Which language is more useful for me? German or French.

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DutchGUY88
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Which language is more useful for me? German or French.

Postby DutchGUY88 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:01 am

Native Dutch. Fluent in English and speak good Spanish. I will move to Luxembourg where French is the dominant language.

Both languages will be “easy” to learn due to my current language skills.

Which language is more useful for business?
Which language will be easier to learn?

French seens to be more global (Africa, Canada etc), German seems to be more dominant in Europe. Germany and Switzerland have strong economies, how ever Swiss German is different.

Input appreciated.
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Re: Which language is more useful for me? German or French.

Postby tarvos » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:08 am

I think French is the more dominant one in Luxemburg, so that one first, but you could really use either there. Doesn't matter. Pick one and go.

You didn't study either of these at school? You will probably know at least a bit of German, I can't imagine otherwise.
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Re: Which language is more useful for me? German or French.

Postby Cavesa » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:46 am

DutchGUY88 wrote:Which language is more useful for business?

Either of them, if you learn it to a high enough level. Even a much smaller language could serve you well, if you learnt it to a high enough level, so you definitely don't need to worry about these european giants.
It is hard to judge the opportunities it will give you before actually learning it, as the language barrier keeps a lot of the information away from you. And it is hard for us to tell you more about those opportunities, as you are the only person in the world knowing your goals perfectly.

DutchGUY88 wrote:Which language will be easier to learn?

The one you enjoy.
Money is usually not a strong enough reason for people to learn languages well. If it was, the language skills of the whole european population would be extremely different :-)
It is clearly visible on this forum and elsewhere, that people enjoying stuff accessible in the target language (books, tv series, computer games, scientific articles, and so on) or simply enjoying learning the language itself have easier time sticking to the language for long enough to learn it. Because that is the hardest part. To keep investing a lot of free time in the language for years is much more of a challenge than any grammar or vocab difficulty.
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Lawyer&Mom
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Re: Which language is more useful for me? German or French.

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:53 pm

It’s a toss up about which language will be easier to learn. Dutch and German are so close, so German shouldn’t be difficult, but as I native English speaker I find French much easier than German, due to the huge lexical overlap. If you have fluent English, you already know a ton of French vocabulary. And then Spanish too!?! If anything, the Dutch interference with the German might make German slightly more difficult...

Which do you prefer? Because you are going to need a super high level before you will have a business advantage over your fluent English.
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Re: Which language is more useful for me? German or French.

Postby Deinonysus » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:31 pm

¿Por qué no los dos?

According to the creator of the original how-to-learn-any-language site, if you speak one Romance language, you should be able to learn another in 6 months. I believe he is a native speaker of Swiss French. I'm assuming it would be the same for Dutch and German but I would have to defer to our native Dutch speakers on that.

Why not just pick one language (flip a coin if you have to), spend six months on it, and then move on to the other one? That way you'll have a good level of both within a year.
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Re: Which language is more useful for me? German or French.

Postby Robierre » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:46 pm

From my experience, I'm using 99% French and 1% English in Luxembourg.
French with:
-people from France and Belgium (thousands of francophone "transfrontaliers" living in France/Belgium and working in Luxembourg)
-Luxembourgers (1/3 of the population in the city, all of them with excellent French, outside the city sometimes they are not so fluent, but everyone will understand some French)
-Portuguese (officially 15% of the population in the country, more frequent in the city, generally very comfortable with French)
English with:
-all the others that are not French/Belgian/Luxembourger/Portuguese, so mostly in bars for expats but I don't visit these places so often :mrgreen:

I never use German with Luxembourgers because I'm too lazy to do it (but I speak German when I'm in Germany, which is just around the corner :mrgreen: ). I don't hear German very often in every day life; however, most of the newspapers are in German (the main "written" language of Luxembourgers). Also, I don't speak Luxembourgish, so when someone says "Moien" (Hi) I just switch to French (Bonjour) and this is not considered to be impolite because normally they speak both languages. Hope it helps.
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Re: Which language is more useful for me? German or French.

Postby nooj » Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:33 am

Deinonysus wrote:¿Por qué no los dos?


¿Por qué no los tres?

Is there a good reason for not learning Luxembourgish?
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Re: Which language is more useful for me? German or French.

Postby garyb » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:56 am

Deinonysus wrote:According to the creator of the original how-to-learn-any-language site, if you speak one Romance language, you should be able to learn another in 6 months.


That's either a very optimistic estimate or a very high definition of "speak" and/or low one of "learn". Six years, maybe - that's about how long it's taken me to learn Italian to a good level with French already under my belt. I realise it's a different ball game for native speakers though: I've heard plenty accounts of Italians studying abroad in Spain or Portugal or France and learning the language in a matter of months. Often far from perfectly, with plenty interference, but they communicate and understand well. I don't know the OP's Spanish level - "good" could mean anything from B2 to native-like - and maybe German can be learnt in a few months with native Dutch.

I just think the last thing we should be doing here is encouraging people to bite off more than they can chew. I already see too many new and not-so-new members juggling a handful of languages and making little progress in any, or being distracted by something new and shiny just as they're about to make a breakthrough in their current target language. At least in this case the OP isn't a beginner and with their previous learning experience they'll have an idea of how much they can handle.
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Re: Which language is more useful for me? German or French.

Postby Robierre » Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:32 pm

nooj wrote:Is there a good reason for not learning Luxembourgish?

Life is too short? :mrgreen:

I'd like to learn it but, as garyb said, I don't believe in shortcuts. Six months is nothing. It took me five years of full immersion here to move my French from C1 to C2 (C2 as I define it: to be able to watch any TV show, to read any book and to interact in any social situation, with some gaps). So I'm scared to start anything with Luxembourgish, even though I'm curious (skeptic and curious 8-) ).
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Re: Which language is more useful for me? German or French.

Postby lichtrausch » Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:38 pm

garyb wrote:I just think the last thing we should be doing here is encouraging people to bite off more than they can chew. I already see too many new and not-so-new members juggling a handful of languages and making little progress in any, or being distracted by something new and shiny just as they're about to make a breakthrough in their current target language.

Totally agree. There seems to have been an overreaction to the whole "learning a language is so hard" sentiment that is common among the general public. And now the pendulum on this forum has swung all the way in the other direction, and thus we hear ridiculous advice like "learn as many languages at the same time as you want!" from people who should know better.
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