Cognates Give Confidence

Cognates Give Confidence is adapted from ‘Easy, Tiger’, a humorous article about learning languages by David Sedaris from the New Yorker magazine of July 11, 2011.

This excerpt describes discovering German cognates similar to English words in an audio language program:

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I’ve add a second audio program, one by a man named Michel Thomas.

At the start, he explains that English and German are closely related and thus have a lot in common.

In one language, the verb is “to come”, and in the other it’s “kommen”.

English “to give” is German “geben”.

Boston’s “That is good” is Berlin’s “Das ist gut”.

It’s an excellent way to start, and leaves the listener thinking,

‘Hey, Ich kann do dis.’

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Learning a foreign language is never EASY.

But some foreign languages are EASIER than others.

Foreign languages with many words like English are EASIEST.

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Foreign Cognates Similar to English


German Words Like English Enable Communication by Mark Twain.



Cognates and Language Transfer -- which refers to speakers or writers applying knowledge from their native language to a second language.




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Easiest Languages have thousands of words similar to English, so:

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