Anno .

earning a language that has many similarities to English and yet appears so foreign can be a huge obstacle to successfully completing the learning process. Sounds that are not in your language, familiar sounds that have different letters, countless tables of endings for nouns and verbs and vowels that change can be rather difficult to pin down.

This supplementary guide to the basic language program is designed to provide an historical basis for the English language in conjunction with your studies of German. As you read through this guide you find many similarities between the two languages. While many of these characteristics in English disappeared through the centuries, they have been maintained to a large extent in German. The guide will show those characteristics that are common to both Modern High German and the stages of English. Most of the focus will be on Old English, as you will find the most common characteristics regarding the verb, but examples from later in the history of the English language will also show these similarities. For instance, a man named Shakespeare will make an appearance or two.

In each section you will find first the information designed to draw parallels between English and German; extensive tables of examples will be provided and will be followed in most sections by a series of practice exercises and activities, which are located on the Quia online platform.



Navigation of this site

There are many options for navigating through the sections of the Comparison. Concerning the sections, there is the menu on the left side if you wish to go directly to a particular section, or for those who wish to read the entire guide in one sitting, there are links to the previous and to the next sections at the bottom of most pages.

The horn means that you can find one or more audio files associated with a particular topic. For example, when this image is found in the heading of a table, it means that each Old English and German word in that table has an audio file associated with it. Just click the word to hear that file. Other audio files will be specified as they occur.

When you hover over a link, the link text will change color, and the quill cursor will change from grey to red (quill is viewable only in Internet Explorer). You can test this feature out by hovering your mouse over the following names:

Wulfstān    Beowulf

The Old English names above should also appear in a different font, as will most snippets of Old English text on this site so that you can distinguish them from the German words. (Occasionally the Old English form and the German form can be identical in written form.)


Illustration from page 46 of the Cædmon manuscript


The Comparison of Verb Forms is viewed best with Internet Explorer 6 or higher with a minimum resolution of 800×600.