Comparing Germanic and
Romance Languages
(German and Spanish)
By Annis Cordy, Jessica-Alice
Cunliffe, Heidi Dobson, Rhys
Jervis and “Daniel Webb”
Spanish: Where is it spoken?
• The language is spoken by between 322
and 400 million people natively
• This includes people from countries such
as : Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia,
Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic,
Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, El Salvador,
Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua,
Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico,
Spain, Uruguay, Venezuela
Where Is German Spoken?
• German is the tenth most widely spoken
language in the world, with a total of
123,527,178 speakers worldwide. The countries
in which it is a native language include not only
Germany and Austria, but also Switzerland (4.6
million speakers) and Liechtenstein (32,000
speakers). Other countries where it has official
status as a widely spoken language are
Luxemburg, Italy and Belgium. Smaller German
speaking communities also exist in North and
South America, South Africa and Australia.
Variations of Spanish
• Me gusta ver la tele. (I like to watch the
• Due to massive emigration from Andalusia to the
Spanish colonies in the Americas and elsewhere,
many American Spanish dialects share some
fundamental characteristics with Andalusian
Spanish, such as the use of ustedes instead of
vosotros for the second person plural, and the
widespread use of seseo.
Variations Of German
In the morning
Am Morgen
In der Früh
Die Spätzle
Das Nockerl
Whipped cream
Die Schlagsahne
Das Obers
A German person
[disparaging term]
Der Piefke
The Origins of the Spanish
• Although Spanish is a ‘romance language’ it was
influenced by the Visigothic language (an East
Germanic Language).
• It also has Arabic influence dating from 711 CE.
• Shortly before the arrival of Christopher
Columbus to the Americans, Spanish settlers
were introduced to a host of native languages
and adopted a number of words from them.
The Origins of the German
West Germanic North Germanic East Germanic
Anglo-Frisian Netherlandic German
W.Scandinavian E.Scandinavian I Gothic
English Frisian Netherlandic German Icelandic
Faroese Norwegian Danish Swedish
Word Order and Translation
I like it
Ich mag das
I like that
Me gusta
Me it pleases
I have a yellow house
Ich habe ein gelbes Haus
I have a yellow house
Tengo una casa amarilla
I have a house yellow
I go to London because I like
Ich fahre nach London, weil ich einkaufen mag
I travel to London because I to shop like
Voy a Londres porque me gusta ir de compras
I go to London because me it pleases to go of
I can see him
Ich kann ihn sehen
I can him to see
Puedo verlo
I can to see him
I have eaten it
Ich habe es gegessen
I have it eaten
Lo he comido
It I have eaten
Similarities between German and
Spanish Phonology
German Phonology
After making these comparisons, we can conclude that some
similarities lie within the East Germanic origins of both languages,
although the impact of these on the languages –particularly
Spanish- could be seen as negligible. The differences between
the languages outweigh the similarities, which would explain why
they belong to different language families.
There are, however, several Germanically-derived words in Spanish
which correspond quite closely to words in modern Hochdeutsch,
for example:
East. In Spanish ‘oeste’, in German ‘Ost’
Soup. In Spanish ‘sopa’, in German ‘Suppe’.
Mascot. In Spanish ‘mascota’, in German ‘Maskotte’.
However, it is debatable whether these words have the same Germanic
origins, or are simply just derived or loaned from another
language such as English.

Comparing Germanic and Romance Languages (German