Museum Of Knowledge blog, Easier to learn French or German 23022018

Which language is easier to learn; French or German? by @MOKKnowledge

The Museum of Knowledge team is often asked whether there is a difference between learning one language over another. Do the same skills apply? Which language is easier to learn, French or German? The ease of learning one language over another is dependent on various factors.

A student who has already studied a language other that their Mother tongue is much more likely to be able to adapt to a new language. Therefore a student who has learnt French may find learning German fairly accessible. To compare each language, French and German in isolation of each other in terms of difficulty, some of the most experienced linguists would attest that German is more difficult due to the German accent and pronunciation as well as complex German grammar rules.

Differences in grammar rules may make German more difficult to learn compared with French, but this is mostly because Germanic languages have differing rules that do not apply to the most widely spoken Latin based languages such as French (150 million worldwide speakers), Italian, (60 million worldwide speakers), Portuguese (250 million worldwide speakers) and Spanish (470 million worldwide speakers). Latin languages are also referred to as Romance languages and originally evolved from Vulgar Latin spoken in the Mediterranean regions during the Roman Empire between the sixth and ninth centuries. For these reasons there is great synergy and similarity between the various Latin languages especially in terms of sentence structure and grammatical rules.

Germanic languages include German, Dutch and Afrikaans derived from Dutch. Germanic languages from the Northern Germanic region include Swedish, Icelandic, Norwegian, and Danish that are all considered on the whole to be more difficult to learn that Latin based or Romance languages. Why is German more difficult to learn than French?

One of the key differences between German and French is the usage of three genders in German (masculine, feminine and neuter) as opposed to the two genders (male and female) used in French. Some students may find the usage of three genders in German difficult to understand especially because correct deployment is not predictable. Every plural created from a noun differs in German with many irregular neuters and masculine nouns. Once again, those language learners accustomed to learning Latin languages such as French may find this aspect of gender composition difficult to absorb.

In conclusion, the perceived difficulty of German compared to French is based on the fact that German prose requires an alternative learning technique that does not apply when students undertake to learn French. Openness to new learning techniques and composition structures is the most important criteria for those who wish to learn German.


Museum Of Knowledge, Learn German in 10 months, top 5 tips 16022018

How to learn German in 10 months, Museum Of Knowledge top 5 tips

Language learners are always keen to expand their skills and learn a language as quickly as possible. Students often ask the Museum of Knowledge team for best practice techniques that will enable them to learn German within 10 months. This is a broad question and is dependent on many factors such as the student’s natural pace and capacity to learn a language. Every student learns at a different speed and their ability to master a language such as German will be dependent on various dynamics. Here are the top five tips the Museum of Knowledge team has highlighted that we believe directly affects a student’s ability to learn German within 10 months.

Best Practice 1: Time and dedication

To learn German within ten months will take time and dedication on behalf of the student. Students should outlay between 3-4 hours a week for one-to-one tuition or group tuition. If group tuition is chosen, students should study in small groups of no more than ten students in total at any one time,

Best Practice 2: Structured learning

Students who wish to learn German must remain highly focused during this timeframe of 10 months in order to meet the objective to learn German quickly. The key to successful language learning is structure and students will need to organise their language learning effectively with a mixture of grammar, syntax and comprehension exercises included. It is also helpful for the language to be further divided into the four main areas of learning prose. These include, reading, writing, listening and speaking. Developing each one of these skills is paramount so that a more comprehensive understanding of the German language can be obtained.

Best Practice 3: Practice makes perfect

Although it may seem obvious, the importance of practising German on a regular basis cannot be underestimated. The German language may be complex for those who are more accustomed to Latin based languages and of course the grammatical differences between Germanic and Latin languages are considerable. Repetition may sometimes be perceived as an old fashioned language learning technique, but it is one that the Museum of Knowledge team stands by. The more a student practices speaking, listening, reading and writing in German, the more their skills and understanding of the German language will develop to a high level and within a ten month timeframe.

Best Practice 4: Visiting German-speaking nations

A very productive way of speeding up your understanding of German and to ensure that a student reaches his or her goal of gaining a reasonable level of competency in German within ten months, is to visit a German speaking country. The primary countries that may be visited by those students who wish to learn German within ten months include Switzerland and Germany. The accent of the Swiss population differs from that of the German population, however it is still useful to become accustomed to both dialects.

Visiting Germany or Switzerland enables students learning German to put into practice what they have learnt in theory. Students can practice ordering meals at restaurants, asking for directions as well as booking their travel around the German-speaking city. It will open the mind and improve cultural awareness as well as facilitate understanding of responses in German for any face-to-face dialogue undertaken.

Best Practice 5: Social interaction

An important element for those learning German is social interaction. It may seem at first glance, that a language is understood simply by reading text or listening to dialogue however it is the social interaction that will determine the extent to which the language a student is learning is understood. Social interaction can include speaking with German speakers online or via the telephone as well as face-to-face dialogue. Social interactions are key for better understanding and improvement of listening skills as well as speaking skills in particular.

Musuem Of Knowledge, Speak Spanish Granada Spain blog 09022018

What you need to know when speaking Spanish in Granada, Spain

Travellers are often bemused when they take the first step towards speaking a language abroad. What do travellers need to know when speaking Spanish in Granada, Spain for example? The Museum of Knowledge highlights two key factors to consider that should help all language learners speak Spanish with confidence whilst in Granada. Spain.

The first consideration students learning Spanish need to bear in mind is that the Spanish accent in Spain varies region to region with the Granada accent being typical of Andalusia. It may be more difficult to understand the Andalusian accent compared to the accents in the North such as in Burgos or Galicia. The speed and pronunciation of words differs between the Andalusian accent spoken at speed with some words pronounced without accentuation of consonant letters or vowels. For example, a word that ends with the letters “ado” may not be pronounced as such. The word “ocupado” (busy) would be pronounced as written by a Spanish speaker from the North, however a speaker from the Granada region would not pronounce the last two letters, the consonant letter “d” and vowel “o”. This would mean that the word “ocupado” would be pronounced as “ocupaw” with no emphases on the last two letters of the word when spoken by a speaker from the Granada region.

Pronunciation aside, it is important to note that as a city that is famous for its historic beauty, it is helpful to learn a few words and phrases that relate to the city of Granada. Historic sites include the town’s cathedral (catedral), the Alhambra Palace and Generalife Gardens. Other activities famous in the region include skiing in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and during the summer months, swimming and diving in the hillside water theme park Aquaola that certainly deserves a visit. With these sites of interest, language learners can develop their linguistic skills for the purpose of tourism and perfect their general knowledge and communication skills from asking for directions to developing and learning the vocabulary they will use when visiting historic sites and monuments.



Museum Of Knowledge, Listening to a language, how long to fully understand it blog 02022018

After listening to a language, how long will it take to fully understand it?

The Museum of Knowledge team is often asked, after listening to a language how long will take to understand it? Best practice for language learning most certainly includes adopting well-known techniques such as immersion learning. Immersion learning can include listening to audio descriptions, radio excerpts and verbal conversations. The benefits of learning a language by listening to structured dialogue include;

  • Understanding how words and phrases are pronounced
  • Understanding and being able to express yourself using different accents
  • Becoming familiar with intonations in the spoken language form

Learning a language by listening to various dialogues should not be carried out in isolation. Listening and repetition is imperative in order to ensure successful comprehension and rapid progress. Listening skills, based on structure is also important so that words spoken can be fully understood. These words are utilized within a context, a topic or key subject area. Because of this, it is helpful to become familiar with some words and phrases in respect of a specific subject area prior to listening to dialogue.

Taking into consideration topical subject matters such as business meetings for example, an area of focus could be negotiating contracts, in which case, understanding the terminology and vocabulary used in such dialogues and subject matters would be preferential ahead of engaging in listening to the dialogue. The more vocabulary known and understood in advance, the quicker it will be to fully understand spoken dialogue. Advanced knowledge of a language would also enable listeners to understand such dialogue with high levels of competency within three months.