Kate Troy wrote:
 
>The Russians I have met would not want their language to be at all associated with the German language or the German people. They consider German as very bourgeoisie and unpleasant sounding, to boot.  Not that the Russian language is music to the ear, not like French or Spanish, which are very pretty sounding, easy on the eardrums, too.  I wonder if English is a pretty language to hear . . ..
 
Actually, Russian has so many common words derived from German, and vice versa, because of the Slavic expansions starting from V-VI centuries AD. I, too, consider German as unpleasant sounding. I am Italian. Too many consonants and harsh sounds, as for my ear. Russian is more music to the ear than you might think, and often people mistake Russian songs with French ones, at first (think of Vissotskij or Otkudjava). Russian has so many more open sounds than Germanic languages, because its renderings of the original Slavonic terms were endowed with additional vowels: e.g. grad (= city) which has three consonants and one vowel only changed to gorod in Russian.
 
Of course, your husband may not agree with me, Kate (I seem to remember that he is French, right?), but my mother -- who speaks only Italian -- more than once mistook Russian with French, when hearing some tapes I was listening to.
 
Cheers --
Sara