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Cassius Clay
04-18-2011, 10:03 AM
I think Federer has a good command of the language, uses a wide varierity of colorful expressions and doesn't make many mistakes even though sometimes he overuses phrasal verbs and tries to sound too cool, instead of choosing more common expressions. I'm not native myself but I can't help but think he doesn't speak absolute perfect English (apart from his slight foreign accent). All in all, I think he would be my pick for the most fluent speaker.

On the other hand, Nadal and most of the Spaniards are just bad at English, using poor grammar and wrong selection of words. I think Ferrer would be my pick for the worst English speaker.

What do you native speakers think?

tenniswarrior
04-18-2011, 10:05 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZT9v7cEiJiQ

cucio
04-18-2011, 11:13 AM
What's exactly non-native?

Federer's mom is South-African, probably upper-class, which usually means she is at least bilingual in Afrikaans and English. You would have to know a bit of the personal background of the players to gauge what exposure they had to English and from what age.

Tursunov's English is top-notch, loads better than Federer's, at least to my foreigner ears. But he has lived in the USA since he was 12. I as a foreigner can't really say if he has an accent, Federer definitely has.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQ-CCUgpg0E

Sharapova has lived in the USA since she was 8, and consequently speaks also very fluently.

Ljubicic's is very good too:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZHd-MV3jkg

The worst are generally non-Americanized Russians, like Davydenko. Spaniards and French are not far ahead.

Nadalfan89
04-18-2011, 11:21 AM
I can't understand anything Tsonga or Monfils say.

President
04-18-2011, 11:23 AM
I can't understand anything Tsonga or Monfils say.

Both of them are probably at least as good as the man in your username, Monfils especially has improved a lot since working with Roger Rasheed.

Jeepers
04-18-2011, 11:26 AM
Federer speaks better english than most people whose first language is english XD

dominikk1985
04-18-2011, 11:33 AM
haas speaks very well. but of course he was at bolletieri acedemy as a kid.

the other germans mostly speak english very well because tennis was an upper class sport in germany.


boris becker I don't know I think his english is kinda bad, but I don't remember.

generally north and western european countries (germany, holland,scandinavia, switzerland...) speak very well english because it is pushed in the schools from early age.

the south europe countries (spain, portugal, france, italy) usually speak not so well english. I think they often don't even learn it in school.

single_handed_champion
04-18-2011, 11:40 AM
Worst - Roddick
Best - Verdasco

feetofclay
04-18-2011, 11:46 AM
Federer speaks better english than most people whose first language is english XD

So he should. According to Federer in a recent interview,

" I grew up with Swiss German and English. When I went to the training centre of the tennis association in Ecublens when I was 15 years old I had to learn French in addition. Today I benefit from it."

He shouldn't even be part of this discussion because English is not a foreign language to him.

batz
04-18-2011, 11:49 AM
I think Federer has a good command of the language, uses a wide varierity of colorful expressions and doesn't make many mistakes even though sometimes he overuses phrasal verbs and tries to sound too cool, instead of choosing more common expressions. I'm not native myself but I can't help but think he doesn't speak absolute perfect English (apart from his slight foreign accent). All in all, I think he would be my pick for the most fluent speaker.

On the other hand, Nadal and most of the Spaniards are just bad at English, using poor grammar and wrong selection of words. I think Ferrer would be my pick for the worst English speaker.

What do you native speakers think?

I think your English is bloody excellent!

PS I also think it should be absolutely.

Cesc Fabregas
04-18-2011, 11:51 AM
At least Nadal trys to find the correct grammar to finish a sentence, when Federer most of the time puts in a lazy phrase like 'you know'.

cucio
04-18-2011, 11:55 AM
At least Nadal trys to find the correct grammar to finish a sentence, when Federer most of the time puts in a lazy phrase like 'you know'.

He does, no?

tenniswarrior
04-18-2011, 11:58 AM
Andy Murray speaks good English.

ucr_tennis90
04-18-2011, 11:58 AM
i don't think nadal is that bad. obviously he's not the best, but i can understand him better than some people from the southern US or the speakers of "Pennsylvania Dutch".

Rock Strongo
04-18-2011, 12:01 PM
He might look like a porn star now, but he has fantastic English: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teKDPeB-NNU

tudwell
04-18-2011, 12:01 PM
Davydenko can barely form a sentence.

tenniswarrior
04-18-2011, 12:03 PM
Davydenko can barely form a sentence.

He seems to be able to use http://www.bet365.com/ just fine, though.

Nadalfan89
04-18-2011, 12:08 PM
I try and hit da ball and in da court, you know? And da skill dat I possess you know is da greatest ya know cause I win all da slams ya know?

Yeah, really impressive.

batz
04-18-2011, 12:13 PM
I try and hit da ball and in da court, you know? And da skill dat I possess you know is da greatest ya know cause I win all da slams ya know?

Yeah, really impressive.

C'mon mate - be fair - Roger sounds nothing like that.

Rock Strongo
04-18-2011, 12:13 PM
I try and hit da ball and in da court, you know? And da skill dat I possess you know is da greatest ya know cause I win all da slams ya know?

Yeah, really impressive.

Xreally impressive to xhave good Englixh, no?

Lavs
04-18-2011, 12:24 PM
well how about tennis polyglot rating?

as what comes to my mind, Kim wins hands down - knows 4 langs (dutch, french, german, english - all of them rather fluently).
2. Fed - Swiss, French, English, German (he is second just because he is gentleman *g*)
3. Elena Dementieva - Russian, French, English (all fluently)
4. Marat - Russian, Spanish, English (all fluently... almost :) )

stringertom
04-18-2011, 12:26 PM
He might look like a porn star now, but he has fantastic English: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teKDPeB-NNU

I have no problem understanding Michael and his accent is very muted. On the other hand, I doubt his English would hold up as well as Mario's when addressing the subject of sports doping at a Harvard Law School symposium. Mario has a heavier accent but his grammar and vocabulary are impeccable.

As to the worst, Rafa has come an "unbelievable" way from his first years of mic work. Being a champion puts him behind the mic more often, so it's gotta rub off, no? A few trips to the podium will help Ferrer while I'm not sure any one can address Li Na's adventures with the English language. She's funny but that's a true definition of broken English.

Shangri La
04-18-2011, 12:48 PM
Kim Clijsters fpeaks excellent English.

rovex
04-18-2011, 12:51 PM
Surprised anyone has yet to say Djokovic. He's tremendously articulate and he's only 24. Speaks better than federer I think.

Gorecki
04-18-2011, 12:57 PM
I try and hit da ball and in da court, you know? And da skill dat I possess you know is da greatest ya know cause I win all da slams ya know?

Yeah, really impressive.

rai ham very very rappy that you are no banned no? i expect ha, you har banned long time no but you come and defend and play gud no?

Rock Strongo
04-18-2011, 01:09 PM
Surprised anyone has yet to say Djokovic. He's tremendously articulate and he's only 24. Speaks better than federer I think.

Djoko's English has improved tremendously since around 07 and now he's practically perfect with no grammar or vocabular errors. He still has a Serbian accent though, but accents are quite hard to train away. In general, Serbs are very good at English. I have a Serbian friend (lives in Sweden) who's 2 years younger than me, yet he's fluent in English already.

Sid_Vicious
04-18-2011, 01:15 PM
I try and hit da ball and in da court, you know? And da skill dat I possess you know is da greatest ya know cause I win all da slams ya know?

Yeah, really impressive.
You must have an impaired auditory cortex to think Federer sounds like that.

Sid_Vicious
04-18-2011, 01:16 PM
Surprised anyone has yet to say Djokovic. He's tremendously articulate and he's only 24. Speaks better than federer I think.
Djoko has more of an accent than Federer, but he still speaks pretty fluently.

Pozarevacka
04-18-2011, 01:22 PM
well how about tennis polyglot rating?

as what comes to my mind, Kim wins hands down - knows 4 langs (dutch, french, german, english - all of them rather fluently).
2. Fed - Swiss, French, English, German (he is second just because he is gentleman *g*)
3. Elena Dementieva - Russian, French, English (all fluently)
4. Marat - Russian, Spanish, English (all fluently... almost :) )

Djokovic speaks: Serbian, German, English, Italian, (a little Spanish), Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, Hercegovacki, and Dalmation.

Mainad
04-18-2011, 01:23 PM
Off the top of my head:

Best: Federer (although as noted,it is one of the languages he grew up with),Djokovic,Melzer,Ljubicic

So-so: Soderling (surprising because most Swedes seem to speak very good English),Berdych,Gasquet,Simon.

Poor (but improving): Nadal,Del Potro,Monfils,Tsonga.

Bad: Ferrer,Verdasco (and pretty much all the other Spaniards),Davydenko,
Youzhny (and pretty much all the other Russians).

My twopennyworth.

Pozarevacka
04-18-2011, 01:25 PM
well how about tennis polyglot rating?

as what comes to my mind, Kim wins hands down - knows 4 langs (dutch, french, german, english - all of them rather fluently).
2. Fed - Swiss, French, English, German (he is second just because he is gentleman *g*)
3. Elena Dementieva - Russian, French, English (all fluently)
4. Marat - Russian, Spanish, English (all fluently... almost :) )


Funny thing is Dutch - German -English - and Swiss (it's German still) are all Germanic languages.

Serbian (slavic) - Italian (romance) - German (Germanic) are three big variants in speaking style, making it much more difficult to learn all separate as they don't take much from each other...

Lavs
04-18-2011, 01:28 PM
Off the top of my head:

Best: Federer (although as noted,it is one of the languages he grew up with),Djokovic,Melzer,Ljubicic

So-so: Soderling (surprising because most Swedes seem to speak very good English),Berdych,Gasquet,Simon.

Poor (but improving): Nadal,Del Potro,Monfils,Tsonga.

Bad: Ferrer,Verdasco (and pretty much all the other Spaniards),Davydenko,
Youzhny (and pretty much all the other Russians).

My twopennyworth.
You forgot to mention Cilic. He is definitely in the "best" group.

Hitman
04-18-2011, 01:30 PM
At least Nadal trys to find the correct grammar to finish a sentence, when Federer most of the time puts in a lazy phrase like 'you know'.

He does, no?

LOL!!!!! Yeah, the word "No?" is the correct way to end a sentence in English. Everyone knows that!

well how about tennis polyglot rating?

as what comes to my mind, Kim wins hands down - knows 4 langs (dutch, french, german, english - all of them rather fluently).
2. Fed - Swiss, French, English, German (he is second just because he is gentleman *g*)
3. Elena Dementieva - Russian, French, English (all fluently)
4. Marat - Russian, Spanish, English (all fluently... almost :) )

Younis speaks five languages very fluently. I remember him talking to McEnroe about it back in 03, he said learning languages was his hobby once. He said he does know a few others also.

cucio
04-18-2011, 01:31 PM
Djokovic speaks: Serbian, German, English, Italian, (a little Spanish), Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, Hercegovacki, and Dalmation.

LOL, OK, then every Spaniard/Latin-American player speaks decent Spanish, Argentinean, Chilean, Salvadorian, Portorrican, Ecuadorian and a few dozen more languages...

Dilettante
04-18-2011, 01:32 PM
On the other hand, Nadal and most of the Spaniards are just bad at English, using poor grammar and wrong selection of words.

Spaniards are terrible at English. I am pretty bad with english myself, I can write it with some errors but you should hear me talking English, I'm just terrible.

And about grammar and words, Spaniards —I am the first to do it— have the custom of making a literal translation from their Spanish thought to spoken English, using the words and sentences like they would do in Spanish.

Oddly enough, I can read and understand English quite well but I can't pronounce it correctly (I'm not sad, Einstein had the same problem). But French which is a language I can't understand at all, I can read a French text and just by instinct make a reasonabily good pronunciation even if I don't know what's the meaning of what I'm reading.

I can't understand why.

Pozarevacka
04-18-2011, 01:33 PM
LOL, OK, then every Spaniard/Latin-American player speaks decent Spanish, Argentinean, Chilean, Salvadorian, Portorrican, Ecuadorian and a few dozen more languages...

I'm joking around. But, Chile doesn't consider the language Chilean, etc. Bosnia, etc considers to have their own language. So, technically, that's like 7 languages right there.

Sid_Vicious
04-18-2011, 01:37 PM
Spaniards are terrible at English. I am pretty bad with english myself, I can write it with some errors but you should hear me talking English, I'm just terrible.

And about grammar and words, Spaniards —I am the first to do it— have the custom of making a literal translation from their Spanish thought to spoken English, using the words and sentences like they would do in Spanish.

Oddly enough, I can read and understand English quite well but I can't pronounce it correctly (I'm not sad, Einstein had the same problem). But French which is a language I can't understand at all, I can read a French text and just by instinct make a reasonabily good pronunciation even if I don't know what's the meaning of what I'm reading.

I can't understand why.
That is very interesting, Dilettante. You write english extremely well. Much better than many posters from english speaking countries. By reading your posts, I would have never guessed that you have problems speaking english.

forzamilan90
04-18-2011, 01:38 PM
del potro is one of the worse ones in terms of high profile players, imo probably worse than nadal.

cucio
04-18-2011, 01:41 PM
I'm joking around. But, Chile doesn't consider the language Chilean, etc. Bosnia, etc considers to have their own language. So, technically, that's like 7 languages right there.

Oh, I am sure you can find nationalistic zealots anywhere that will try to sell you that small variations over a common trunk constitute a full new language, even in Chile. Stupidity and vanity have no borders.

cucio
04-18-2011, 01:48 PM
That is very interesting, Dilettante. You write english extremely well. Much better than many posters from english speaking countries. By reading your posts, I would have never guessed that you have problems speaking english.

That's probably because Spanish is a language very poor in phonemes, and there is not much overlap with the English ones. For instance, none of the three phonemes in the word "cat" exist in Spanish. We are also not used to distinguish between short and long vowels, ours are always short.

Probably for the same reason, English-speaking natives can rarely get to speak Spanish without an accent, by the way.

ChopShot
04-18-2011, 01:50 PM
Spaniards are terrible at English. I am pretty bad with english myself, I can write it with some errors but you should hear me talking English, I'm just terrible.

And about grammar and words, Spaniards —I am the first to do it— have the custom of making a literal translation from their Spanish thought to spoken English, using the words and sentences like they would do in Spanish.

Oddly enough, I can read and understand English quite well but I can't pronounce it correctly (I'm not sad, Einstein had the same problem). But French which is a language I can't understand at all, I can read a French text and just by instinct make a reasonabily good pronunciation even if I don't know what's the meaning of what I'm reading.

I can't understand why.

I can. To quite some degree. I'm danish born and bred, but moved to Hungary and went to an american school when I was 6, and learned english to an extreme degree of fluency as a result. And I'm currently learning french.
The thing that makes english so ludicrously hard to understand is its absolute and complete disregard for normalized grammar and pronounciation. In french (and I'll tell you, I'm a completely inept french speaker) even I can give a fair account of myself, making little to no errors in pronounciation. This just doesn't happen in english. English refuses to follow any strict patterns, and is largely irregarding of the comfort of the common foreigner when it comes to the spoken word - english as spoken in Dorset has about as much in common with French as it has with english spoken in the scottish lowlands (forgive my hyperbole).
It's entirely possible to write english better than most natives and still sound hopelessly foreign when speaking the language - a trait I gather english shares with very few other languages.

Dilettante
04-18-2011, 01:53 PM
That is very interesting, Dilettante. You write english extremely well. Much better than many posters from english speaking countries. By reading your posts, I would have never guessed that you have problems speaking english.

I don't write extremely well, in fact I make lots of mistakes, specially with grammar. But writing here is a good practice method for me. I guess I'm just articulate with my ideas but in Spanish I'm more than articulate, and I know in written English I have limitations. In written Spanish I have an almost total control of the language that I don't have in written English, so I feel limited.

But yes, I'm bad speaking English, I just don't have naturality and I can't pronounce well. You're not the first one surprised. In a former job I used to write emails to English speaking people and when I met them, they were shocked my spoken English was so poor.

I have, in a more modest way of course, the same problem that Joseph Conrad had: he was Polish, a great writer in English but he just couldn't speak it. Other writers who met him —usually the English ones— said his spoken English was "broken" and "awful".

I can. To quite some degree. I'm danish born and bred, but moved to Hungary and went to an american school when I was 6, and learned english to an extreme degree of fluency as a result. And I'm currently learning french.
The thing that makes english so ludicrously hard to understand is its absolute and complete disregard for normalized grammar and pronounciation. In french (and I'll tell you, I'm a completely inept french speaker) even I can give a fair account of myself, making little to no errors in pronounciation. This just doesn't happen in english. English refuses to follow any strict patterns, and is largely irregarding of the comfort of the common foreigner when it comes to the spoken word - english as spoken in Dorset has about as much in common with French as it has with english spoken in the scottish lowlands (forgive my hyperbole).
It's entirely possible to write english better than most natives and still sound hopelessly foreign when speaking the language - a trait I gather english shares with very few other languages.

Your explanation sounds just perfect.

Mainad
04-18-2011, 01:55 PM
Spaniards are terrible at English. I am pretty bad with english myself, I can write it with some errors but you should hear me talking English, I'm just terrible.


You certainly write English very well.


Oddly enough, I can read and understand English quite well but I can't pronounce it correctly (I'm not sad, Einstein had the same problem). But French which is a language I can't understand at all, I can read a French text and just by instinct make a reasonabily good pronunciation even if I don't know what's the meaning of what I'm reading.
I can't understand why.

Perhaps because French is a Romance language like Spanish and has similar rules for pronounciation? Rules for pronounciation in English are quite different.

rovex
04-18-2011, 01:56 PM
Funny thing is Dutch - German -English - and Swiss (it's German still) are all Germanic languages.

Serbian (slavic) - Italian (romance) - German (Germanic) are three big variants in speaking style, making it much more difficult to learn all separate as they don't take much from each other...

You are right, but I'm adamant English was derived mainly from Latin.

Spaniards are terrible at English. I am pretty bad with english myself, I can write it with some errors but you should hear me talking English, I'm just terrible.

And about grammar and words, Spaniards —I am the first to do it— have the custom of making a literal translation from their Spanish thought to spoken English, using the words and sentences like they would do in Spanish.

Oddly enough, I can read and understand English quite well but I can't pronounce it correctly (I'm not sad, Einstein had the same problem). But French which is a language I can't understand at all, I can read a French text and just by instinct make a reasonabily good pronunciation even if I don't know what's the meaning of what I'm reading.

I can't understand why.

The French are the worst when it comes to learning and speaking English. It's a known fact and quite ironic considering that France is the closest non English speaking country to the UK. The education system isn't adequate with regards to foreign languages. I do feel the French mentality nonetheless makes them reluctant to wanting to learn another language as they are very proud of their own language.

Pozarevacka
04-18-2011, 02:05 PM
Not convinced by what you are saying. English was created by the Anglo Saxons and derived from Latin.



The French are the worst when it comes to learning and speaking English. It's a known fact and quite ironic considering that France is the closest non English speaking country to the UK. The education system isn't adequate with regards to foreign languages. I do feel the French mentality nonetheless makes them reluctant to wanting to learn another language as they are very proud of their own language.


Not sure what you are talking about. Anglo-Saxons... those are Germans.... Who created English... and later English took on some Latin words (among many other languages). But, you should compare English to German and how words are pronounced and sentence structures... Not sure what you aren't convinced about. English is a West Germanic language. That's a fact.

Pozarevacka
04-18-2011, 02:06 PM
Not convinced by what you are saying. English was created by the Anglo Saxons and derived from Latin. I don't see the german connection???



The French are the worst when it comes to learning and speaking English. It's a known fact and quite ironic considering that France is the closest non English speaking country to the UK. The education system isn't adequate with regards to foreign languages. I do feel the French mentality nonetheless makes them reluctant to wanting to learn another language as they are very proud of their own language.

Maybe this will make it more clear to you:

http://german.about.com/od/vocabulary/a/alreadyknow.htm

Dilettante
04-18-2011, 02:08 PM
I do feel the French mentality nonetheless makes them reluctant to wanting to learn another language as they are very proud of their language.

That happens in Spain also, it's not like Spaniards refuse to learn, it's more like they just don't care because they are doing OK with their Spanish. Also many parts of Spain have local dialects and even a non-Romance language as the Basque, so there are different languages to learn even in our own environment.

Perhaps because French is a Romance language like Spanish and has similar rules for pronounciation? Rules for pronounciation in English are quite different.

French rules are different to Spanish but at least they're easily understandable. And they're our neighbour country. As ChopShot said, English pronounciation seems like a chaos to me.

But Italian is the easier language to pronounce and learn for a Spaniard. Italian and Spanish are very, very similar. And for anyone from Spanish west coast and Balearic Islands who speaks a local language (Catalan, Valencian, Majorcan) there are also a lot of words that are almost identical to Italian.

Ironically, Italian is much more similar to Spanish than the language from our two immediate neighbours, France and Portugal. Italian and Spanish are almost as two brother languages.

Mainad
04-18-2011, 02:09 PM
Not convinced by what you are saying. English was created by the Anglo Saxons and derived from Latin.


You've just contradicted yourself.The Anglo-Saxons were a Germanic people and modern English derives from THEIR language,not Latin.However modern English has adopted many Latin and French derived words as a result of the Norman Conquest.In any case,English is pronounced very differently from Latin derived languages like French,Spanish and Italian which is the point of the discussion.


The French are the worst when it comes to learning and speaking English. It's a known fact and quite ironic considering that France is the closest non English speaking country to the UK. The education system isn't adequate with regards to foreign languages. I do feel the French mentality nonetheless makes them reluctant to wanting to learn another language as they are very proud of their own language.

Of course,the attitude in the UK towards learning foreign languages is even worse! Ironic considering that words derived from French make up a large part of the modern English vocabulary.

Pozarevacka
04-18-2011, 02:10 PM
You've just contradicted yourself.The Anglo-Saxons were a Germanic people and modern English derives from THEIR language,not Latin.However modern English has adopted many Latin and French derived words as a result of the Norman Conquest.In any case,English is pronounced very differently from Latin derived languages like French,Spanish and Italian which is the point of the discussion.



Of course,the attitude in the UK towards learning foreign languages is even worse! Ironic considering that words derived from French make up a large part of the modern English vocabulary.

Looks like we've been drinking the same Kool-Aid

rovex
04-18-2011, 02:10 PM
Not sure what you are talking about. Anglo-Saxons... those are Germans.... Who created English... and later English took on some Latin words (among many other languages). But, you should compare English to German and how words are pronounced and sentence structures... Not sure what you aren't convinced about. English is a West Germanic language. That's a fact.

Yeah I edited my post before reading this, but I still think Latin plays a more prominent role in the English language as opposed to German.

Dilettante
04-18-2011, 02:12 PM
I still think Latin plays a more prominent role in the English language as opposed to German.

I'm totally convinced. English has much more of Latin than from Germanic. That's the impression I always have.

rovex
04-18-2011, 02:16 PM
Of course,the attitude in the UK towards learning foreign languages is even worse! Ironic considering that words derived from French make up a large part of the modern English vocabulary.

And vice versa. More and more English words are creeping into the French vocabulary and the current president and die hard French are having fits over it. If you look for a decent job in France and don't speak you're screwed I'm afraid. It's a MUST when you're in the enterprise

rommil
04-18-2011, 02:18 PM
Aside from Federer, Djokovic impresses me with his command in other languages. I think those two are adept to learning other languages, add to that their outspokeness and perceptive thinking.

President
04-18-2011, 02:22 PM
Aside from Federer, Djokovic impresses me with his command in other languages. I think those two are adept to learning other languages, add to that their outspokeness and perceptive thinking.

Agreed. Djokovic strikes me as being the most intelligent of the top players.

Mainad
04-18-2011, 02:22 PM
That happens in Spain also, it's not like
French rules are different to Spanish but at least they're easily understandable. And they're our neighbour country. As ChopShot said, English pronounciation seems like a chaos to me.


I think a large part of the problem is that English is almost completely un-phonetic.It's virtually impossible to tell how a word is pronounced from the written word. The spoken and written forms have diverged considerably over the centuries.I've often thought that,of all languages,written English is the most in need of accents and symbols to indicate correct pronounciation.
I think they'd probably have to invent a few new ones though...lol!

[QUOTE=Dilettante;5585030
But Italian is the easier language to pronounce and learn for a Spaniard. Italian and Spanish are very, very similar. And for anyone from Spanish west coast and Balearic Islands who speaks a local language (Catalan, Valencian, Majorcan) there are also a lot of words that are almost identical to Italian.
Ironically, Italian is much more similar to Spanish than the language from our two immediate neighbours, France and Portugal. Italian and Spanish are almost as two brother languages.[/QUOTE]

Yes,a Spanish correspondent of mine said the very same thing! The two languages do sound verey similar although Italian vowels sound longer and more drawn out.Spanish ones shorter,more clipped.

rovex
04-18-2011, 02:23 PM
I'm totally convinced. English has much more of Latin than from Germanic. That's the impression I always have.

Yes, I'm sure Latin plays a much larger role in the English we know today. Ive done german before and I couldn't find a single word which sounded the same or very similar in English. Conversely, there are numerous words in French and English Which sound identical and spelled practically the same.

I will say though, I did Spanish and couldn't get a grip on it. Speaking English and French I was sure that I could do well but that was far from the case. It's totally different to french and English I found. Some words I recognised which are the same in French but the disparity between the two is phenomenal. Their tendency of speaking 200 miles an hour makes it even more difficult! But I think French is the harder language to learn from what I've heard, Predominantly writing.

...typing this out on an iPhone is such a pain in the back...

ChopShot
04-18-2011, 02:27 PM
I'm totally convinced. English has much more of Latin than from Germanic. That's the impression I always have.

You shouldn't be. It's hogwash, what them two be up too.
In fact, QUITE IRONICALLY, modern english derives la plupart of its vocabulary from two sources. French, and proto-germanic. See, the whole norman invasion brought with it an entirely french aristocracy. As such, the legal lingua franca in the UK, as of now, is still very much influenced by the french spoken from the 12-14th century. Likewise, most modern words that would have pertained to the interests of the aristocracy at this point are french influenced.
The language of the common blighter, on the other hand, is a rich potpourri of danish, proto-germanic, gaelic and latin. Oh, and some cornish and kentish as well.
Which brings us to english grammar. English grammar is just about unexplainable. It appears to me, after lengthy and diligent pondering, that english grammar is become exactly what one would expect of such a stranger-than-fiction linguistic cluster-shag. It defies logic. All logic.
As quoted in Bill Bryson's quite excellent "Mother Tongue", and now quoted by me: "I heard a story once of a japanese immigrant who gave up on learning english after seeing a newspaper billboard with the headline "Fétè pronounced success"."

Mainad
04-18-2011, 02:27 PM
Yeah I edited my post before reading this, but I still think Latin plays a more prominent role in the English language as opposed to German.

Perhaps because there seem to be many Latin derived words.But how on earth can you think that English is similar to the true Latin-derived languages like French,Spanish and Italian? Its basic grammar and pronounciation is Anglo-Saxon,not Latin!

cucio
04-18-2011, 02:32 PM
I'm totally convinced. English has much more of Latin than from Germanic. That's the impression I always have.

I strongly disagree, when I was learning Dutch I found it shared a lot with English: lexical roots, verb conjugation, including phrasals (separabele werkwoorden), you can even find the crazy numbering system in old English (five-and-twenty instead of twenty-five.)

tacou
04-18-2011, 02:39 PM
tursunov, haas and sharapova for sure win this category, Woz is pretty good too at such a young age.

Nadal is kind of up and down, never seemed fluent but I heard him speak recently and feel like he sort of lost his grasp a little bit. Had somewhat of a busy 2010 though...

The French players have pretty poor grammar, del potro I can't understand at all

Mainad
04-18-2011, 02:39 PM
Yes, I'm sure Latin plays a much larger role in the English we know today. Ive done german before and I couldn't find a single word which sounded the same or very similar in English. Conversely, there are numerous words in French and English Which sound identical.
...

Not a single one...REALLY???

English = Son
German = Sohn
French = Fils
English = Mother
German = Mutter
French = Mere
English = Father
German = Vater
French = Pere
English = Brother
German = Bruder
French = Frere
English = Sister
German = Schwester
French = Soeur
English = Day
German = Tag
French = Jour
English = Morning
German = Morgen
French = Matin
English = Evening
German = Abend
French = Soir

English = Sunday,Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday,Friday,Sa turday
German = Sonntag,Montag,Dienstag,Mittwoch,Duurstag,Freitag, Samstag
French = Dimanche,Lundi,Mardi,Mercredi,Vendredi,Jeudi,Samed i

These are just a few examples.Spot the ones that seem different (I've highlighted them for you).

rovex
04-18-2011, 02:46 PM
Not a single one...REALLY???

English = Son
German = Sohn
French = Fils
English = Mother
German = Mutter
French = Mere
English = Father
German = Vater
French = Pere
English = Brother
German = Bruder
French = Frere
English = Sister
German = Schwester
French = Soeur
English = Day
German = Tag
French = Jour
English = Morning
German = Morgen
French = Matin
English = Evening
German = Abend
French = Soir

English = Sunday,Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday,Friday,Sa turday
German = Sonntag,Montag,Dienstag,Mittwoch,Duurstag,Freitag, Samstag
French = Dimanche,Lundi,Mardi,Mercredi,Vendredi,Jeudi,Samed i

These are just a few examples.Spot the ones that seem different (I've highlighted them for you).

Yeah, there are similarities but equally there are some which are difficult to distinguish in that very list.

Cesc Fabregas
04-18-2011, 02:50 PM
I'm the surprised the Spanish don't speak English very well with the amount of drunken fights between from people from Manchester in various parts of Spain every summer.

Mainad
04-18-2011, 03:07 PM
Yeah, there are similarities but equally there are some which are difficult to distinguish in that very list.

But even those are closer to each other than the French examples!

English: one,two,three,four five,six,seven,eight,nine,ten
German:eins,zwei,drei,vier,funf,sechs,sieben,achts ,neun,zehn
Dutch: een.twee,drie,vier,vijf,zes,zeven,acht,negen,tien
French: un,deux,trois,quatre,cinq,six,sept,huit,neuf,dix.

Mainad
04-18-2011, 03:09 PM
I'm the surprised the Spanish don't speak English very well with the amount of drunken fights between from people from Manchester in various parts of Spain every summer.

Even more surprising that these people from Manchester haven't become fluent in Spanish by now!

pound cat
04-18-2011, 03:11 PM
Federer speaks better english than most people whose first language is english XD

He may have grown up speaking in German (dad) and English (mom) and French in school or from friends. Or maybe Dad or mom speak French as well. He speaks all 3 languaqges fluently. Most Europeans speak at least 2, more likely 3, or sometimes even 7 or 8 languages fluently due to the proximity of one country to the other. This does not include the most Brits who speak English only and have no interest in foreign languages or food (except for currry). Oh yes, the Queen is an exception and speaks fluent French. Allez QE II!

pound cat
04-18-2011, 03:14 PM
Ex pro Marat Safin speaks fluent Spanish....

stringertom
04-18-2011, 03:14 PM
I'm the surprised the Spanish don't speak English very well with the amount of drunken fights between from people from Manchester in various parts of Spain every summer.

This would be a non-verbal form of communication perfected over centuries (sometimes hooligans compete, other times armadas). Imagine the amount of altercations that would ensue if the Brits actually had a few blokes who knew how to play tennis!

Mainad
04-18-2011, 03:18 PM
H most Brits who speak English only and have no interest in foreign languages or food (except for currry).
II!

You evidently haven't watched much British TV recently or you'd be overwhelmed by the number of cookery programmes being shown on various different channels!

Mainad
04-18-2011, 03:20 PM
Imagine the amount of altercations that would ensue if the Brits actually had a few blokes who knew how to play tennis!

There is a cast-iron law that governs British tennis.Only one decent player can be produced per generation!

pound cat
04-18-2011, 03:35 PM
There is a cast-iron law that governs British tennis.Only one decent player can be produced per generation!

decent...Merriam Webster dicitionary...Fairly good


Well, I think that`s what Britain has done.

Pozarevacka
04-18-2011, 04:35 PM
Yeah, there are similarities but equally there are some which are difficult to distinguish in that very list.

Although the words might not look the same they are pronounced basically the same. Latin has no basis in the English language. Certain words are taken and expanded upon from Latin (as is the case in German) but the core of English is German.

German English Latin
Weisse = White = Albus
Blau = Blue = Caeruleus
Haus = House = Domus (Dom in Serbian is dwelling)
Woher = Where = Qua
Was = What = Que

English is not derived from Latin, because if it were, then it would be a Romance Language. By definition a Romance Language is one derived from Latin. Therefore, it should be a closed case, as English IS NOT a Romance Language. Not sure how it's a debate.

Bloodshed
04-18-2011, 09:08 PM
Obviously for me: Federer, Djokovic, Blake, Roddick are some of the best individual who speaks English properly.

If there's one guy I never wish he'd be involved in a speech trophy presentation is Fernando Gonzalez. Wow this guy really blows when it comes to speak English and makes guys like Del Potro, Berdych, Nadal look like godly speakers in comparaison.

reversef
04-19-2011, 12:14 AM
And vice versa. More and more English words are creeping into the French vocabulary and the current president and die hard French are having fits over it. If you look for a decent job in France and don't speak you're screwed I'm afraid. It's a MUST when you're in the enterprise

English is considered the most "latin" of the germanic languages and french is the most "germanic" of the romance languages. It comes from their history, the invasions, the contacts between the languages. French has a germanic superstrate and english has a norman superstrate.

rovex
04-19-2011, 12:37 AM
English is considered the most "latin" of the germanic languages and french is the most "germanic" of the romance languages. It comes from their history, the invasions, the contacts between the languages. French has a germanic superstrate and english has a norman superstrate.

Once a french told me he thought English was a more difficult language than french and made me chuckle. English is the easiest language you can Learn. And French perhaps the most difficult in western europe.

batz
04-19-2011, 12:49 AM
Although the words might not look the same they are pronounced basically the same. Latin has no basis in the English language. Certain words are taken and expanded upon from Latin (as is the case in German) but the core of English is German.

German English Latin
Weisse = White = Albus
Blau = Blue = Caeruleus
Haus = House = Domus (Dom in Serbian is dwelling)
Woher = Where = Qua
Was = What = Que

English is not derived from Latin, because if it were, then it would be a Romance Language. By definition a Romance Language is one derived from Latin. Therefore, it should be a closed case, as English IS NOT a Romance Language. Not sure how it's a debate.

I don't pretend to be a linguist as I have a very poor aptitude for languages but I do have a smattering of Spanish (pero mi vocabulario es moy limitado) and whilst English might be firmly rooted in German, there seem to be many Romantic influences e.g. nearly every word in English ending in '-tion' is the same in Spanish except it is '-cion' in Spanish. Most English words ending in '-ary' in English are the same in Spanish but the ending becomes '-ario', many words ending '-ant' or '-ent' in English are the same word in Spanish just pronounced slightly differently, anything ending '-cal' in English is the same in Spanish except it ends '-co', Most words ending '-ble' in English is the same word in Spanish but pronounced slighty differenly.

cucio
04-19-2011, 01:29 AM
Once a french told me he thought English was a more difficult language than french and made me chuckle. English is the easiest language you can Learn. And French perhaps the most difficult in western europe.

English grammar is one of the easiest there are: simple verb conjugation, almost no trace of gender, etc. Its expressiveness comes more from a broad vocabulary where almost-synonyms contribute subtle nuances to the overall meaning of the sentence. Acquiring this lexicon is the hard part. That and the fuzzy pronunciation rules: you say tomato and all that...

Out of Western languages, I'd say German has to have the most difficult grammar, because of declination and word ordering.

nearly every word in English ending in '-tion' is the same in Spanish except it is '-cion' in Spanish.


Yup, probably most of those come from Latin, or maybe in some case they use Latin inflections over Germanic roots, although I cannot come up with an example. There are, of course, exceptions. For instance, "hesitation" or "damnation" come from Latin, but have no homophone equivalent in Spanish, there is no such thing as "hesitación" or "dañación".

In Spanish is some sort of a joke to make up English-sounding words by changing the pronunciation of those inflections. In many cases they mean the same, in others they don't exist or have a slightly different meaning.

This can lead to funny situations, what linguists call "false friends (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_friend)". For instance, the word "affection": in Spanish "afección" is used exclusively in its medical sense, a pathological condition. So be careful if you are trying to woo a Spanish chick and want to express your feelings for her.

Marius_Hancu
04-19-2011, 01:43 AM
On women's, I found Mauresmo's English quite good.

reversef
04-19-2011, 01:48 AM
Once a french told me he thought English was a more difficult language than french and made me chuckle. English is the easiest language you can Learn. And French perhaps the most difficult in western europe.

I don't know if French is the most difficult language since it's my own language. I'm sure that it must be a torture for a foreign speaker to learn the grammar and spelling, but for the rest, I don't know. I don't think that english is such an easy language though. Definitely easier than german for example, yes. But it takes years to understand spoken english. I remember how it was for me at the beginning (and for everyone else who starts learning the language): you hear an easy sentence like, I don't know, "It's a beautiful day!" and you are :confused::confused:"What? I don't know those words :confused:". Then you feel :oops: when you see them written. English is difficult for our ears, just like it's difficult for Spaniards and Italians. This is the explanation since you know french (impossible for me to explain in english):
http://www.proteac.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=114&Itemid=109&lang=pl

So, to answer the OP's question: you have very good chances to find the best english speakers amongst Russians, Serbians, Croatians, Czechs, Germans, Swedes (and all the players who speak a germanic or a slavic language) and most of the worst ones amongst the players who speak a romance language (and, of course, it's even more difficult for chinese or japanese players). There are exceptions, of course.

batz
04-19-2011, 01:53 AM
English grammar is one of the easiest there is: simple verb conjugation, almost no trace of gender, etc. Its expressiveness comes more from a broad vocabulary where almost-synonyms contribute subtle nuances to the overall meaning of the sentence. Acquiring this lexicon is the hard part. That and the fuzzy pronunciation rules: you say tomato and all that...

Out of Western languages, I'd say German has to have the most difficult grammar, because of declination and word ordering.



Yup, probably most of those come from Latin, or maybe in some case they use Latin inflections over Germanic roots, although I cannot come up with an example. There are, of course, exceptions. For instance, "hesitation" or "damnation" come from Latin, but have no homophone equivalent in Spanish, there is no such thing as "hesitación" or "dañación".

In Spanish is some sort of a joke to make up English-sounding words by changing the pronunciation of those inflections. In many cases they mean the same, in others they don't exist or have a slightly different meaning.

This can lead to funny situations, what linguists call "false friends (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_friend)". For instance, the word "affection": in Spanish "afección" is used exclusively in its medical sense, a pathological condition. So be careful if you are trying to woo a Spanish chick and want to express your feelings for her.

LOL - thank you for the tip; but I'm sure my wife would object!:) Like I said, I only have a smattering of Spanish - just enough to get by when I go to Tenerife.

Also re exceptions - translation (traduxion) and explanation (explication) don't comply to the 'rules' I posted.

rovex
04-19-2011, 02:38 AM
I don't know if French is the most difficult language since it's my own language. I'm sure that it must be a torture for a foreign speaker to learn the grammar and spelling, but for the rest, I don't know. I don't think that english is such an easy language though. Definitely easier than german for example, yes. But it takes years to understand spoken english. I remember how it was for me at the beginning (and for everyone else who starts learning the language): you hear an easy sentence like, I don't know, "It's a beautiful day!" and you are :confused::confused:"What? I don't know those words :confused:". Then you feel :oops: when you see them written. English is difficult for our ears, just like it's difficult for Spaniards and Italians. This is the explanation since you know french (impossible for me to explain in english):
http://www.proteac.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=114&Itemid=109&lang=pl

So, to answer the OP's question: you have very good chances to find the best english speakers amongst Russians, Serbians, CroatianMs, Czechs, Germans, Swedes (and all the players who speak a germanic or a slavic language) and most of the worst ones amongst the players who speak a romance language (and, of course, it's even more difficult for chinese or japanese players). There are exceptions, of course.

Both the French and english find it difficult to grasp the concept of verbs being the other way round. Like for example, a blue bike. In French, it translates as 'bike blue'. This confuses a lot of individuals from both parties. I'm not really French well, half French, but I've lived in France in the past and speak and write sufficiently well. It's not my maternal language, though.

But one thing I have noticed is how both languages use such similar sounding and written words. I still maintain that Latin is more prominent in the English language than Germanic. Yes, "father" and "brother" and those words are similar in german and not in French but I'm mainly referring to adjectives and just soo many other words that I hear when having a conversation with somebody who speaks English and somebody who speaks French.

origmarm
04-19-2011, 02:52 AM
Djokovic speaks: Serbian, German, English, Italian, (a little Spanish), Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, Hercegovacki, and Dalmation.

I never knew Dalmatian was a language. That and I thought Hercegovacki was essentially a very close dialect of Bosnian. Not that I'm some sort of weird language specialist, just I work with two Bosnians so you hear this sort of chat sometimes.

You learn something new every day.

Orig

dominikk1985
04-19-2011, 03:01 AM
Although the words might not look the same they are pronounced basically the same. Latin has no basis in the English language. Certain words are taken and expanded upon from Latin (as is the case in German) but the core of English is German.

German English Latin
Weisse = White = Albus
Blau = Blue = Caeruleus
Haus = House = Domus (Dom in Serbian is dwelling)
Woher = Where = Qua
Was = What = Que

English is not derived from Latin, because if it were, then it would be a Romance Language. By definition a Romance Language is one derived from Latin. Therefore, it should be a closed case, as English IS NOT a Romance Language. Not sure how it's a debate.

Yes english has definitely german origins. the english people where derived from german tribes called anglo saxons (there is still a district called saxony in germany).

there were the of course the celts who were the native people (the red haired ones:D) but most are anglo saxons and english is not close to celtic but more to german. (not sure on the celts though, maybe another one can elaborate on them)

On the other hand spanish, italian, french and portuguese are romance (latin) languages which are very different.

thus german, dutch or scandinavian people have a very easy time learning english than the romance language countries which on the other hand learn the other romance languages better.

rolandg
04-19-2011, 03:54 AM
You also have to bear in mind the culture of the country. The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Sweden all have a strong culture of learning other languages, and because English has been adopted as the universal/ business language, they will almost always learn English from a young age. For example, in the Netherlands, a large percentage of teenagers will already be fluent in English. Also, because the languages are quite similar, and the words are often pronounced in a similar way, you will often find that people from these countries won't have much of an accent (Swedish people often sound English/ American when speaking English, for example).

If you compare that to France, Spain, Portugal, Italy etc, the culture is very different.

I'm British, and i'm often ashamed at how awful we are at learning languages. I think it is a mixture of us being culturally arrogant, lazy, and not really needing to learn another language because English is so widely spoken. I have also found that when I try and speak the language of the country I am in, people will either interrupt me and speak English because they are either fluent in it (which happens a lot in the Netherlands), or interrupt me and speak English because they really want to practice their English and they don't often get much chance (which has happened to me in Poland and Thailand).

Mainad
04-19-2011, 04:33 AM
I don't know if French is the most difficult language since it's my own language. I'm sure that it must be a torture for a foreign speaker to learn the grammar and spelling, but for the rest, I don't know. I don't think that english is such an easy language though. Definitely easier than german for example, yes. But it takes years to understand spoken english. I remember how it was for me at the beginning (and for everyone else who starts learning the language): you hear an easy sentence like, I don't know, "It's a beautiful day!" and you are :confused::confused:"What? I don't know those words :confused:". Then you feel :oops: when you see them written. English is difficult for our ears, just like it's difficult for Spaniards and Italians. This is the explanation since you know french (impossible for me to explain in english):
[/CODE]

It's the same for me,as an English-speaker,in reverse.I can follow written French quite well but it is extremely difficult for me to follow a conversation and detect what a French-speaker is saying (the same with Spanish and Italian).You all speak so fast,hardly without any pauses,and it is difficult for me to make out one word from another.On the other hand,whilst the grammar is harder,I can understand spoken German much better because there are stresses and pauses that make it possible for me to recognize what is being said even if I don't always understand the words.

[QUOTE=reversef;5585967]
So, to answer the OP's question: you have very good chances to find the best english speakers amongst Russians, Serbians, Croatians, Czechs, Germans, Swedes (and all the players who speak a germanic or a slavic language) and most of the worst ones amongst the players who speak a romance language (and, of course, it's even more difficult for chinese or japanese players). There are exceptions, of course.

I find the Scandinavians and the Dutch speak the best English because I can barely detect any accent (except Robin Soderling for some reason).The Germans are also good but usually have more of an accent.I don't agree with you about Russians as I find that the Russian tennis players are amongst the worst English speakers (Davydenko,Kuznetsova) and all have very strong accents.

Mainad
04-19-2011, 04:37 AM
Both the French and english find it difficult to grasp
But one thing I have noticed is how both languages use such similar sounding and written words. I still maintain that Latin is more prominent in the English language than Germanic. Yes, "father" and "brother" and those words are similar in german and not in French but I'm mainly referring to adjectives and just soo many other words that I hear when having a conversation with somebody who speaks English and somebody who speaks French.

Take away the Germanic roots (Anglo-Saxon,Norse) and you will have no English language.Take away the Latin derived words and you can replace them with Anglo-Saxon equivalents or invent some.That's the essential difference.

reversef
04-19-2011, 05:04 AM
It's the same for me,as an English-speaker,in reverse.I can follow written French quite well but it is extremely difficult for me to follow a conversation and detect what a French-speaker is saying (the same with Spanish and Italian).You all speak so fast,hardly without any pauses,and it is difficult for me to make out one word from another.On the other hand,whilst the grammar is harder,I can understand spoken German much better because there are stresses and pauses that make it possible for me to recognize what is being said even if I don't always understand the words.



I find the Scandinavians and the Dutch speak the best English because I can barely detect any accent (except Robin Soderling for some reason).The Germans are also good but usually have more of an accent.I don't agree with you about Russians as I find that the Russian tennis players are amongst the worst English speakers (Davydenko,Kuznetsova) and all have very strong accents.

Yes, we speak very fast. German is for me the easiest language to understand (phonetically speaking). It's easy to recognize the words because the Germans articulate very well. Knowing what those words mean is another thing though.

Russians have great language skills in general. There are always exceptions, of course. Davydenko's english is atrocious, but I don't know why. Kuznetsova's english is not great either, but it's ok. Dementieva?

rommil
04-19-2011, 05:31 AM
Konichiwa b!tches :). I found English very easy to learn and i think Spanish is not that hard for me if I had a go at it. French is tricky tough, pronouncing it alone, or looking at a text reading it and saying it not realizing it's the same word.

8F93W5
04-19-2011, 05:49 AM
John McEnroe was born in Germany and his English is pretty good.

mandy01
04-19-2011, 06:10 AM
English is pretty much the easiest language to learn imo.Atleast the basics are rather easy to grasp.Plus,in India spoken English isn't much of a problem because our pronunciations are very clear.Almost sharp,I'd say.
French is tough.Particularly spoken French because most people sort 'gobble up' half of a word while they talk-or that's what it sounds like.More often than not you HAVE to ask them to repeat and slow down a bit.
I don't get the reason for their hurry :oops: It's such a beautiful language.Speak it slowly,treasuring every word of it.But no,they start racing off and I'm completely lost :oops:

Pozarevacka
04-19-2011, 06:20 AM
I never knew Dalmatian was a language. That and I thought Hercegovacki was essentially a very close dialect of Bosnian. Not that I'm some sort of weird language specialist, just I work with two Bosnians so you hear this sort of chat sometimes.

You learn something new every day.

Orig

They are all just dialects of Serbian. The Serbian language was codified and reformed in what is presently Hercegovina. There is more variation in how someone speaks in Minnesota to that of New York than Serbia and Bosnia or Croatia. And on the lines how everything is over there, Americans speak American then.

Jchurch
04-19-2011, 06:41 AM
I try and hit da ball and in da court, you know? And da skill dat I possess you know is da greatest ya know cause I win all da slams ya know?

Yeah, really impressive.

Today I play match of lie, no? So and so ranked 4 millions 300 make it hard, no? I speak english good, no?

I mean get a clue dude.

origmarm
04-19-2011, 06:53 AM
They are all just dialects of Serbian. The Serbian language was codified and reformed in what is presently Hercegovina. There is more variation in how someone speaks in Minnesota to that of New York than Serbia and Bosnia or Croatia. And on the lines how everything is over there, Americans speak American then.

See what you mean. That's more or less what the chap next to me said when I asked him about it over lunch: "It's all the same, people just like to have their own name now". Like having Welsh English and Scottish English was how he put it.

Netzroller
04-19-2011, 07:02 AM
English grammar is one of the easiest there are: simple verb conjugation, almost no trace of gender, etc. Its expressiveness comes more from a broad vocabulary where almost-synonyms contribute subtle nuances to the overall meaning of the sentence. Acquiring this lexicon is the hard part. That and the fuzzy pronunciation rules: you say tomato and all that...

Out of Western languages, I'd say German has to have the most difficult grammar, because of declination and word ordering.

I totally agree!!!
I'm German, and I've learned English as a foreign language. (some Latin and Spanish as well)

For beginners English is pretty easy. You just need a handful of rules to form a sentence, you don't have to worry about declination and such.
One thing I find difficult is tenses – you guys have 17 different tenses and a ton of rules when to use them:
Simple Present, Present Progressive , Simple Past , Past Progressive , Present Perfect Simple , Present Perfect Progressive , Past Perfect Simple , Past Perfect Progressive , Future I Simple (will), Future I Simple (going to), Future I Progressive , Future II Simple, Future II Progressive , Conditional I Simple , Conditional I Progressive , Conditional II Simple , Conditional II Progressive
...holy crap, give me a break:shock:

German grammar is a lot more difficult, however, it also offers more flexibility. Once you know the rules and have acquired a decent lexicon, you're able to say anything. You can just create new words that everyone who knows the language will understand. By rearranging the words you can slightly alter the meaning of the sentence. Also, there are things like the diminutive: You can give a word a certain ending making it sound little and cute. In English, you usually need a new word for that.
There are a lot more words in the English language, so at some point improving your language skills comes down to learning more and more words and knowing how exactly to use them. I can grab a German dictionary and I will know pretty much every word in there (except for some fancy old expressions that nobody uses anyway). From what I've heard, this is not true for English native speakers.

I'd also agree that the English pronunciation is harder, but I can't tell for sure. To me, it seems to be very irregular. Form example in German, there is a rule saying “sch” is pronounced different than what these letters are pronounced if the stand by themselves - but this is almost always true. I English, the same spelling is pronounced different for different words
For example:
Kansas is [ˈkænzəs]
Arkansas is [ˈɑɹkənsɔː]

Could anyone explain me how the 'Ar' totally changes the way 'kansas' is pronounced?:?

However, in German I find it harder to get the spelling right from simply hearing the word. You could write a word in different ways and it would be pronounced pretty much the same – therefore going the other way around is trickier.

Yes, we speak very fast. German is for me the easiest language to understand (phonetically speaking). It's easy to recognize the words because the Germans articulate very well. Knowing what those words mean is another thing though.

I agree, but since this is my native tongue I might be the wrong person to ask.

While this might be a good thing at some point, it think it often gets in the way of speaking proper English if you're German. You try to pronounce every single letter accurately and it ends up sounding extremely stupid. I actually think a German accent is by far the worst of all. While French etc. people also struggle with pronunciation their accents adds something distinct to the language that I sometimes find appealing or at least tolerable. A German accent sound like trying to get it right, but failing miserably. That’s why I tried so hard to get rid of mine.
I don't know if you guys feel that way too, though. Do you have any preferences when it comes to accents?



German = Montag,Dienstag,Mittwoch,Duurstag,Freitag,Samstag, Sonntag

It's Donnerstag not Duurstag:-)

SuperDuy
04-19-2011, 07:25 AM
I can speak two languages and I find that polish is much more complex then english. There is the different gender sayings, but once you get a feel for the order of the words and such you are good. english is easy to learn. Some of the eastern european languages are quite similiar, like polish, ukrainian, etc.

For example the words

"I understand"

Polish - rozumiem
Ukrainian - YA rozumiyu
Serbian - Ja razumem

I have been around people at school from many countries around the world, I find that the Filipino people are the ones who have the least recognisable accent. I know a few who came here only around 3 years ago and when they speak I cannot tell of an accent.,

rolandg
04-19-2011, 07:30 AM
Do you have any preferences when it comes to accents?[/I]



I don't mind the German accent when speaking English, but it can sometimes sound quite hard, as if you are telling people off, a bit like a teacher speaking to a child. I like the way the French, Italians and Spanish sound speaking English because the accent is so strong, but it can sometimes be quite hard to understand.

stringertom
04-19-2011, 07:36 AM
Any quick study of a linguistics chart will yield the fact that English is considered a Germanic language but it is obviously the most basta**ized tongue on the planet. French roots from the Normans, Latin from the Roman occupations (any city ending in -chester is from Latin's "castra", meaning a military "camp"), Greek roots from the educated class (how else can you explain the "xenophobic" remarks on current threads re:unwanted presence of Canadians at London's year-ending event?)

As to the Romance branch of tongues, Spanish veers from the rest due to the Arabic influence. It shares a lot with Italian but Romanian is actually a closer cousin. Having lived in France and Italy as an American child, French was much more difficult to link the written to the spoken word (the silent "rules" are still hard to fathom). Italian is also easier to follow in conversation due to cadence. It seems to roll off the tongue.

The hardest part of German relates to the different placement of verbs due to changes in tense. In English, I change the following sentence in tense by adding a letter to a verb: I LIVE IN AMERICA becomes I LIVED IN AMERICA. In German: ICH WOHNE IN AMERIKA becomes ICH HABE IN AMERIKA GEWOHNT. Truly a more difficult conversation to follow, no?

rovex
04-19-2011, 08:08 AM
I can speak two languages and I find that polish is much more complex then english. There is the different gender sayings, but once you get a feel for the order of the words and such you are good. english is easy to learn. Some of the eastern european languages are quite similiar, like polish, ukrainian, etc.

For example the words

"I understand"

Polish - rozumiem
Ukrainian - YA rozumiyu
Serbian - Ja razumem

I have been around people at school from many countries around the world, I find that the Filipino people are the ones who have the least recognisable accent. I know a few who came here only around 3 years ago and when they speak I cannot tell of an accent.,

For you to decide, but there has been an influx of Poles and Romanians especially (and other eastern European nations) coming to western Europe over the years and taking most of the local people's jobs. It's caused problems in the countries with a high employment rate such as Germany, UK and france to a lesser degree, as eastern Europeans think they can improve their standard of living in these countries. This is a serious issue and the EU regulations on immigration is very poor. Poles/Romanians/eastern Europeans are prepared to work for a fraction less of what local's want. Not much anyone can do about it unless the eu comes to an agreement on putting visas in place for countries part of the EU.

dirtballer
04-19-2011, 08:21 AM
Vera Zvonereva speaks English very well with only a slight accent. Elena Dementieva is now retired but she spoke well. For Kuzy and Davy, English is a third language, not a second, so that may account for the difficulty.

heninfan99
04-19-2011, 08:34 AM
Sharapova speaks the best English, I guess you can call her a Floridian but she was born elsewhere...

Mainad
04-19-2011, 09:11 AM
I totally agree!!!
One thing I find difficult is tenses – you guys have 17 different tenses and a ton of rules when to use them:
Simple Present, Present Progressive , Simple Past , Past Progressive , Present Perfect Simple , Present Perfect Progressive , Past Perfect Simple , Past Perfect Progressive , Future I Simple (will), Future I Simple (going to), Future I Progressive , Future II Simple, Future II Progressive , Conditional I Simple , Conditional I Progressive , Conditional II Simple , Conditional II Progressive ...holy crap, give me a break


Come on,you don't expect EVERYTHING to be easy do you...lol?? :)


German grammar is a lot more difficult, however, it also offers more flexibility. Once you know the rules and have acquired a decent lexicon, you're able to say anything. You can just create new words that everyone who knows the language will understand. By rearranging the words you can slightly alter the meaning of the sentence. Also, there are things like the diminutive: You can give a word a certain ending making it sound little and cute. In English, you usually need a new word for that.
There are a lot more words in the English language, so at some point improving your language skills comes down to learning more and more words and knowing how exactly to use them. I can grab a German dictionary and I will know pretty much every word in there (except for some fancy old expressions that nobody uses anyway). From what I've heard, this is not true for English native speakers.


The most difficult thing for me about German grammar is the 3 different genders ie. masculine,feminine and neuter and trying to remember which words are which.When a new word is coined in German,who decides what gender it should be given?



I'd also agree that the English pronunciation is harder, but I can't tell for sure. To me, it seems to be very irregular. Form example in German, there is a rule saying “sch” is pronounced different than what these letters are pronounced if the stand by themselves - but this is almost always true. I English, the same spelling is pronounced different for different words
For example:
Kansas is [ˈkænzəs]
Arkansas is [ˈɑɹkənsɔː]
Could anyone explain me how the 'Ar' totally changes the way 'kansas' is pronounced?:?


Guess that's one for our American friends to explain!


While this might be a good thing at some point, it think it often gets in the way of speaking proper English if you're German. You try to pronounce every single letter accurately and it ends up sounding extremely stupid. I actually think a German accent is by far the worst of all. While French etc. people also struggle with pronunciation their accents adds something distinct to the language that I sometimes find appealing or at least tolerable. A German accent sound like trying to get it right, but failing miserably. That’s why I tried so hard to get rid of mine.
I don't know if you guys feel that way too, though. Do you have any preferences when it comes to accents?


Men with French accents (and Latin ones in general) are considered sexy to listen to by English-speaking women.But I find them often hard to understand.
A German accent is often quite strong but I usually find it easy to understand because Germans usually take time to pronounce words carefully with proper pauses and stresses in the correct place.



It's Donnerstag not Duurstag:-)

Yikes,where did that one come from? I must have made it up because it sounded more like 'Thursday'?? :oops:

Gorecki
04-19-2011, 10:17 AM
English grammar is one of the easiest there are: simple verb conjugation, almost no trace of gender, etc. Its expressiveness comes more from a broad vocabulary where almost-synonyms contribute subtle nuances to the overall meaning of the sentence. Acquiring this lexicon is the hard part. That and the fuzzy pronunciation rules: you say tomato and all that...


reminds me of the odd habit\rule that our languages (yours and mine) have to give a "gender" to certain objects... :)

cucio
04-19-2011, 10:34 AM
reminds me of the odd habit\rule that our languages (yours and mine) have to give a "gender" to certain objects... :)

Gender in inanimate objects is murder for native English speakers, they have to learn not only the noun, but its gender too. In German and Dutch there is something similar, it is not exactly gender, but it affects the morphology of articles and adjectives that go with every noun.

LeftySpin
04-19-2011, 10:53 AM
I think Nole speaks good english

Dilettante
04-19-2011, 11:23 AM
As to the Romance branch of tongues, Spanish veers from the rest due to the Arabic influence. It shares a lot with Italian but Romanian is actually a closer cousin.

Romanian is similar but Italian and Portuguese are more similar IMO. Both of them, speacially Italian, sound more familar to me. But I'm from eastern Spain, someone from northwest (Galicia) would tell you Portuguese is more familiar to him, because of our respective local language. That's how they sound to me:

Valencian, Catalan, Majorcan: like a mix of Spanish with Italian and some French.
Galician: like a mix of Spanish with Portuguese.

About the Arabic influence in Spanish, it's really small or non existant when it comes to pronunciation and grammar (I can only think in the sufix -í, which is considered kinda exotic anyway) but there is virtually none of Arabic grammar or phonetics in Spanish. It is more visible in vocabulary though, there is a number of words of Arabic origin, it could be between a 5%-8% of total vocabulary, specially to name objects, although many of them are old words not much used today. Also, in some parts of Spain there are many cities or small towns with an Arabic origin name. Here we always point to the interesting example of cities like Algeciras (in Cadiz) or Alzira (in Valencia) which were named by the Arab invaders meaning "the island", just like the Arabic TV network Al Jazeera.

But in the grammatic structure itself of Spanish there's not significant arabic traces really.

Probably for the same reason, English-speaking natives can rarely get to speak Spanish without an accent, by the way.

Didn't think of that myself, but once you've said it, it seems to be true. I can't really think of any English speaking native that I know who can speak Spanish without accent.

Ex pro Marat Safin speaks fluent Spanish....

He lived here in Valencia for some years and his Spanish is perfect.

Pozarevacka
04-19-2011, 12:14 PM
For you to decide, but there has been an influx of Poles and Romanians especially (and other eastern European nations) coming to western Europe over the years and taking most of the local people's jobs. It's caused problems in the countries with a high employment rate such as Germany, UK and france to a lesser degree, as eastern Europeans think they can improve their standard of living in these countries. This is a serious issue and the EU regulations on immigration is very poor. Poles/Romanians/eastern Europeans are prepared to work for a fraction less of what local's want. Not much anyone can do about it unless the eu comes to an agreement on putting visas in place for countries part of the EU.

Maybe the governments should stop artificially creating high wages for jobs that don't require much skill.

Most people here are asserting that English is a simple language, whereas I deviate from this way of thinking. Most people who 'speak' English have a grasp of 100 or so words and are pretty unsophisticated. Just because you can get by in English doesn't mean you can 'speak' the language. English is a very complex language that is difficult to learn at a scholarly level.

A true test may be if you can read and understand everything here: http://mises.org/books/sol.pdf
then perhaps you speak English. I think 95% of players on tour would fail to understand what the author is depicting.

rovex
04-19-2011, 12:40 PM
Maybe the governments should stop artificially creating high wages for jobs that don't require much skill.

Most people here are asserting that English is a simple language, whereas I deviate from this way of thinking. Most people who 'speak' English have a grasp of 100 or so words and are pretty unsophisticated. Just because you can get by in English doesn't mean you can 'speak' the language. English is a very complex language that is difficult to learn at a scholarly level.

A true test may be if you can read and understand everything here: http://mises.org/books/sol.pdf
then perhaps you speak English. I think 95% of players on tour would fail to understand what the author is depicting.

The governments don't create all the jobs, small to large scale private organisations who set the wages according to their owners and income are not influenced by the government with the exception of the minimum wage and taxes which will of course have some bearing on businesses infrastructure.

English is one of the very few languages which requires logic when you are learning it from the ground especially. As you go further deep it of course becomes more difficult but that's not the point. don't see why you would generalise by saying most People with English as their first language in fact don't really know the language because they don't use "sophisticated" words as such. In schools, where English is taught in a country where English is not the national language, teachers only teach the core foundations of the English language, or else it would it be confusing for many. But as the years progress, then introduce more depth to truly understand the language from top to bottom. I have the impression however that when a foreigner speaks a language they are not entirely familiar with they attempt to use a higher vocabulary to, perhaps, make themselves feel less insecure about having an accent and being different. I dont know where you are from, but that's the feeling I'm currently getting from you. I myself did this in the past when I wasn't at one with a language, so you're not alone.

Using only 'big words' in conversations to come across as intellectual just really most of the time makes people think you're arrogant so that's why you do not hear the majority of people with english (and the rest) as their first language speak in that manner between one another.

cucio
04-19-2011, 01:17 PM
I think 95% of players on tour would fail to understand what the author is depicting.

95% of native English speakers would be daunted at the prospect of having to read that paper brick, let alone understand it. The tour is composed mainly of non-native young, uncultivated jocks. So what are you trying to tell here?

Acquiring scholarly level is a heck of a task in any language. Acquiring a basic set of competences in English is easier than in any other language I know about, but those only include a few Germanic and Romance ones. Perhaps it is even easier in some Slavic, Asian or African language.


English is one of the very few languages which requires logic.

Ah, ok, I get it, we are starting to troll here. Yay! Let me fetch my demotivational gifs and a big bowl of popcorn.

Gorecki
04-19-2011, 01:22 PM
Galician: like a mix of Spanish with Portuguese.
.

i'm not a philologist or a linguist but i gather that Galician is somewhat a more traditional\primitive form, meaning that it is closer to the ways people talked in the upper Portugal (where i live) & Galicia some 200 years ago. on the other hand, it would seem that Catalan writen(not spoken) has more convergence points with Portuguese than Castellano\Español, but i do not have evidence on that so i could be wrong.

Dilettante
04-19-2011, 02:32 PM
i'm not a philologist or a linguist but i gather that Galician is somewhat a more traditional\primitive form, meaning that it is closer to the ways people talked in the upper Portugal (where i live) & Galicia some 200 years ago. on the other hand, it would seem that Catalan writen(not spoken) has more convergence points with Portuguese than Castellano\Español, but i do not have evidence on that so i could be wrong.

It was just a simple way to put it, to point the similarities. I didn't mean those languages were born as a simple mix of the others, they were not but they look as if they were.

For example, if you take Catalan: almost all of its words can be found in an identical or almost identical form in Spanish, French or Italian. That's what I meant.

Anyway I don't think written Catalan is more similiar to Portuguese than to Spanish, other than the use of letter "ç" which was used in old Spanish anyway. And perhaps the use of grave and acute accents.

But other than that Catalan is more similar to Spanish than to other any language. If anything, it has links to French and Italian too, more than to Portuguese.

Most people here are asserting that English is a simple language, whereas I deviate from this way of thinking.

It's very complex in its phonetics. But in its structure is more simple than other languages which structure I know, as Spanish, French, Italian. Other than phonetics, English certainly is much more simple than Spanish for example, I'd say it's not even close. Just think in verb tenses and declinations.

What is more complex in English is the lexicon. I may be wrong, but I think in English it's more complex because it has many short words that change their meaning when put together, and Spanish has more stablished words which are the same word for different meanings and which meaning depend more on the context. So as I see it, in English it's very common to pick two given words and make a third word out of them (like "get out", "give up"). In Spanish some words are put together too, but not so often, and when it's done it's in an informal or even vulgar way and it rarely gets accepted in dictionary (stuff like "correveydile" or "tocahuevos").

It's like in English a lot of words can be used as auxiliary words. So it gives you the pieces to build a more extensive English lexicon.

li0scc0
04-19-2011, 02:44 PM
Maybe the governments should stop artificially creating high wages for jobs that don't require much skill.

Most people here are asserting that English is a simple language, whereas I deviate from this way of thinking. Most people who 'speak' English have a grasp of 100 or so words and are pretty unsophisticated. Just because you can get by in English doesn't mean you can 'speak' the language. English is a very complex language that is difficult to learn at a scholarly level.

A true test may be if you can read and understand everything here: http://mises.org/books/sol.pdf
then perhaps you speak English. I think 95% of players on tour would fail to understand what the author is depicting.

Pozarevacka, if understanding von Mises was the criteria for understanding English, then 99% of the Federal Government would fail. Come to think of it.....I like your standard.

origmarm
04-19-2011, 03:29 PM
i'm not a philologist or a linguist but i gather that Galician is somewhat a more traditional\primitive form, meaning that it is closer to the ways people talked in the upper Portugal (where i live) & Galicia some 200 years ago. on the other hand, it would seem that Catalan writen(not spoken) has more convergence points with Portuguese than Castellano\Español, but i do not have evidence on that so i could be wrong.

Was talking to a friend of my wife's the other day and was introduced to "Portanol" :)....now that is an amusing convergence!

Gorecki
04-20-2011, 08:28 AM
Was talking to a friend of my wife's the other day and was introduced to "Portanol" :)....now that is an amusing convergence!

hehe... that is what us portuguese speak when talking to a spaniard due to lack of vocabulary!!!

ex:

Mieliancia, when meaning Sandia (watermelon) wich in Portuguese is Melancia

Inviestimiento when meaning Inversion (Investment)

:):)

batz
04-20-2011, 10:05 AM
This thread is bloody fascinating!

There are some cunning linguists on this board.

Rock Strongo
04-20-2011, 10:14 AM
This thread is bloody fascinating!

There are some cunning linguists on this board.

*insert Austin Powers joke about cunning linguists and master debaters here*

reversef
04-20-2011, 10:37 AM
A true test may be if you can read and understand everything here: http://mises.org/books/sol.pdf
then perhaps you speak English. I think 95% of players on tour would fail to understand what the author is depicting.

Sorry, I disagree. It's actually pretty easy to read for a foreign speaker. Many "lighter" things are much more difficult. The street language is much more difficult than the intellectual one.

Cassius Clay
04-20-2011, 10:59 AM
Sorry, I disagree. It's actually pretty easy to read for a foreign speaker. Many "lighter" things are much more difficult. The street language is much more difficult than the intellectual one.

I agree, especially if you are a speaker of a language with latin roots. Most of the high-level vocabulary in English comes from Latin.

mnm
04-20-2011, 01:09 PM
I'm pretty ashamed of Söderling, as a swede.. he just doesn't have the pronouncation and the interest i guess.

However, he is good if looking at a broader perspective.
I mean, look at Nadal and Ferrer, they are horrible. Both are worthless.

Roger does, german, french and english.. gotta be the best.

Pozarevacka
04-20-2011, 01:29 PM
I'm pretty ashamed of Söderling, as a swede.. he just doesn't have the pronouncation and the interest i guess.

However, he is good if looking at a broader perspective.
I mean, look at Nadal and Ferrer, they are horrible. Both are worthless.

Roger does, german, french and english.. gotta be the best.

Roger can barely get by in French. His English is OK, but let's be honest. When asked what his favorite movie is, he says Dirty Dancing. Probably doesn't watch English language movies.

I said Novak, and not many people are talking about how he speaks 3 different sub group languages. He speaks German, English - Serbian - Italian
He has a Latin, Germanic, and Slavic language. Three languages that have different roots.

Italian - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0giXydJI7uo
English - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaA6JgWI4J0
Serbian - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJb4ff3AmpA
German - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmDaAZiZat4&feature=related

billnepill
04-20-2011, 02:05 PM
Roger can barely get by in French. His English is OK, but let's be honest. When asked what his favorite movie is, he says Dirty Dancing. Probably doesn't watch English language movies.

I said Novak, and not many people are talking about how he speaks 3 different sub group languages. He speaks German, English - Serbian - Italian
He has a Latin, Germanic, and Slavic language. Three languages that have different roots.

Italian - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0giXydJI7uo
English - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaA6JgWI4J0
Serbian - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJb4ff3AmpA
German - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmDaAZiZat4&feature=related

lol at his german, but I have to admit his English is very good. Overall, his ability to speak so many languages at that age while being an elite tennis player is amazing.

CCNM
04-20-2011, 02:38 PM
Reading this thread reminds me of when I was in college. I took an upper level Spanish class that was taught by a gentleman from Scotland (????). His English was fine, but his Spanish sounded like he was trying to gargle some mouthwash!!! :lol:

Rock Strongo
04-20-2011, 02:49 PM
I'm pretty ashamed of Söderling, as a swede.. he just doesn't have the pronouncation and the interest i guess.

However, he is good if looking at a broader perspective.
I mean, look at Nadal and Ferrer, they are horrible. Both are worthless.

Roger does, german, french and english.. gotta be the best.

Söderling's pronunciation isn't all that bad. You can easily make out what he's saying and his vocabulary is good too. However, he does have that heavy Swedish accent, a bit Borg-ish. If we go with past English-speaking Swedish pro's he does fail compared to Edberg, Pernfors, Wilander and Björkman. I haven't heard the others, so I can't say anything about them.

By the way, here's Pernfors: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJ9mm0R8rHk

President
04-20-2011, 02:57 PM
I'm pretty ashamed of Söderling, as a swede.. he just doesn't have the pronouncation and the interest i guess.

However, he is good if looking at a broader perspective.
I mean, look at Nadal and Ferrer, they are horrible. Both are worthless.

Roger does, german, french and english.. gotta be the best.

Really? Soderling's vocabulary isn't that broad, its true. But his pronunciation is excellent, and his accent is much less "heavy" to American ears than even a guy like Djokovic.

dominikk1985
04-20-2011, 02:58 PM
Maybe the governments should stop artificially creating high wages for jobs that don't require much skill.

Most people here are asserting that English is a simple language, whereas I deviate from this way of thinking. Most people who 'speak' English have a grasp of 100 or so words and are pretty unsophisticated. Just because you can get by in English doesn't mean you can 'speak' the language. English is a very complex language that is difficult to learn at a scholarly level.

A true test may be if you can read and understand everything here: http://mises.org/books/sol.pdf
then perhaps you speak English. I think 95% of players on tour would fail to understand what the author is depicting.

here is the true test:
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=377125

dominikk1985
04-20-2011, 03:05 PM
I totally agree!!!
I'm German, and I've learned English as a foreign language. (some Latin and Spanish as well)

For beginners English is pretty easy. You just need a handful of rules to form a sentence, you don't have to worry about declination and such.
One thing I find difficult is tenses – you guys have 17 different tenses and a ton of rules when to use them:
Simple Present, Present Progressive , Simple Past , Past Progressive , Present Perfect Simple , Present Perfect Progressive , Past Perfect Simple , Past Perfect Progressive , Future I Simple (will), Future I Simple (going to), Future I Progressive , Future II Simple, Future II Progressive , Conditional I Simple , Conditional I Progressive , Conditional II Simple , Conditional II Progressive
...holy crap, give me a break:shock:

German grammar is a lot more difficult, however, it also offers more flexibility. Once you know the rules and have acquired a decent lexicon, you're able to say anything. You can just create new words that everyone who knows the language will understand. By rearranging the words you can slightly alter the meaning of the sentence. Also, there are things like the diminutive: You can give a word a certain ending making it sound little and cute. In English, you usually need a new word for that.
There are a lot more words in the English language, so at some point improving your language skills comes down to learning more and more words and knowing how exactly to use them. I can grab a German dictionary and I will know pretty much every word in there (except for some fancy old expressions that nobody uses anyway). From what I've heard, this is not true for English native speakers.

I'd also agree that the English pronunciation is harder, but I can't tell for sure. To me, it seems to be very irregular. Form example in German, there is a rule saying “sch” is pronounced different than what these letters are pronounced if the stand by themselves - but this is almost always true. I English, the same spelling is pronounced different for different words
For example:
Kansas is [ˈkænzəs]
Arkansas is [ˈɑɹkənsɔː]

Could anyone explain me how the 'Ar' totally changes the way 'kansas' is pronounced?:?

However, in German I find it harder to get the spelling right from simply hearing the word. You could write a word in different ways and it would be pronounced pretty much the same – therefore going the other way around is trickier.


I agree, but since this is my native tongue I might be the wrong person to ask.

While this might be a good thing at some point, it think it often gets in the way of speaking proper English if you're German. You try to pronounce every single letter accurately and it ends up sounding extremely stupid. I actually think a German accent is by far the worst of all. While French etc. people also struggle with pronunciation their accents adds something distinct to the language that I sometimes find appealing or at least tolerable. A German accent sound like trying to get it right, but failing miserably. That’s why I tried so hard to get rid of mine.
I don't know if you guys feel that way too, though. Do you have any preferences when it comes to accents?



It's Donnerstag not Duurstag:-)

That is not true. german has 5 times more vocabularies than german. In english words are usually composed of several words.

german is known for its long words while english is composed of more short words.

for example general post office is called Hauptpostamt:D.

the real annoying thing about german is all the double consonants and all the capital letters.

mnm
04-20-2011, 11:56 PM
Söderling's pronunciation isn't all that bad. You can easily make out what he's saying and his vocabulary is good too. However, he does have that heavy Swedish accent, a bit Borg-ish. If we go with past English-speaking Swedish pro's he does fail compared to Edberg, Pernfors, Wilander and Björkman. I haven't heard the others, so I can't say anything about them.

By the way, here's Pernfors: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJ9mm0R8rHk

Well, that's whats eating me really, if you have a pretty descent vocabulary you could easily try to apply some accent. I've worked abroad a lot and when i started speaking with an american accent i found out that i got a lot more credit for my english. It just sounds more ambitious and better.

And if you as me, are swedish, you probably are annoyed with that swede-english accent, which is just not an effort in any way. It's just there.

mnm
04-21-2011, 12:02 AM
Really? Soderling's vocabulary isn't that broad, its true. But his pronunciation is excellent, and his accent is much less "heavy" to American ears than even a guy like Djokovic.

My problem is as stated above the rhythm and accent. Whenever you try to speak a different language you should try to do it with the rhytm that comes with it.

Maybe its me who has this obsession of wanting to be confused as a native. :)
Happened once in a bar in NYC, you have a funny accent, are you from Florida?

Made my day.

Rock Strongo
04-21-2011, 02:51 AM
Well, that's whats eating me really, if you have a pretty descent vocabulary you could easily try to apply some accent. I've worked abroad a lot and when i started speaking with an american accent i found out that i got a lot more credit for my english. It just sounds more ambitious and better.

And if you as me, are swedish, you probably are annoyed with that swede-english accent, which is just not an effort in any way. It's just there.

You can tell that he's at least trying to sound more "international" and besides, many people from abroad find it rather charming with that Swedish accent. As someone who speaks a very fluent American English with a rather Californian accent I'm not annoyed by the Swedish-English accent at all. It makes us a bit more unique and other people can hear that we're trying our very best to communicate with them without overdoing it.

Netzroller
04-21-2011, 01:23 PM
That is not true. german has 5 times more vocabularies than german. In english words are usually composed of several words.

german is known for its long words while english is composed of more short words.

for example general post office is called Hauptpostamt:D.

the real annoying thing about german is all the double consonants and all the capital letters.
No wonder you don't like the capital letters in German, you don't even get them right in English...
hehe, just teasing you:twisted:


Given you wanted to disagree with me, you obviously intended to say English instead of German (bold) otherwise that sentence doesn't make sense. (Or maybe you dind't read my text correctly and actually wanted to say the same thing - in which case ignore what comes next)

However, you are plain wrong. What you say is not even consistent.

You say German is known for it's long words (which is true) but then claim English words are composed of several words. Actually this is true for German, not for English – that is the reason why German words are so long. You actually gave an example for that yourself: General post office (3 words) vs. Haupt-post-amt (1 long word composed of three words).

btw. I think I have never heard anyone using that expression – sounds like something from an old school book for people who want to learn German. I assume you don't really speak the language, do you?

Secondly, the question about how many words a language cannot be answered correctly, this has practical and systematic reasons. Vocabulary comparisons are therefore just rough estimates.
However, nobody believes German has more words than English, in fact it is widely accepted that English may have the most words of any language.

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/TECH/06/10/million.words/index.html#cnnSTCOther1
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/page/94

The former saying: English ~1Mio vs. German ~185000

0d1n
04-22-2011, 03:08 AM
With regards to the "OP", I think Federer and Djokovic are good examples of "best" English and Ferrer, Nadal, Davydenko are examples of "worst". Haas speaks very well also...but he has lived in the US a lot so that makes sense.
With regards to the thread...fascinating discussion, I actually enjoyed reading a thread in "General Pro Player Discussion" for a change. This doesn't happen to me very often in this subforum that's full of illiterate fanboys and stupid trolls who don't know tennis but act like they do.
I can give you some more "Latin" perspective on this language subject (in addition to the other Spanish, Portuguese, French or Italian posters).
I find basic, conversational English pretty easy to learn, it's much easier IMO to be able to communicate basic stuff (like properly ordering some food in a restaurant) than in other languages (French and German being obvious examples). I can't really comment on how difficult it is to master English (or any other language other than Romanian) or getting to "scholarly levels", as I'm probably not at that level in any foreign language.
I admit that we all may be "tricked" into thinking that English is easier due to its "presence" all around us (American movies...etc)...which means we are exposed to it more often and hence we are more comfortable with it and it seems "easier to learn".
However...my "gut feeling" is that it's easier than French and German, not to talk about Russian or some Asian languages.
I can't really comment on the difficulty of Italian/Spanish for a foreigner because those are so close to Romanian that I find them pretty easy to at least understand if not speak with very little practice. I actually started learning Italian as a teenager simply by watching TV (Italia Uno, Canale 5, RAI x, etc). After that I've read a few books...etc...and with very little concentrated effort I'm able to read/speak it quite well, and even write it decently although I hardly get any "practice" with it (still...I write it more "phonetically" than it is meant to be written due to the fact that Romanian is written that way). I'm pretty sure I could do the same with Spanish, but just had much less exposure to that language as I was growing up. I still understand many words/sentences spoken in that language though...but I wouldn't be able to speak or write it properly.
Even though French is a "Latin" language as well, just like Romanian...I wouldn't have been able to learn it just from watching French TV Channels and knowing Romanian. There are too many differences to my native language, and I also find French more "complicated" regardless of those dissimilarities. Fortunately French is still widely present in our schools and it was the first language I actually "studied". Forgot a LOT of it since highschool/university though...because I hardly ever use it any more... :|.

Dilettante
04-22-2011, 03:26 AM
0d1n:

I also used to read some Italian newspapers without any kind of previous learning and I could understand the major part of the text. Being from Valencia and knowing words from the Valencian/Catalan area helped to understand more Italian too. I guess it might be a result of the Spanish eastern coast's historic trade with Italy.

And the spoken Italian, I can understand TV news to some degree, enough to know what are they talking about and follow the news.

But I can't understand anything from Romanian news, although some words sound familiar here and there. Written Romanian is not as easy as Italian for me either, I can only understand words and maybe some sentences, but the major part of a Romanian text is beyond me.

0d1n
04-22-2011, 05:13 AM
0d1n:

I also used to read some Italian newspapers without any kind of previous learning and I could understand the major part of the text. Being from Valencia and knowing words from the Valencian/Catalan area helped to understand more Italian too. I guess it might be a result of the Spanish eastern coast's historic trade with Italy.

And the spoken Italian, I can understand TV news to some degree, enough to know what are they talking about and follow the news.

But I can't understand anything from Romanian news, although some words sound familiar here and there. Written Romanian is not as easy as Italian for me either, I can only understand words and maybe some sentences, but the major part of a Romanian text is beyond me.

Hmmm...heard some Italians I had contact with saying the same thing. Somehow Romanians seem quicker to pick up Italian than vice-versa.
Still for those Italians that I know...it has been a necessity to "get used to it" somewhat...and after they "get it" it's a bit of an a-ha ! moment and everything seems to get easier after that. Not sure about the detail of "what goes on under the hood" of that process...but that's what I noticed. I think it has a lot to do with the "rhytm/tempo" of the spoken language, but I can't really put my finger on it.
Regardless...while in the north of Italy speaking Romanian on a bus some years ago...natives actually thought we were from "the south" rather than from a different country. They could hear similarities but couldn't properly understand exactly what was being said...and they thought we were speaking some southern Italian dialect. I thought that was pretty funny.

boris becker 1
04-22-2011, 06:45 AM
federers mother is south african he probably used english as a kid.


some of the worse ones are chela, nalbandian, almagro.

boris becker 1
04-22-2011, 06:47 AM
haas speaks very well. but of course he was at bolletieri acedemy as a kid.

the other germans mostly speak english very well because tennis was an upper class sport in germany.


boris becker I don't know I think his english is kinda bad, but I don't remember.

generally north and western european countries (germany, holland,scandinavia, switzerland...) speak very well english because it is pushed in the schools from early age.

the south europe countries (spain, portugal, france, italy) usually speak not so well english. I think they often don't even learn it in school.



beckers english is fine. he lives in london. his dutch wife doesnt speak german. his kids who live in miami dont speak german too well either

boris becker 1
04-22-2011, 06:53 AM
took me ages to learn to speak catalan correctly and at times i still use a castillan word by mistake