Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1,151
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default German for English teachers

    Things seem to be a little slow at present on this part of the forum, so I thought that I would float an idea.

    At its most outrageous the idea is that ALL teachers of English grammar or literature should HAVE to study German.

    That thought has seriously occurred to me. Because of a German friend that I have made online, my German is getting better, and I have been reminded of what an eye-opener it was to discover that side of the English language i.e. the part without French or Latin, the Teutonic side, if you will.

    I won't be too surprised to be "pounced on" for suggesting this, but I do not do it frivolously.

  2. #2
    Curt Jugg is offline Junior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    47
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: German for English teachers

    That's an interesting idea, Frank, but wouldn't it be better if they studied Old English (Anglo-Saxon)? Of course, it could be that they do that already,but I'm not an English teacher, so I don't know.

  3. #3
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1,151
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: German for English teachers

    Curt,

    Thanks for responding.

    No, although I think that studying Old English is a very good thing for an English teacher to do, I don't think it would be the same.

    It is not only the vocabulary of German, but also the syntax. And if you speak German, and use that syntax up to speed (something that I think is so unlikely with OE) your mind does regular gymnastics in dealing with word order. A compound complex sentence in German is a real trip! -- or almost any sentence that has an adjective clause in it. What happens with the relative pronouns is amazing. It is like Latin that way. They must agree with their antecedents in gender (3 possibilities) and number, but they also must be in the right case for the dependent clause. In Modern English we have "who", "whom", and "whose" but no "which's" , as a small example. Now this level of complexity is in many other languages, but German is SO close to English!

    Mark Twain made a very funny comment about German grammar, but I am too tired tonight to go find it.

    Thanks, again, for responding. I am currently teaching a free class online "Frank's Hum Hundred" (on Youtube, mrbisse1 channel). I have pretty much resolved that I will include German in the class since it is not offered that widely.

  4. #4
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1,151
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: German for English teachers

    Whenever the literary German dives into a sentence, that is the last you are going to see of him till he emerges on the other side of his Atlantic with his verb in his mouth.

    Is the quote I was thinking of.

  5. #5
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1,151
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: German for English teachers

    My philological studies have satisfied me that a gifted person ought to learn English (barring spelling and pronouncing) in thirty hours, French in thirty days, and German in thirty years. It seems manifest, then, that the latter tongue ought to be trimmed down and repaired. If it is to remain as it is, it ought to be gently and reverently set aside among the dead languages, for only the dead have time to learn it.
    - Appendix D of A Tramp Abroad, "That Awful German Language"

  6. #6
    Curt Jugg is offline Junior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    47
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: German for English teachers

    Yes, having done some German at school a very long time ago, I've always liked that Mark Twain quote about the German with the verb in his mouth. Many years ago I read "A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur's Court" and, as I recall, the eponymous hero was regarded as a magician and used German words (written in Gothic script, I think) as incantations.

    Good luck with your online German class.

  7. #7
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1,151
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: German for English teachers

    Thanks.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 19-Feb-2011, 05:52

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •