Is French Easier Than German?

Updated :
| By : Louise
Born in Cameroon and adopted at 1 year in France. I spent all my childhood in Alsace before studying in Paris. I like to defend my beautiful country with its strengths and weaknesses. Find me on Linkedin and CV.

Bonjour, bonjour, c’est Louise !

During my travels in English speaking countries (Usa, England, Australia…), my English-speaking friends often asked me this question:

Is French easier than German?

A Friend of Louise 🙂

I am not very objective (I am French anyway) but I will try to show you the advantages and disadvantages of each language.

My personal preference is for French (as you may have guessed) but I will try to be objective ! 😉

Louise xx

Is French Easier Than German?

Oh my god, it’s a very difficult question to respond !

It’s depend of a lot of factors :

  • your native language
  • yours objectives : personal and professional
  • your motivation….

So I would like present 5 reasons to say that French is easier than German (in first ;-)) and 5 reasons why German could be easier than French (fair-play!) :

My 5 Reasons why French Is Easier Than German

1. Vocabulary

French shares more vocabulary with English than German does.

This is due to the influence of French on English throughout history, particularly during the Norman Conquest.

As a result, English speakers may find it easier to recognize and remember French words.

2. Grammar

German has a more complex case system than French.

Both languages have gendered nouns.

And German has four grammatical cases : nominative, accusative, dative, and genitive.

Which can make sentence structure and word order more challenging for learners.

French, does not have a case system, which simplifies grammar rules.

3. Pronunciation

French pronunciation can be tricky due to silent letters and liaisons.

But German pronunciation is often considered more challenging for English speakers.

German has sounds and phonemes that do not exist in English or French, such as :

  • the “voice uvular fricative” : like the ‘ch’ sound in ‘Bach’
  • the “vowels with umlauts” : ä, ö, ü.

4. Verb conjugation

Both languages have verb conjugations.

French conjugation patterns tend to be more regular and predictable than German.

German verbs can have strong and weak forms, as well as irregular patterns that can be more difficult for learners to memorize.

5. Availability of resources

French is one of the most spoken languages in the world, and as a result, there is a wealth of learning resources available for French learners.

This includes textbooks, online courses, podcasts, videos, and more….

There are also many resources for learning German.

But the sheer volume of materials for French may make it easier for learners to find resources that suit their learning style and preferences.

My 5 Reasons why German Is Easier Than French

As I’m fair-play, i will also propose you 5 good reasons to prefer German to French :

1. Pronunciation

German has some unique sounds that don’t exist in English or French.

But its pronunciation is generally more phonetic and consistent than French.

French pronunciation can be challenging due to silent letters, liaisons between words, and many accent marks that can alter pronunciation and meaning.

2. Word order

While German’s case system can be complex, its word order is often more flexible than French.

This flexibility can make it easier for learners to form sentences and express ideas, as there is less emphasis on maintaining a strict word order.

3. Cognates with English

While French shares more vocabulary with English overall, German also has a significant number of cognates with English, especially in technical and scientific fields.

This can make it easier for English speakers to learn and remember German vocabulary in certain contexts.

4. Compound words

German have long compound words, which can be intimidating for learners.

However, this feature can also be helpful, as it allows learners to deduce the meaning of unfamiliar words by breaking them down into their component parts.

This can aid in vocabulary acquisition and comprehension.

Clearer distinction between formal and informal language

German has a more explicit distinction between formal and informal language.

Using “Sie” for formal “you” and “du” for informal “you“.

This can make it easier for learners to navigate social situations and understand the appropriate code to speak.


So…Keep in mind that individual factors, such as your :

  • native language
  • learning style
  • motivation

…will play a significant role in determining which language is easier for you to learn.

The best approach is to choose the language that interests you the most or aligns with your personal or professional goals.

And your motivation will have an impact on your success in learning the language.

Please share your opinion in comments ! 😉


People also ask about French or German languages :

Is French one of the hardest language?

No, French is not considered one of the hardest languages for English speakers to learn.

According to the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) rankings, French is a Category 1 language.

So French language require around 24-30 weeks or 600-750 class hours to reach S-3/R-3 proficiency

Meaning it is relatively easier for English speakers to learn compared to languages like Chinese, Arabic, or Japanese.

Which European language is most useful?

It is generally accepted that English is the most useful European (and World?) language for some good reasons :

  1. English is the first language spoken in the world with more of 1,4 billons of people speaking English as first (L1) and second language (L2). Official sources : Wikipedia – Ethnologue
  2. Its widespread use in international communication, business, and diplomacy.

Other European languages like German, French, and Spanish can also be highly beneficial for work, travel, or cultural reasons !

Learning French :

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