If you’re a native German speaker, or have learnt German and are wondering which language to learn next, take a look at this list. These languages are especially good if you want to learn to speak a foreign tongue in a short amount of time!
More closely related to German than many High German dialects from Bavaria, Austria and Switzerland, Luxembourg is one of the easiest languages for German speakers to learn.
Given that the country has been ruled over by Germany, France and the Netherlands at various points over the last 500 years, it makes sense that the native language has taken so much influence from these languages. In fact, aside from Luxembourgish, the country’s official languages are German and French. Luxembourgish was the last to be recognised, as only by 1984 it became the national language.
German and Dutch share a lot of vocabulary, the two languages differ however, when it comes to grammatical structure. Although Germany is famed for its complex grammar, Dutch has changed to become a language much easier for language learners. As a point of reference, it is as closely related as Spanish and Italian. Dutch should be first on the list for any German speakers looking to learn a new language with ease.
Since they both come from the Germanic language family, it will come as no surprise that English is one of the easiest languages for Germans to pick up. They share many words, baby, taxi and tshirt are to name a few. Besides from their linguistic similarities, English ranks so high on the easiest languages for German speakers to learn because its influence on global pop culture. Learning English can’t be so bad when you’re using Hollywood movies and TV shows such as Friends or Game of Thrones to practice the language!
Although a Germanic language, Danish strays further from German than English or Dutch since it is a North Germanic language. It is better described as a cousin of German than a sibling. Germans will find Danish grammar rules are far more relaxed and have a lot more exceptions to their rules. Since 47% of Danes are said to speak conversational German, German speakers may have similar problems to English speakers where Danes want to practice their language skills with you! Luckily, the award winning tv shows The Bridge and The Killing are Danish, and so you can practice by watching these!
This may be surprising to some, but Yiddish is in the same family as German. As the language of the Ashkenazi Jews of Central and Eastern Europe, as well as their descendants, it is spoken by 3 million people world wide. Sadly this is far fewer than the 11-12 million speakers prior to WWII, primarily due to the Holocaust. The language actually developed from a dialect of German, however it would be untrue to say German and Yiddish are mutually understandable. Although they have many grammatical differences, they do share a fair portion of their vocabulary. In order to find some Yiddish speakers to practice with, you’ll want to go to Israel, Russia or the USA (particularly New York).
Did we miss any out? Let us know in the comments below!