Already some time ago I came up with a theory that there must be a connection between language and the socalled typical behaviour of a people. It goes like this:
Languages do have very differnt sounds, typical quirks and sides. Some are more “corny” or soft or request more grammar detail than others. You even need different mimic to get intonations right. And just these typical language traits influence the speakers to be different and vice versa. I’m not sure what was there first. I guess that’s the typical henn and egg enigma. *g*
Let’s take German for example.
German speakers need to be very careful about the grammar of a word. The connection between nouns is not idicated by articles such as “like, of, about” etc. but by changing the end of every nound plus by changing the corresponding prepositions.
I’ll give you a small examle for an easy word: the house = das Haus. Now let’s add a door and we get: the door of the house. In English the house stays the house. Nothing changed. In German we get: Die Tür des Hauses. We need to change das Haus into des Hauses. This really small article “of” got consumed by the house itself.
To raise the stake you have three genders multiplied by singular and plural multiplied by four cases and we get: 24 possibilities to conjugate nouns, articles, adjectives and so on. Happy guessing for the right form. 🙂
Anyway, coming back to the initial theory this means that you have to be very detailed and formal to speak German correctly. And most poeple I met expect Germans to be exactly that: correct and formal. Of course there are other traits as well but that could easily become to big an issue here. lol
As I do speak a little French as well and do know some Frensh and Belgians and of course English and Americans I looked back and considered my theory.
And looking back I do feel that I’m on the right way with it. French is much more soft and “round”. That’s sounds just right for big romances doesn’t it? Or take Spanish! It’s tends to be a little more “hard” or “corny” then Frensh but not as “sterile” as German. And don’t we all generally think of Spanish to be emotional and honorable?
Recently I had the chance to discuss this with Huw, who is Welsh. Though his native language is English he started taking Welsh language courses because he loves the songs beeing sang in pubs (and of course because it’s part of the Welsh history) and wished very much to understand more and even beeing able to jump in. And maybe just maybe the Welsh do have so many songs and love singing because their language is made for it …