Every language is unique in its way, and sometimes, choosing which foreign language to learn can be a difficult decision. Spanish and German are both exciting choices, and selecting one over the other, requires thought and consideration.
Here are some things to consider if you are not sure which language you should learn:
Number of People Speaking the Language
When you learn a new language, it only becomes useful when you have people to speak or practice with. Most students looking to learn German or Spanish intend to use the language, whether at work or in their personal lives.
But if you are not learning a new language because of your friends, colleagues or travel plans, choosing the foreign language with more speakers is the best decision. Overall, there are more Spanish speakers in different parts of the world compared to German speakers. It is estimated that more than 400 million people in the world speak Spanish, whereas only around 90 million speak German. If you base your choice on this statistic only, in your life, you are more likely to encounter more Spanish than German speakers.
Ease of Learning
If your choice between Spanish and German is based on the ease of learning each language, then Spanish would be the winner. It is relatively easier to understand and write Spanish words than German, although this mainly applies to English speakers. Most English speakers can easily learn basic Spanish online, and on their own, using helpful websites and Spanish language apps. That’s because English and Spanish are “cousin languages”, as they have a common ancestor, known as Indo-European language.
At the same time, for most English speakers, it takes more time and effort to grasp the basics of the German language. At a glance, German seems to use common alphabets, but when you begin to learn German, you will encounter a few unique characters that might be confusing for beginners and make the language a little harder to learn. Also, the pronunciation of most words is unique and not as similar to English as Spanish pronunciation is. This is surprising, considering that English has its roots in the Germanic languages, from which German and Dutch also developed.
Sentence Structure and Pronunciation
When speaking in a foreign language, beginner students tend to think in their mother tongue and translate the same in the foreign language. But if you learn German, this pattern will never work, as the sentence structure in German does not adhere to the usual subject-verb-object sequence. Therefore, German grammar can be very challenging at first. You will not encounter this difficulty if you learn Spanish because the sentence structure in Spanish is similar to English.
On the other hand, Spanish pronunciation requires some extra work, as some alphabets have a different pronunciation compared to how you pronounce them in English. For example, double ‘l’ is pronounced as ‘y’ and not “l’. Pronunciation gets easier with time, especially if you have a Spanish teacher or a friend to help you practice and improve your pronunciation.
Both languages, Spanish and German, require efforts and dedication to learn. However, in the eyes of most English speakers, Spanish seems to have an extra edge over German. Regardless, each of them is unique, and you should choose depending on your personal goals.
But if you want to get a glimpse at both languages, you can always book two language lessons on italki.com. For example, you can take a trial class with one of the hundreds of experienced German teachers available on our platform. Then, if you’re still unsure that German is the right choice for you, you can take a one-on-one session with the Spanish teacher of your choice. All on italki.com