I think German is still probably easier. French and italian are more unfamiliar imo. Most of those words have English cognates. We wir, haben, have, letztes last, wochen week, ende, end, gespeilt no cognate.
I'm a native English speaker who learned French. French has a ton of cognates with English also. You vous, reason raison, season saison, final finale, simple simple, clock cloche, one un, etc
I had the same impression when I learned French. There are similarities in all three languages but I had the impression that French is bit closer to English than German is. And imho the grammar seems more logical in French than in German. Sometimes German feels a bit chaotic and there are some cases I can't even explain as a native speaker...
Well, speaking about similarities; wasn't there a meme:
German: Überraschung :D
Which is interesting, considering English comes from Germanic roots
Definitely! I never thought about it up until now, but it seems that German and English have a stronger connection from their ancestry compared to the Italic/Romance languages French/Italian. It's a bit odd that they aren't more alike. Like Dutch for example which sounds to me like a German dialect, even though I never learned it.
Dutch and German are closely related, and share overlap with a good number of words.
English is sort of weird case when it comes to language, as it has effectively gone off in its own direction compared to the other languages it shares its roots with. Several books on the topic are available, such as Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue.
Yes, there are similar words in German. Some of them even have their origin in the English/French/Italian language because languages do evolve over time. Some people here still say "Ciao" instead of Tschüss / Auf Wiedersehen / Servus / Fieti. Even though it's a bit old fashioned by now. But then again when I learned English and French I got the impression that both share a lot of vocabularies compared to German. The pronunciation differs of course.
In the end I'd argue that these are only vocabularies that will help you at the beginning to learn a language. What I think makes German more difficult than French/Italian/Spanish is the grammar. Sadly, similar words won't help you with grammar.