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Twain's essay is hilarious, but more so if one does know German. In fact, while the syntax is incredibly complicated for us, it is also very logical and consistent, as is the spelling. And despite what most of us have heard in German, it can also be extremely beautiful, as in Rilke or Goethe.
Cheers,
Nancy

>>> "Rickard A. Parker" <[log in to unmask]> 11/12/12 6:33 AM >>>
On Mon, 12 Nov 2012 08:35:53 +0000, Peter Montgomery
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>Mark Twain once said, "My philological studies have satisfied me that a
gifted person ought to learn English (barring spelling and pronouncing) in
thirty hours, French in thirty days, and German in thirty years."

Also: "I heard a Californian student in Heidelberg say, in one of his
calmest moods, that he would rather decline two drinks than one German
adjective."


The Awful German Language
by Mark Twain
[This is Appendix D from Twain's 1880 book A Tramp Abroad.]
http://www.crossmyt.com/hc/linghebr/awfgrmlg.html

Regards,
Rick Parker