Ever tried to learn German? It’s got to be one of the hardest European languages to learn.
German’s big plus has got to be that all the words are pronounced phonetically, strictly in accordance with the way it is spelled. From there it goes downhill.
Currently the definite/indefinite article has 3 cases Masculine, Feminine and Neutar. Most languages have only 2 cases and plurals of masculine and feminine. The rules for what is Der, Die or Das are constantly broken so you have to learn the case for each noun practically one by one. English is a rarity and only has one
The agreement with the cases is quite archaic and this type of agreement is called declension. The words have to have an agreement for the case the fall in. These complex cases are called the Nominative ( the subject), Accusative (the object), Dative (indirect object) and Genitive (possessive). The cases exist in all European language but declension and it’s agreement doesn’t exist in any except German. The names they are given to the cases are quite off-putting. Until I worked out what the hell was the idea behind these cases, I was perplexed as to their purpose and why the hell they existed in the first place. For my research I checked all the Germanic languages, and found that it used to exist in exactly the same system in English, and all other Germanic languages, but thankfully was completely eradicated from the language. Dutch still has the closest to the German system, albeit with a more recent eradication of the case declension, there are still some set phrases still in use. Danish, Swedish and Norwegian also had these but also now don’t exist.
These changes are on the back of a reform that was made in 1996. It was decided that they make another review and the results are the 2016 reforms. However this one is quite major compared to the previous. Come to think of it English could do with a big shake-up itself.
So what are these big changes:
Der, Die, Das and ein, eine no more. Like English one case rules all, and that is De and Ein Das Mädchen = De Mädchen, and Der Bruder = De Bruder
The cases like in Dutch have been reduced to 3. Even at this point in time the system used colloquially to use von to reduce declension of the possesive Genitive: So “Der Herr Die Ringe” should become De Herr von de ringe” The lord of the rings.
However, the big change will be that declension omitted except for the subject and direct object as in English which would be Ich/I my/mein. The agreement of the adjectives “der Mann mit der großen Feder in seinem roten Hut” should become “De Mann mit de grosse feder in sein Hut” if I’m not wrong.
German word order is also something for confusion. From now on the verb will no longer be place at the end, making simultaneous translations by not having to wait for the verb at the end to be able to translate a phrase.
These are quite significant changes, and keeps them up to date with all other modernised Germanic languages.
With one more clean-up and that is the clean-up of their archaic prepositions, (like hither and thither, which no longer exist in English) and we could be looking at a far more modern and useful language than modern English, which by this stage will have far more broken rules than German.