The Horrors of the German language Part III

 “The creator of the German language appears to have given his best to make it as complicated as possible.”

As I have promised last time I discussed the troubles caused by the German language, today I will tackle those infamous long nouns and the solutions Mark Twain proposed to make the language more coherent and easier to learn.

“In German, all nouns are written with a capital letter. This, ultimately, is a good idea and a creditable one, because this language is not rich in terms of good ideas.” Continue reading

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The Horrors of the German language Part II

“The study of German is tiresome and can lead to insanity”

Continuing the discussion I started yesterday on Mark Twain’s reproaches of the German language, I will begin this post by discussing those troublesome verbs.

Even if you don’t speak German, you probably already know the curious habit of placing the verb at the sentence in many situations (most secondary phrases, after most conjunctions, most tenses etc). This effectively means that when you are speaking, you must know precisely what you are going to say and not make it up as you go along, which is what I do most of the time. Continue reading

The Horrors of the German language Part I

When Mark Twain wasn’t writing the most adventure-packed stories of our childhood, he was travelling and writing about these in his characteristics way: humorous and insightful. In one of his travels abroad, chronicled in the book A Tramp Abroad (available completely here) he ended up in Germany, where he stayed for several months. Here he studied some German in order to ease his journey and find out more about the people. While he praised many aspects of German society of the late nineteenth century, the German language was not one of them. Continue reading