A German teacher (spoke fluent German and English) stated in high school to our class that “English is opposite every other language.” Is this accurate? What does that even mean?

  • To follow up on Draconis' answer, the only interpretation that would make sense to me is a sociolinguistic one. English is the language of a, perhaps of the, global superpower. It has special status in all kinds of places, at least for now. It has held on to a colonial, own-language suppression identity for longer than pretty imperial languages (see Hall & Cook, 2012 using keyword "own language"). Whether it shares that status with one or two others is debatable. But in any case, nothing is fundamentally unique about it as an actual language. – Luke Sawczak Apr 28 '19 at 13:08
  • It may mean that it's the reference language for certain speakers to compare all other languages, to. That set of speakers should at least include the teacher, maybe in terms of wishful thinking, if they are primarily a German native speaker. – vectory Apr 28 '19 at 15:09

I have no idea what that would mean. I'd suggest asking the teacher; otherwise, my answer will have to be a simple "no".

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.