Lexical Distances between European Languages


Lexical Distances between European Languages

While walking towards the Australian Museum last week, Ruben and Mad got talking about different languages, in particular German as opposed to English and so on. While unable to get a word in edgewise, it was interesting to listen to since I’d found this picture and the associated article the day before.

English vocabulary mostly comes from the Romantic languages these days, that is French and Latin, however its grammar is still quite Germanic, despite much more simplified. The most frequently used 80% of English words are Germanic as well. In terms of lexical distance, English is still closer to German.

You would think that with the similarity, German grammar would be easy to master, but I have never been more confused than sitting in a crashed German class and trying to wrap my head around it. To Frau Kolb’s credit though, her explanation of German grammar was the clearest I’d ever encountered, miles above that of online videos!

So, will there be one for Asian languages? :)