Questions for Discussion-Page 102

In comparison with English, German is difficult for most native English speakers to learn because of the nominative, accusative, dative, and genitive forms that predominate the German language. Separable and inseparable verbs are also very difficult for English speakers to comprehend because we virtually do not utilize these very specific grammar techniques at all. German pronunciation is mostly similar to the English language, except for a few letters from the German alphabet that is completely unused in the English language like umlauts which change the entire sound of the word (ü,ä,ö). The nominative, accusative, dative, and genitive forms are very different from the English language. When a person who speaks English wants to denote a person possessing a certain object, we usually say something like “the beautiful women’s house”; when a person who speaks German wants to denote a person possessing a certain object it is loosely translated into English as “the house of the beautiful women” or, in German, “das Haus der schönen Frauen”. The suffixes that are used in German changes whenever one is speaking or writing in the nominative, accusative, dative, and/or genitive form. Separable verbs are also abundant in the German language. When one wants to say “he enunciated. . . ” in English that is how it looks; the verb is never separated from the prefix. In German, one would say “er sprach aus. . .”-this comes from the German infinitive “aussprechen”. One can clearly see that the infinitive was once altogether. There are also some infinitives in German that are inseparable like “besprechen”, which has the same root infinitive as “aussprechen”, but the be- prefix makes the verb inseparable, so if one wants to say “he reviewed. . .” then one would say (in German) “er besprach. . . ”

I cannot explain the assertion that English has become the language of the world. English has become a language which many people wish to learn if they were planning on emigrating to the U.S.A. or Great Britain. There are many, many people in different countries, like Haiti, where French is the language that is focused on entirely in business. In Haiti, as well as other countries, French is the language that students as young as 6 years old are expected to learn. They converse and learn in this language instead of in their mother language Haitian Creole. This is their “language of the world”: French. “Language of the world” would be an entirely relative term which would depend on which country you are from. There are many people who have absolutely no command nor desire to learn English. It is not their “language of the world”, so to speak.


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