We have already given a favorable notice of this lecture at the time of its delivery, and would, now that it is printed, recommend it to the attention of the students of German, or those who are doubting whether or not to become so. It is short and should be read as a whole, but the following extract furnishes some good points:*
Speaking of the influence that the study of German exercises on the mind of the English student, I have principally two qualities of the German language in view. First, its striking similarity with the English language in some respects; and secondly, its perfectly antipodal relations to this language in others.
In regard to the former point, it is obvious that it must interest an English person to be acquainted with a language which is similar to his own, from the very reason that his originated from it to the extent of that similarity.
Respecting the second point, I wish to remark that, as the German, being an original language, differs from the other principal modern languages, as the English, French, Spanish and Italian, which have a resemblance among themselves so far as each is derived from Latin—an acquaintance with the above language must be interesting and desirable for one whose native tongue is one of the sister languages.
On account of the different construction and origin of the German, in comparison with the English language, an English person contrasting the former with the latter must become more conscious of the forms and principles of his own language, inasmuch as we obtain a more intimate acquaintance with a subject, the greater number of different views we take of it. The student thus dissects the English tongue with the implements of German grammar.
“Lecture on the Study of the German Language,” New-York Daily Tribune, 2 March 1846, p. 1.