Speaking German makes my cheeks sore!
Am I the only non-native who has noticed that when speaking German correctly that your cheeks get sore. I was practicing saying verursacht and I really felt it. Of course, I noticed this before.
@SlamRN: As a native German speaker: Your cheeks? [Wangen?], not your throat? Isn't that a little price for the ability to speak German ... ;-) I've often heard it that German is a terrible sounding language and in comparison to other languages (for example French which I had in school ... decades ago) you are absolutely right! Do you know what my problem is with German/English translations? In my opinion, there are many paraphrasings for words because they do not seem to exist in English ... it's a kind of simplification/reduction and a fair amount of imagination I often have to go through to find the correct translation. My advice for you ... take some skin care products for your cheeks and/or have a tea for your throat and "hang in there" (Halte durch!) ... you probably won't win a "BestSoundingLanguageMelody-Prize" but it is worth it ... like any other extension of personal skills!
French is nicer sounding than German?? That's a question of individual taste. Native English speaker here. I took French in college and never liked the sound of it. German isn't easy to get my mouth around but listening to it is a pleasure to me as I get to understand it. Spanish, I started in high school and always liked the sound.
Re the German/English comparison, Your experience is the mirror image of mine. Early in the German course, I'd look at a long German sentance and think, "Why are all those words in there?"
@sunadashi: Du hast absolut Recht zu sagen, dass das Mögen einer Sprache eine Frage des individuellen Geschmacks ist. Dein beschriebenes "Why are all those words in there" trifft es auf den Punkt und brachte mich zum Lachen, Danke Dir! [You are absolutely right in saying that liking a language is a question of individual taste. Your described "Why are all those words in there" hits the mark and made me laugh, thanks!]
Combining the "extra words" with word order differences results in acute dizziness or a sense of drowning for the new learner.
Yes, my cheeks! Is that why many Germans have distinctive strong facial features? I hope I am not treading in a sensitive area.
No, you are not treading in a sensitive area. Honestly ... I've never heard that Germans have "distinctive strong facial features" because of their language. If "Germans" have these, it would be more because of the evolutionary development, but who knows? Maybe God (or some aliens) formed another human made of clay, watched it, recognized that there are more sharp edges around the face than the others have and said "Hhmm, strict looking needs strict language so let him speak German ;-) Please forgive me to correct you: "Ich genieße es, Deutsch zu lernen" would be better. In this context regarding a prejudice (or a fact?) that Germans always know everything better? We Germans have a word for this "Der/Die Besserwisser". Do you think this appears true and how would you call such a person/behavior in English?
I've never heard that prejudice! From an American perspective the only German stereotype I've heard is that Germans are orderly.
A translation for Der Besserwisser would be "the patronizer." What I hear more commonly use is the verb "to patronize" as a comment on someone's actions.
Caitlin - Haven't you seen those WWII movies where the fair-haired, blue-eyed German officers almost always have a very strong jaw-line? A prejudice in the casting department perhaps?
Absolutely! I agree, many Germans I see portrayed have that chiseled bone structure! :D
@CaitlinErv: Very interesting, also that you mention the word "stereotype", because I believe that many of us "pull out of the drawer" ["Aus der Schublade ziehen"] ready-made opinions and do not turn our brains on to form our own opinion, not exclude me ... but I am working on it! Now, of course, I ask myself, "Am I tidy?" Not really ... "there is still a lot of room for improvement"! [German paraphrase/a saying for that: "Da ist noch viel Luft nach oben"] Thanks for the explanation of the "Besserwisser"!
Henry (Können wir uns duzen? - Thanks for the critique of my German, it is always appreciated. "Besserwisser" is what we call a know-it-all. Example: He thinks he is a know-it-all, you can't tell him anything.
Schöne Grüße, Susan
@Susan: Natürlich können wir uns duzen! (Tun wir das nicht schon? ;-)) Your explanation of the "Besserwisser" is very good, thank you for that. Because you can handle critique of your German (and dealing with critique is generally not that easy) let me correct your sentence "Du wirst lernen, den Atem anzuhalten und weitermachen": It is completely correct but in colloquial language I would say "... weiterzumachen". Beste Grüße Henry (My middle name is, don't laugh, Heinrich ... isn't that a typical German name! Wenn ich Dir meinen ersten Vornamen mitteilen/sagen würde, wäre der Tag für Dich und Deine Wangen gelaufen, oder Du würdest eine Menge Hautcreme brauchen!
I have heard this before. It is pretty common when learning a new language. Your mouth and everything in and around it is not used to moving in that particular way to pronounce foreign words and sounds. It is like working out: when you start out, you are often sore and hurting, but you will get better by practicing more, because your muscles grow in size.
Das ist mir in früheren Zeiten oft passiert aber mit meiner Gurgel und nicht den Wangen. Nach fast vier Jahren in Deutschland ist Deutsch viel einfacher auszusprechen.
Maybe am not producing the proper guttural utterances? But I can say "über" correctly, just not twenty times in a row without my orbicularis oris muscles getting a good workout.
Exercise! Here is one example (perhaps quite extreme) of typical German "complex noun snakes" [komplexe Substantivschlangen] to strengthen your cheeks: "Kinderspielzeugbatteriefachklappe". Please consider that I am not responsible for any facial damages or irritations! To help you: This one word contains 5 nouns in one word(!): Kinder/Spielzeug/Batterie/Fach/Klappe [Children/Toy/Battery/Flap?/Door?] I try to explain what is meant and would ask you how you would translate that to English. It is this little flap(?) you have to open/lift in order to change the battery in a children's toy.
Battery cover, we don't distinguish between what object it is on. Danke. That is one of the peculiarities of German nouns, is that they string together words to refer to extremely specific objects, feelings etc.
Hehe, not that specifically, but I've had my tongue twisted by German words on more than one occassion Susan! :P
BTW I'm just responding to one of your posts on ALD, drop me a line when you get a chance :)
I find the pronunciations of long German words is not a problem for me. It is the words that are foreign (to my tongue) that I have problems with; those which make my mouth sore.
An English friend explained to me why Englishmen could not learn other languages. According to him the facial anatomy of his country fellow men is not fitting for other tongues.