Сходство и различие английского и немецкого языков

XXI Международный конкурс научно-исследовательских и творческих работ учащихся
Старт в науке

Сходство и различие английского и немецкого языков

Аминев А.Р. 1
1Филиал МОБУ СОШ с. Ефремкино СОШ им. М.М. Шаймуратова с. Шаймуратово
Каримова Г.С. 1
1Филиал МОБУ СОШ с. Ефремкино СОШ им. М.М. Шаймуратова с. Шаймуратово
Автор работы награжден дипломом победителя II степени
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Nowadays we live  in  the  global world.The  Internet  has become  an   important  source  of  communication  and  it  plays  an  important  role 

in  the  life  of  almost every  person. It  brings  people  of   the  world  closer  together. The  Internet  makes  the  world  smaller  because  through  the  Internet  we  can 

communicate  with  people  from  all  over  the  world.  For communicating with people of different countries we need to know foreign languages.

In my school students study English as a foreign language. They start studying it in class 2. Some years ago Education Minister of Russian Federation decided that students should know two foreign languages. In our school the second foreign language is German. Students have a German lesson only once a week. But they have noticed that English and German have lots of in common. I decided to make this research work because I’m studying both English and German.

The aim of my work is to find out similarities and differences between German and English languages. I think this theme is very actual nowadays because, firstly, both English and German are widespread in Russian schools; secondly, studying foreign languages develops students’ attention andobservation, brings up their logical thinking, gives opportunity for communication with foreigners.

The aim supposes the following objectives:

1. To make a comparative analysis of some linguistic phenomena.

2. To compare some grammar rules.

3. To make a research among my schoolmates about these two languages.

Objects: English and German textbooks for the 5 - 8 forms.
Subject: Similarities and differences between German and English. 
Methods of research:  studying information, analysis, determination, classification.
My project has a very definite practical meaning – I can present it at our English and German lessons in a form of short reports.


  1. Roots of English and German languages

The history of English language begins with the invasion of Germanic tribes in 5th century. The British Isles were inhabited by prehistoric population and the earliest inhabitants were Celts (Celtic tribes). Celtic Britain was a province of the Roman Empire. The Romans occupation of Britain lasted until the 5thcentury. In 410 the Roman legions were withdrawn. The withdraw of the Roman Empire was final and the Roman Empire was breaking up. After that the Romans had left the British Isles.

Germanic raiders began their attacks on Britain in the first half of the 5th century. And the conquest extended over a long period. The most part of Britain was colonized by the West Germanic tribes.

It lasted into the 6th century. The newcomers dispossessed soon other Germanic tribes, they came in clans and families. They migrated and the Germanic invasion was different from the Roman occupation. The invaders came from the western subdivision of Germanic tribes. They were Angles, Saxons, and Jutes. The Jutes had been the first to arrive here from Jutland. 

The tribes of Ancient Germans in Scandinavian remained isolated. Only small group crossed the Baltic Sea and settled in Jutland. They occupied the land in the South-East of Britain. This part of Britain became known as the Kingdom of Kent. 

Saxons came from low-land Germany. They settled on the both banks of the river Thames. And they became known as west-, east-, middle and south Saxons. All of them consolidated into the Kingdom of West Saxons-Wessex.

 Last came the Angles from the low basin of river Alba and Southern Denmark. They occupied the territory between the Wash and Hambour. They consolidated into the Kingdom - Mercia, Anglia and North Numbria (Northumbria) (Appendix 1).

The bulk of the population of England sprang of the newcomers, later under feudalism social differentiation and surviving Celtic tribes blended into one nation. The invader prevailed over natives and after the settlement Germanic dialects were spoken all over Britain with the exception of Wales, Scotland, Cornwall (Appendix 2).

3. Similarities and differences between German and English languages

    1. Similarities between German and English.

1. German and English are both popular global languages.

English is the official language in the United States of America, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand,  It is used as one of the official languages in Canada, the Republic of South Africa and the Irish Republic. English is also spoken as a second language in the former British and US colonies (Appendix 3).

The German language has official language status in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol (Italy), the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English(Appendix 4).

2. The two languages use the same alphabet. Both languages use the Latin alphabet which consists of 26 letters. There are a few additional letters in the German alphabet: umlauted letters (ä, ö and ü); Eszett or sharp S (ß) (Appendix 5).

3. Both the German and English languages are considered to be members of the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family, meaning they are still closely related today. Today, 80 of the 100 most common words in English are Germanic in origin.  That’s why there is the  lexical similarity.

German words English words

Das Haus house

Das Gold gold

Das Wetter weather

Der Bus bus

Der Name name

Der Freund friend

Die Hand hand

Der Garten garden

Die Familie family

Farben Colours

braun brown

rot red

grün green

grau grey

Tiere Animals

der Hamster hamster

der Pinguin penguin

die Maus mouse

die Kuh cow

das Känguru kanguru

der Wolf wolf

der Tiger tiger

die Giraffe giraffe

das Zebra zebra

The modern languages have both loaned words from Latin, Greek and French.

4. German and English words often follow the same grammatical rules.

Ich bin blond. - I am blond.

Ich bin 14 Jahre alt. -  I am 14 years old.

Ich habe eine Mutter. - I have a mother.

Es ist lang. - It is long.

Both English and German verbs have three forms:

Bringen – brachte – gebracht bring - brought – brought

Schwimmem – schwamm –geschwommen swim - swam - swum


3.2. Differences between English and German

1. The /θ/ and /ð/and /w/ sounds do not exist in German.

2. German has 4 cases: Nominative, Accusative, Dative and Genitive. In English, there is only nominative, accusative, and genitive for pronouns e.g. “I, me, my/mine”.

3. In German the first letter in a noun is always capitalized; that’s why HandySchiff, and Buchare all the nouns written with a capital letter.

4. In English the definite article is “the,” and the indefinite article is “a” or “an.” However, in German, the definite article can be der if the word is masculine, die if it’s feminine, das if it’s “neuter” or die if it’s “plural”. 

For example, Tisch (“table”) is masculine so it’s der Tisch.

5. German does not have a continuous tense form.

I eat every day. Ich esse jeden Tag.

I am eating now. Ich esse jetzt.

6. The word order can be very different.

English: I eat apples every day. Every day I eat apples.

German: Ich esse jeden Tag. Jeden Tag esse ich Äpfel.

7. There are differences in using articles:

I am a teacher (with the indefinite article) = Ich bin Lehrer (without the article)

8. There are False friends - words which sound and look similar in German and English, but they have totally different meaning. Here are some of them:

das Gift” (poison) and “gift” (Geschenk)

die Art” (sort, kind, type) and “art” (Kunst)

das Handy” (mobile phone) and “handy” (handlich)

der Rock” (skirt) and “rock” (Rock Misik).

der Student” (someone who studies at the university) and “student”(Schüler, Student)

der Chef” (boss) and “chef” (Koch)

fast” (almost) and “fast” (schnell)

9. Some nouns have only the plural form in English, however, they are regular singular nouns in German: 

die Hose ist… Trousers are…

die Brille ist… Glasses are…

die Schere ist… Scissors are…

10. There are differences in building plural forms of nouns.

English: cat – cats

box – boxes.

German: der Freund – die Freunde

der Lehrer – die Lehrer

die Kuh – die Kühe

der Radiergummi – die Radiergummis

das Fach – die Fächer


  1. Results of the questionnaire in my school

I held a questionnaire among my schoolmates. The questionnaire was consisted of following questions:

1. Do you like studying foreign languages? Why?

2. Are you interested in studying German as the second foreign language?

3. Which language is easier: English or German? Why?

These questions were answered by 39 students. 27 students answered that they like studying foreign languages because knowledge of them expands their outlook. As for the second question, only 22 students answered that they are interested in studying German as the second foreign language. The reason is the same – expanding outlook. The other 17 students told that English was more popular than any other language and English was the language of international communication in the world.

The third question showed that only students of seventh, eighth and ninth forms (24 students) understood that English was easier than German because they had already started its learning. Other students think that German is easier because there aren’t lots of reading rules.

  1. Conclusion

1. To sum up the results of my work I would like to say that the similarity of German and English is thank to the common origin of these languages, which were the basis for tribal dialects of the ancient Germans. These tribal dialects changed over time in different ways and became different languages.
German and English languages ​​have similarities not only in vocabulary but also in grammar.

2. It is known worldwide that English is one of the easiest languages. Here is at least one area where German is generally considered easier than English: pronunciation. English pronunciation is notoriously difficult to master, but German is much more phonetic.

3. Both English and German borrowed and still borrow words from each other and other languages. It is one of the ways of enriching the lexicon of the language.

4. Studying the second foreign language is easier because students have some experience in studying and they can make comparisons between languages.

  1. Literature

1. Аverin М. М. Horizonte. Deutsch als 2. Fremdsprache. Lehrbuch, 5 - 7 Klasse. Мoscow: Prosweshcheniye, 2021. 104 pages.

2. Joseph M. Willams, Origins of the English Language. Amazon.com. Retrieved 2010-04-21.

3. Kaufman K.I. Happy English.ru. Textbook, 5 - 8 classes. Obninsk: Titul, 2020. 286 pages.

4. Robinson, Orrin. Old English and Its Closest Relatives. Stanford Univ. 

Press. ISBN 0-8047-2221-8.

Appendix 1.

Appendix 2.

Appendix 3.

Appendix 4.

Appendix 5.

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