Saturday, February 22, 2020


German and French

Robert Graves (1895-1985), Goodbye to All That, new ed. (London: Cassell & Company Ltd, 1957), p. 25:
We children did not talk German well, our genders and minor parts of speech were shaky, and we never learned to read Gothic characters or script. Yet we had the sense of German so strongly that I feel I know German far better than French, though able to read French almost as fast as I can read English, and German only very painfully and slowly, with the help of a dictionary. I use different parts of my mind for the two languages. French is a surface acquirement which I could forget quite easily if I had no reason to speak it every now and then.

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