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  5. "Die Vögel"

"Die Vögel"

Translation:The birds

October 11, 2015

18 Comments
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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/leo730910

Is the v pronounced like an f?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hey.godson

Exactly. S like a Z, W like a V, and so on


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alphathon

Yup, that's just how it's pronounced in German. Thegodson is correct about w being pronounced as /v/ as well, although the s as /z/ is a bit more complicated. You might want to take a look at this page on Wikipedia for more info. All the symbols used for pronunciation are IPA symbols, which you can find out about here. (For the most part they're pretty straightforward, but some require some explanation, such as ʃ and many of the vowel symbols.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

It is in this word, and in most words of German origin (e.g. "Vater, Vogel, versprechen, ...").

It is pronounced like an English v in many loanwords, though, such as "Vase, Vitamin, Vitrine, vehement, ....".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/taniya96

So the plural of Vögel is Vögel right? Like fish or fruit in english.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Enmyerp

Vogel=bird and Vögel=birds. You need to add the umlaut


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HellGrady

Super helpful, thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/adirid

Umlaut makes the word plural. It can be understood when it is written but how do you know it when it being spoken. As far as I have heard both words have same pronunciation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

They do not.

"Vogel" has /o/ which is similar to English "o" as in "boat" (but without the off-glide).

"Vögel" has /ø/ which is like a German /e/ but rounded. It's a sound that doesn't exist in English. It's a little bit similar to a non-rhotic pronunciation of "er" as in "fern" (for example, from someone in south-east England) but not quite the same.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Occams_Razor

I just can't hear the difference in pronunciation between Vogel and Vögel. Anybody else with the same difficulty? By the way I don't usually struggle with identifying the different sounds


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichaelRGB

The singular Vogel has more of an "oh" sound, like in "Oh, my god." The plural Vögel has more of an "oooo" sound, like "too." Hope this helps.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Occams_Razor

Actually it helps a lot. It's the difference between the pronunciation of "o" and "u" in portuguese. Thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alphathon

You're half right. German o can either be:

  • a "close-mid back rounded vowel" (IPA: [oː]); this is what is used in Vogel. This also appears in English in various guises too depending on the accent, and in Portuguese as the o in dois*. I'd describe the sound (in English) as long o (i.e. the "Oh, my God" sound).
  • an "open-mid back rounded vowel" (IPA: [ɔ]), as in voll. In English this is the o in RP not or the ough in General American thought. In Portuguese this is the o sound in fofoca.* I'd describe the sound (in English) as short o.

However, ö can be either be:

  • a "close-mid front rounded vowel" (IPA: [øː]), as in schön. According to Wikipedia, it is used by some European Portuguese speakers as the o in dou, and on São Miguel Island as the oi in boi, but not generally. It appears in some English dialects too, but also not generally.
  • an "open-mid front rounded vowel" (IPA: [œ]), which is what is used in Vögel. This doesn't really appear in English outside of a few dialects and as far as I can tell doesn't appear in Portuguese at all.

Notice that the sounds for o are both "mid back rounded vowels" while the sounds for ö are "mid front rounded vowels". From what I can tell,* the Portuguese u is a close back rounded vowel (IPA: [u]) so is actually closer to German o. The closest I can come to a universal description of ö is that it's pretty close to the sound for disgust "eugh" (in English anyway).

The linked sound articles include audio samples for each sound, which you may find helpful.

* I don't know any Portuguese and am just going by Wikipedia


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

Good explanation, but "Vögel" has /ø:/ since it's a long vowel - in a stressed open syllable.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NoOneLovesMe

Do most plurals use umlauts on the 2nd letter and add -en.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alphathon

Plurals in German aren't that straightforward unfortunately. Many add -en or -n (particularly feminine nouns) and many (masculine or neuter nouns) have an umlaut applied, but many don't change at all, some add an -e or -er (with some of them also being umlauted) and some follow other patterns (there are some that add -s like in English for example). Feminine nouns are usually quite regular but masculine and neuter aren't and pretty much have to be learnt along with the word (like its gender). There are some rules of thumb but nothing particularly far-reaching.

See also: German grammar § Plurals on Wikipedia.

There are also some nouns based on adjectives which use a different system all together, but I wouldn't worry about those just yet. (They're pretty uncommon overall and are AFAIK completely regular, just different from other nouns.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oktobot

So I've noticed some words have become feminine when plural like Der Vogel -> Die Vögel. Is it like that in all instances or only some? Can anyone help me know as to why this is?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

It's not feminine; it's plural.

The plural article is die for all genders -- or you could say that there is no gender distinction in the plural. (Or you could say that there are four genders: masculine, feminine, neuter, and plural.)

The feminine and plural definite articles are very similar; why this is I do not know. The one difference is that the dative is der for feminine singular but den for plural.

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