is that Latin's a great language to learn and enhance your understanding of the Romance languages, as well as English. I can't tell you how many times the language has helped me figure out the meaning of an out of context English word that I'd never seen before in my life. I'll admit it's not the most beautiful or useful of languages ever formulated by man, but it's quite bloody useful for those who speak one of it's ancestors.

 

 

 

On a general point though, if you're bilingually fluent I don't see how learning a new language could be a problem, as long as you use both German and English on a daily basis. Hell, my Latin is shoddy as hell and I'm going to be taking Japanese next sememster at college. If I can do that (big if) without too much worry I think you'll be fine. I'd be much more worried about finding the drive to stick with it than how it's going to affect a language that you're already fluent in anyways.

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No.

 

 

 

Having personally done 2 years of Latin in high school, and additionally another 5 of German - and both overlapping - I say no.

 

 

 

Latin, I'd say definitley do as I cannont count how many times it has helped me to find roots of words I have no clue as to what they mean. Legal and economic definitions also become easier to comprehend and it's fun-er to swear at people in Latin.

 

 

 

Then again, I haven't done or spoken one iota of Latin for the last 4 years so - I can't help you out with the intricacies.

 

 

 

German, you seem comfortable with and I will say again, it is a very good and useful language to learn and I, whilst learning it, enjoyed it immensely.

 

 

 

I wish you luck if you intend to self-teach though; the grammar structure of the language is a living hell. You could change the ending of a verb in over a hundred ways to fit different situations, and the nouns and adjectives aren't exactly nice on the forms either.

 

 

 

I can attest to this. Our Latin teacher had gone away for a few months and we had some bad substitute - we had to make do by learning ourselves. It got tedious and annoying very quickly.

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No. Learning two almost opposite-structured languages is a much better option than say, learning German and Dutch at the same time (having studied multiple languages, I can only imagine the pain of two closely related germanic languages at once)

 

 

 

Latin and German have nothing in common, it's a great combination.

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You should be fine.

 

 

 

I taught myself latin using Wheelock as well. The hardest part of a self taught language is learning how things are said out loud. Thankfully in latin everything is pronounced as it is written so you should be fine.

 

 

 

It shouldn't mess with the german either, especially since your fluent and since german isnt a romanace language.

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Learning German and Latin at the same time shouldn't be any problem whatsoever. Also, Latin's easy ::'. Especially since you already know about cases from learning German.

 

 

 

No. Learning two almost opposite-structured languages is a much better option than say, learning German and Dutch at the same time (having studied multiple languages, I can only imagine the pain of two closely related germanic languages at once)

 

 

 

I hear you. I studied Germanic languages at university, English and Dutch (we had to choose 2 languages) and you know, having a certain aptitude for the Germanic languages, you'd think that learning German would be a breeze for me. Well. It's not! I can make myself understandable in German, but most of the time I'm just speaking Dutch while giving it a German "schwung". The fun thing is that, a lot of the time, it actually works. The shameful thing is that, often, it really doesn't. I can only imagine how terrible it would be to learn both Dutch and German at the same time.

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Okey, thanks to the overwhelming anwer of "No", I decided to pick up Wheelock's last night. Thanks a lot you guys for your help, it was really appreciated. Words were often cognate with English, but pretty much none of them were cognate with German, so it worked :thumbup: .

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  • 2 weeks later...
I can only imagine how terrible it would be to learn both Dutch and German at the same time.

 

 

 

I confirrm. It is. As in:leaning german is HELL. A terrible language, I had to cram in for 4 hellish years. Dutch on the side as it is my native language...the horror.

 

 

 

I'm quite good at speaking both English and German, and a tad of french, and mixing languages should not be too difficult if you are into learning a language and the languages have little in common, like Latin and German.

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