"Du isst Äpfel."

Translation:You are eating apples.

March 14, 2013

This discussion is locked.


How can I hear the difference between the plural and singular "Apfel" ?


Maybe you have to get used to the difference in sound. There are two sound clips here: https://de.wiktionary.org/wiki/Apfel#Apfel_.28Deutsch.29


Very helpful!!


Can't give an absolute advise, but what I always do is I try to remember the difference between the sound of the vowel A in some words in English. Like when in Apfel the A sounds like the A in Arm or Guard, while in Äpfel it sounds like the A in Air or Apple. Also remember umlauts exist solely to tell you that the same vowel is pronounced somewhat different, so when you see it you may know how to speak correctly, or when you hear a vowel that sounds different from the usual there is probably an umlaut there. My mother tongue has graphic symbols (accents) for different sounds, just like German has umlauts, so it's easier.


Air and apple do not sound the same in English at all. I think it is more like Air.


If you use linguistic terms, vowels are defined by height, front/back and rounding of the tongue. Try pronouncing different vowels and paying attention to how your tongue moves. In German, in my understanding, umlauts denote a vowel that is farther front - compare the vowel in English "talk" with "tech". (Fun exercise in English vowels - make as many words as you can that start with [t] and end with [k]. You should end up with somewhere around 16, depending on your dialect.)


the difference is that in singular is Apfel and in plural is Äpfel.. with ¨ in on A.

[deactivated user]

    Good question. I could not discern the A and the A with an umlaut over it. Maybe they just assumed that we would know since we were in the plurals.


    The difference is not to do with sounds/ rounding of the tongue etc., but with the actual structure of the sentence. In German, as in English, when you talk about a singular item (noun), it is always preceded by the article. I.e., "You eat the/a apple", or "Du isst den/einen Apfel". Similarly, when we use plurals, the article is not always necessary. I.e., "You eat apples" translates to "Du isst Apfel" (umlaut over the A). Therefore, if there is no article before the word 'Apfel', you can assume that it is plural. However, if you wish to say "You eat the apples" (an example of a sentence where a plural is preceded by an article), the translation would be "Du isst die Apfel" (with umlaut over the A), rather than the singular "Du isst den Apfel".


    KatTancock was talking about the pronunciation of the words...


    My german teacher taught us the trick that when an umlaut is being used pronounce that vowel kinda like you're throwing up.


    Hahahaha good one.


    To hear the impact of using the umblaut, listen to the difference between “Mann” and “Männer”. You can hear the words here: https://translate.google.com.mx/?hl=en&tab=wT#de/en/M%C3%A4nner%20Mann

    It is easy to hear and remember because the difference very roughly corresponds to the difference between the English words “Man” and “Men”.


    So Apfel is plural when there are Umlauts


    The first word is unintelligible

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