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This has been stuck in my head for too long now so I figured I'd get it out here lol

Basically I'm trying to figure out whether I should learn German or Swedish. I taught myself a good amount of French about a year or two ago and got to visit France and use it. It was awesome but after having visited and experienced it I want to move to another culture.

So I started learning Swedish because I was totally into the culture and country but then realized there weren't any Swedish language books at the bookstores :dry:

And then I met a German and started wondering whether German would be a better language to learn since they practically run the EU and it would be more useful than Swedish if I move to Europe (which has been one of my dreams for awhile now).

Problem is I don't care for the German culture or language compared to Swedish. I could learn both but then I think that's pushing it...

So I don't know whether to learn a language that interests me more or learn a language that would be more useful and perhaps I'd learn to love. And then this also goes into which I'd rather move to, Sweden or Germany. Which I'm mostly inclined to Sweden but then I feel Germany would be easier to find work since it's the biggest economy in the EU and doesn't have the really dark winters. But for everything else I love Sweden and haven't read many nice things about the German culture. Oh and I prefer Sweden's history too...

So I'm just looking for advice because I wanna make a decision and start learning already XD I tend to find so many pros and cons and future possibilities it makes me a very indecisive person :dry:
 

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I would say go with your heart and go for Swedish. Learning a language is hard enough, but learning one you're not enthusiastic about is such a huge drag. In my case, I realise that Japanese is an awkward language to learn but I've such enthusiasm for the culture and such dreams for how to put it to use, I've interpreted any difficulties as quirks and I just keep working at it. ^^
 

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I was actually just struggling with German vs Swedish not long ago. I've been learning German on and off for about a year now, so I have a very basic understanding of the language, but I'm by no means an expert.

Initially I wasn't real crazy about it. I found it very hard, very guttural, and it reminded me of barbarians for some reason. Not to mention the complex conjugation. Then I started meeting some Germans (my brother actually lives in Germany now), I learned more about the culture and the language, and I really started to like it. I still like Swedish more, but German is definitely one of my favorite languages now. The pronunciation isn't nearly as hard sounding once you get an ear for it, and I love how flexible it is.

So, on a more useful note, German is more useful and spoken by more people. Also, less people speak English well in Germany than in Sweden. It can also help you a lot in your pursuit of learning Swedish, since they're related. However, it's also a harder language to learn, as the grammar is more complex. The flexibility of it can be confusing at times, and it's also a more common language to be studied (in other words, you won't be very unique studying German. Speaking it WELL is a little different).
 

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I read a few posts on a forum about a somewhat similar topic (it was asking about learning a language that has no practical use, for this person it was Hungarian), and a language expert and professor said:
For the vast majority of language learners, this would be an inconceivable thought. Most people can only imagine learning a foreign language, let alone actually embark upon doing so, if they have an actual or anticipated practical need or desire to converse in it. However, I know I have discussed before that there are three basic kinds of motivation for studying languages: practical/utilitarian, cultural, and �intellectual.� I just described the first kind, and the second kind is obviously the desire to get at the culture through the language. Your question is a fine example of the third kind�the desire to study a language in and of itself, because you are curious about how it works, what kind of system it is, how it is or is not related to other such systems, how it expresses thoughts.
...
Those who study languages for their own sake almost inevitably succeed in learning them. Those who study languages for other intellectual reasons (e.g., desire for mental exercise) also have a high rate of succeess. Those who study languages for cultural reasons generally get at least somewhere. However, those who study langauges for purely practical reasons almost always fail. We all know that the attrition rate for students in any language class is astronomically high, and we all also know that the vast number of resources available for beginning the study of any language compared to the paltry number of resources available for continuing or mastering them confirm this last statement because we all know that most people only have practical reasons for language study. The more reasons you have, the more different kinds of motives you have, the higher your chances for success, but the purest and therefore the best reason for studying a language is to study it for its own sake, and if you have this and this alone you are more likely to succeed than if you have all the others combined but lack this one.
TL;DR: If you don't like the language you're learning, you're going to almost inevitably fail at it.

I thought this was an interesting remark and might help you in your decision. I personally am going to still go for German, because it's:
What I know best.
I really like it anyway.
It's not TOO hard of a language, though it is harder than Swedish.
It's more usable, and would serve better for me as a second language, especially since I have a number of German-speaking friends and relatives.
I have a better understanding of the culture than I do of Sweden's.
 

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I love learning languages based on how easily they might help you learn other languages. Ie, Japanese w/ Korean, the Romantic languages together, etc.

But, I agree with Dragearen, I think the most important thing is to really have a reason to get excited about learning the language. Language learning takes a long time, so if you are just trying to "brute force" your way through lists of vocab and grammar points, I really doubt you could achieve fluency in any reasonable time frame.

As an example, if you find you are interested in German or Swedish music or cinema, it would help a ton in getting excited - and staying excited - and for also appreciating how you might apply your knowledge later on.
 

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When I was in secondary school, German was the impractical language to learn -- but I didn't want to be consumed by the mediocrity of studying Spanish or French (no offense to these beautiful languages) so I chose the option that made the least sense. I still haven't had the opportunity to use German, but I don't regret it at all.

Go with what you are more interested in and passionate about, and the rest will follow. :)
 

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Sie soll Deutsch lernen. Ist eine awendbar Sprache mit konkret Grammatik. Ich mag steif Wortordnung. Ich kenn wem macht, wie sind machen, und wo sind machen. Ich habe durch die letzt akademisch Jahre Deutsch lernte und ich muss sagen weild ist moglicher als ich hatte glaubte. Mein Deutsch ist im Gange und ich wurde mehr lernen.

You should learn German. It's actually a highly adaptable language with concrete grammar that makes sense. I admittedly like rigid word orders; it means that I know who exactly does what to whom, how they do it, and where it is does. I've been learning German the past academic year and i have to say that I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. My German is still in progress and I will learn more.
___________

I just don't know of any use for Swedish other than making subtitles for Caramelldansen vids. Well, there is diplomatic and English-teaching work, but that's true to just about everywhere.
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Mandarin Chinese, or any kind of Chinese, is a nightmare, and I'm good at languages. It's a tonal language, so vowel pronunciation determines word meaning. Unfortunately, the vowel sound are all tone! Vietnamese is even worse, having tone on each vowel sound and 6 full freaking tones, which are then modified by odd pronunciation and diacritics. Thai is much better, normally not dropping tone until the end. Swedish is also a tonal language, and has funny phonetics.
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I took Latin in high school. I don't regret it at all. It really helped with vocabulary and writing as well as giving me a more precise thinking language. The language is very complicated but useful and only has a difficult initial learning curve for whenever you stumble across new construction types.

Studivi Latinam in alto ludo. Tristeor sum ne quidem. Verre, auxillit meos verbos et scribentem et dedid mihi acerirorem putantem linguam. Lingua est insimpliciamissima sed ultitarius et modo ist difficlemam ubi incepes ut disceres novam rem.
__________

If you have language talent, then look into becoming a polyglot. Just study as many languages that strike your fancy as you can handle. I speak Latin, German, and English. Next year, I'm starting Russian!
 

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I've seen Swedish books in bookstores. I've also seen them in thrift stores. You could also pick up a Norwegian language book and get something out of that which you could apply to Swedish. Kind of like Portuguese and Spanish.

Learn whatever language you want to learn and don't let anyone else influence you. I've been learning Russian slowly and I get tired of hearing people tell me I should learn French instead. I have no interested in French. Then there are those idiots who tell me I should learn one of the Chinese languages. I don't care about them. In fact, I would prefer to learn French over Asian languages because French shares many cognates with Russian other Indo-European languages.

When I was in secondary school, German was the impractical language to learn -- but I didn't want to be consumed by the mediocrity of studying Spanish or French (no offense to these beautiful languages) so I chose the option that made the least sense. I still haven't had the opportunity to use German, but I don't regret it at all.

Go with what you are more interested in and passionate about, and the rest will follow. :)

Mediocrity of Spanish or French? Explain that.

You should learn German. It's actually a highly adaptable language with concrete grammar that makes sense. I admittedly like rigid word orders; it means that I know who exactly does what to whom, how they do it, and where it is does.
The word order you are talking about is fairly concrete in most Indo-European languages, with the use of subject-verb-object (svo) being most common (John has gone to the store), with verb-subject-object being acceptable in some instances, such as questions (Have you a pencil?). But word order isn't a requirement. Declensions will tell you the conjugation of verbs, if an adjective is describing a masculine, feminine or neuter noun, or what noun is part of the preposition without the standard use of subject-verb-object. Specifically, I'm thinking of Russian, but it applies to other Indo-European languages as well.
 

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I would say spending time learning a language in depth is pretty useless unless you actually plan on traveling to that country often or have family / friends / communitys / jobs that you can use it.
I learnt german for 3 years in junior high, and it was such a waste, since I never really used it. And 10 years later, most of it is forgotten, since I never spoke it, neither read much of it (prefer mother tounge or english)

I would reccomend Mandarin (Chinese) since the future is going to be chinese, just like english grew 50 years ago till today.
Korean / Japanese as well if you enjoy manga / anime / korean shows. You need to have a source to practice it or its a waste of time.
 

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Mediocrity of Spanish or French? Explain that.
Because in secondary school (at least in my area of the world) Spanish or French are what everyone learns. Spanish is admittedly practical with our growing Latino/Hispanic population, but the vast majority of people who learned French at my school are not going to use it a whit more than I've used my German. Yet it's so ingrained into our mindset that German is vastly more useless and impractical, that most people don't give learning the language a second thought. I didn't want to join the ranks of those conditioned to study a language because it's "practical", which I view as an exercise in mediocrity. Hence I learned German.


You need to have a source to practice it or its a waste of time.
I don't think learning for the sake of learning could ever be a waste of time. But you do make a good argument about the necessity of using a language in order for it to really stick.
 

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I don't think learning for the sake of learning could ever be a waste of time. But you do make a good argument about the necessity of using a language in order for it to really stick.
Well yes, learning is always good if it's self motivatied.
I chose spanish in high school as an optional subject because i thought it would be the only useful subject I could chose (among other fun activities like sports, arts, computers etc) and it ended up being a waste, since I didnt need it until 8 years later when was on a trip to colombia, and by then I had forgotten most. It only gets you so far, if you're not willing to work on it on your own and have a geniune intereste in it, its not worth it.

Though the OP seems to have a good spirit :)
 

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I'm actually studying both of these languages! I have a feeling that you should choose Swedish, though. German is very useful (and verdammt, so beautiful... It's like symphony to my ears), but if you were to choose it, you might not have enough inspiration to study it to its fullest. And you will have much time to study German later!
 

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This has been stuck in my head for too long now so I figured I'd get it out here lol

Basically I'm trying to figure out whether I should learn German or Swedish. I taught myself a good amount of French about a year or two ago and got to visit France and use it. It was awesome but after having visited and experienced it I want to move to another culture.

So I started learning Swedish because I was totally into the culture and country but then realized there weren't any Swedish language books at the bookstores :dry:

And then I met a German and started wondering whether German would be a better language to learn since they practically run the EU and it would be more useful than Swedish if I move to Europe (which has been one of my dreams for awhile now).

Problem is I don't care for the German culture or language compared to Swedish. I could learn both but then I think that's pushing it...

So I don't know whether to learn a language that interests me more or learn a language that would be more useful and perhaps I'd learn to love. And then this also goes into which I'd rather move to, Sweden or Germany. Which I'm mostly inclined to Sweden but then I feel Germany would be easier to find work since it's the biggest economy in the EU and doesn't have the really dark winters. But for everything else I love Sweden and haven't read many nice things about the German culture. Oh and I prefer Sweden's history too...

So I'm just looking for advice because I wanna make a decision and start learning already XD I tend to find so many pros and cons and future possibilities it makes me a very indecisive person :dry:
Look at the big picture, and learn Norwegian. Norwegians are able to grasp both Swedish and Danish without difficulty, which means you'd know 3 languages. Then pursue German, with a lot of language knowledge under your belt.

Swedish people can understand Norwegians to some degree, and written Danish. But Norwegians have a more comprehensive knowledge of both written and spoken forms of both languages, and it's easier to go from there.
 

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Don't learn a language because it's useful*... because to be honest, you could get by in practically any European country with English. Maybe that's not ideal, but it's the truth.

Learn a language because you want to, because you're passionate about the culture. I learned this lesson the hard way, for sure. A language is so much more than words and phrases... it is a culture, it is a people... and if you're being led to Swedish, that's not going to change. Go for it! It will be so much more rewarding if your heart's in it!

*In this case. If you have a choice and it's not tied to a certain outcome or job or anything.
 
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