This depends on where one and how one was raised in Germany. I'd say in the federal state Niedersachsen (Hannover und umzu), Germans have the least pronounced dialect.
Mumbling German endings can be quite common. Just think about it. German words can be long.
It also depends on what is being reinforced by the people around you. For instance, "Julian" would be ideally pronounced "you-lee-ahn", but then again people might say "you-yan" or "Bremen" ideally "Brä-men", but is shorted to "Brähm". People tend to shorten three syllable expressions to two syllable ones.
I'm hearing that, too. I grew up in a German family, and fertig was always pronounced "fair-tich". But the Duolingo voice is clearly saying, "far-tich." I wonder if she has a strong regional accent? Or possibly my family (from northern Germany), had a strong accent? This is not the only example of BIG differences in pronunciation between the German I hear in the real world, and the German Duolingo is giving us.
As opposed to what the other comments state, there's actually at least three distinct ways of pronouncing -ch/-g:
1) Soft/hard [g] ("g" in "guest" or "guard");
2) Soft [h] ("h" in "him");
3) Soft [ʃ] ("sh" in "she").
I've never ever heard it pronounced as a [k] ("c" in "castle") by a native speaker except before a word starting with a voiceless consonant, and even then you can still hear some of the voice, so it effectively is something like [k^g] ("g" would normally be a superscript here, meaning "[k] striving to be a [g]").
Letter "g" sounds like "k" when it appears at the end of a word following a vowel other than "i", as in "Tag". Note that the "ch" sound for letter "g" also happens at the ends of words, but only following the vowel "i". So, while "König" ends in a "ch" sound, the "g" in "Königen" gets a normal hard "g" sound.
Thank you. The "g" in "Tag" never sounded as a [k] to me. It always was something between [k] and [g] (with a little bit of [h] in some dialects). The first "k" in "Katze" sounds as a [k]. German is not Russian, there is no full devoicing of consonants. This is my subjective experience, however, and I have no official materials to back it up. The majority of learning materials for non-native speakers will specifically state that consonants at the end of words get devoiced in German. I disagree, because I have other languages to compare the process to.
I don't know Russian, but I take for granted that devoicing, although a feature common to many languages, can work out somewhat differently in different languages.
However, I have difficulty with characterizing the ending consonant sound in "Tag" as partially voiced. When I try voicing it just a little bit, it just doesn't sound right to me.
I was for the past three weeks in Berlin, Dresden and Munich, and on the street I clearly heard the "k" in "Tag". When I say the word, I think "g", but "k" comes out. This may be different from a Russian "k" sound, but is identical to the unstressed "k" sound at the ends of German words actually spelled with a "k", such as "Bank", "Ethik", "Mark", "streik", and "Werk".
fer-tich is correct (Bühnenhochdeutsch)
fer-tick is dialect (southern Germany), and by and by gaining ground, as it is of course easier to pronounce each and every g the same way.
This is somewhat deplorable, as words like "ewig" and "König" really sound better with the soft kind of g than with the ck-kind.
Let's get technical here: (High) German is a pluricentric language, meaning that North and South Germany and Austria all have subtly different "correct" ways of pronunciation. This is very different from the Brummie accents you're talking about; they are more like the multiple local dialects across Bavaria and Austria which vary widely from one village to the next. But even in High/Standard German, Duolingo users tend to have a strong bias towards the Northern style which is not exactly the same as an educated Austrian or Bavarian would speak. For an English equivalent, think more like a very soft Edinburgh lilt spoken by a professor, rather than a Glaswegian bricklayer down the pub.
This video sums it up very well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqQ4gxcHPDw
Summarising the video:
If the 'r' is followed by vowels or umlaute, it's pronounced with a gurgling "rrrr" sound [except at the end of a syllable] E.g Frau (Frrrau)
However, if the "r" comes before a consonant, at the end of a word, or at the end of a syllable, it's pronounced like a reduced "a" sound E.d Morgen (Mo-a-gen)
If you know a couple of French words, you're probably familiar with how the letter "r" is pronounced in French. In German, it's pronounced almost exactly the same. Also, there's a letter in Arabic equivalent to this sound (letter "ghain") (note that the gh in ghain is not pronounced the way you'd pronounce it in English. )To sum it up, opt for the easier way of pronunciation, which is to check out French words that contain the letter r, such as bonjour, dictionnaire,or Français.(listen to the on google translate or any other translation sites)
oh and also, this is only for words starting with r, and some other words (like the second r in erdbeere) however, sometimes, the r isn't pronounced at all, like the first r in erbeere. However when the r isn't pronounced it almost sounds like how the r would sound in the word "heard" if said in a British accent.
Could this also mean "I am finished". It seems like 'fertig' can mean both ready and finished – how would you tell the difference?
It is unfortunate that they are teaching "fertig" simply to mean "ready".
The main idea "fertig" expresses is the completion of a task. When we are referring to the object of the task, say, a suit being tailored, we can understand that the suit is ready when it is finished. Sure, "It is ready" makes sense, but there is no reason to shy away from "It is finished" as a proper translation for "Es ist fertig".
In both German and English, the adjective can also refer to the agent doing a task, as in "Ich bin fertig". Idiomatically in German, however, the task can be the implicit preparation to doing something else being discussed. A German-speaker learning English would need to be told that instead of saying "I am finished to go camping", what he really wants to say is "I am finished getting ready to go camping", or simply, "I am ready to go camping."
An English-speaker learning German, on the other hand, can probably make that connection on his own. It is more important for him to learn the basic meanings of "fertig" to mean "finished" (or "done", or "completed") and "bereit" to mean "ready" so that he can express himself correctly in German. When an English-speaker thinks "ready", he won't go wrong (most of the time*) with "bereit", and likewise "finished" with "fertig". He can later gradually pick up those situations where native German speakers tend to choose "fertig" over "bereit" for "ready".
* In using "bereit", keep in mind one simple caveat. "Bereit" implies that the subject is ready to do something (even if that something is not explicitly stated). So, we can understand why we would more often hear "Das Essen ist fertig" to express the completion of the meal's preparation, rather than "Das Essen ist bereit", since the meal would only be passive in being served or being consumed. (On the other hand, if we somehow make the meal an active party, "bereit" would then be suitable, as in "Das Essen steht bereit" [literally, "The meal stands ready", but translates to "The meal is ready"].)
Learners who wade through the postings on this thread might avoid the pitfalls, but others who simply accept the given translation of "ready" for "fertig" will likely have to relearn "fertig" versus "bereit" down the road. Incidentally, the idea of "being exhausted" is related too -- "I am done-in; I am pooped-out; I am finished". So, when one learns this alternate translation at a later time, it would be an enrichment of his familiarity with this word rather than adding to the confusion.
Thanks! I actually came on here to see this. I am learning German with my German girlfriend and this is one of the first words I was taught. When asking if I had finished eating, she would ask "Fertig?" Also, I noticed it on her iPhone, where the English word would be "Done", hers would be "Fertig"
This example is the first time that I have seen it used as "Ready" or "Exhausted"
Indeed. This one really threw me for a loop because even with context, it seems like opposite meanings would use the same word in certain situations. For example, you're jogging with a friend and stop for a second to take a breather. They ask if you're ready to start running again and you say "Ich bin fertig" but it could mean either you're ready or you're exhausted/finished.
I know there's situations like this in English as well and we just opt to use different words entirely to reduce any confusion and go for clarity. It's just a bit more difficult when learning a language and your vocabulary is significantly more limited.
In those situations, as you foresee, where "fertig" can mean the opposite, one should definitely use "bereit" to mean "ready."
For example, in Richard Strauss' opera Salome, Princess Salome says "Ich bin bereit" as she starts her Dance of the Seven Veils for King Herod. Were she to say "ice bin fertig", it would be construed as "I am finished. I will dance no more."
On the other hand, if we are talking about taking departure for a trip, for example, "ich bin fertig" cannot mean you have finished taking your departure, so one can safely understand it to mean you are ready to take your departure. In these situations either "bereit" or "fertig" can work, but there seems to be a tendency among native German speakers to choose "fertig" over "bereit" for "ready".
"Fertig" can look both ways, past and future:
Ich habe meine Arbeit fertig.
Mein Koffer ist fertig gepackt.
Ich bin fertig zur Abreise.
"Bereit" is all about the future:
"Er ist zu jedem Abenteuer bereit"
"Wir sind bereit, zu helfen"
"Die Einheit ist nicht kampfbereit"
This is of course simplified. There are other differences. E.g. "sich tertig machen" (= to get ready) usually involves more physical labour than "sich bereit machen" (= to get ready)
I have found this explanation of their difference in the past - You use ''bereit'' when you talk about something that has finished and it is ready to enter the next stage of the process. For example - Der Kuchen ist bereit für backen. (Correct me if my sentence is not right) - Meaning that the cake is not ready to be baked as to enter the next stage of preparing it. As for ''fertig'', when you use it, it represents a process that has finished.
The letter e in German has a more closed sound when long /eː/ and a more open sound /ɛ/ when short. The word "fertig" is phonemically transcribed as /fɛrtɪç/. Its e is the more open. Compare that to /eːɐ/ for "er" or /leːdɐ/ for "Leder" ("leather").
In practice, many native German speakers exaggerate the difference between their /e/ and /ɛ/. Their /e/ is even more closed than an actual [e], perhaps half way towards [i] (listen for example to https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/german-english/leder), and their /ɛ/ is even more open than an actual [ɛ], perhaps realized as [æ], half way towards [a]. (For a guide on IPA vowels, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPA_vowel_chart_with_audio. All the vowels mentioned here are under the front column on the left of the chart.)
The realizations of /e/ and /ɛ/ exist on a continuum and their exact placement on that continuum may differ between regions or individuals. The audio for "fertig" here on Duo is somewhat to the extreme in its /ɛ/ -- perhaps even more open than [æ], but still falls short of [a]. (If you actually try to say [fartɪç], it should sound different yet.)
As learners of a foreign language, initially we tend to pigeon-hole the sounds we hear as matching sounds that we are familiar with in our native tongue. With practice and careful listening, though, we can fine-tune our vowel placements where it is not necessarily either [e] or [a], but rather somewhere in between.
There are 3 translations for "fertig" appearing to me: 1.Ready 2.Shattered 3.Exhausted
I can guess you can differentiate between possibilities 1. and 3. through given context, but if you see "fertig" in a sentence, how do you know if you are ready or exhausted?
Any help would be appreciated.
I'm confused too. I used "I am tired" for "Ich bin fertig". It gave meanings as "ready, shattered, and exhausted", the latter two, at least as I interpret it, would be more akin to being tired, done for, and can't go on, rather than "I'm ready." These seem like diametrically opossed meanings.
Any help on my confusion would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
No...I think I understand now though.....It is treating "Ready" as 'Done'. For instance, when you are done cooking dinner you would tell people "It's ready.", which is essentially the same as 'Done', 'Finished',etc. So, I can see how the word 'Exhausted' would fit with that meaning for 'Ready'.
'Ich bin fertig' would basically mean 'Ready' in the sense that you are finished/done after doing something like getting ready to go out to eat. You've taken your shower,dressed,etc., and now you are 'Ready'. Hope that helps!
I agree with BryannaHeb above; on it's own I tend to think this sentence translates best to "I'm tired/exhausted". I understand the other possible answers, based on the word meaning, but am confused why DuoLingo does not accept "I'm tired" as an answer; from all I know that's a perfectly acceptable (or even a preferred) translation without further context.
It also means you're exhausted. You can only tell from context and tone:
Ich bin so fertig!
Probably means you're tired.
Ich bin endlich fertig.
Probably means you've finished your coursework ;-)
There are also endless ambiguities in English (far more). You work around it.
In the comments, I noticed that some people are having troubles with the pronunciation, and so am I. I found a website with a lot of audios of various words pronunciations. I also find a lot of help on google translator.
In the website below, you just type the word you're looking for and there are some audios that might help. It's very useful! https://forvo.com/
Please read the tips and notes for this unit, in particular the last sentence, and see also the long title of this unit (which is displayed the top of the tips and notes, above the words "Tips and notes").
Please always read the tips and notes before starting a new unit.
On the website https://www.duolingo.com/ , you can find them by clicking on the lightbulb after selecting a unit:
If you are using a mobile app, you will have to open the website in a browser - the tips and notes aren't integrated into the mobile apps for the German course.
It seems to me to be kind of like trying to pronounce something between an 'f' and a 'v'. Try pronouncing a 'v' without touching your teeth to your lips. When you do this it ends up sounding like a mix between f/v. Basically, I pronounce it 'fah-tich' the ich is almost a hiss.
The "ig" sound in "fertig" is essentially the same as "ich" (except the former is unstressed). There are various regional pronunciations for "ich", some with friction more forward in the mouth than others. In any case, we should be mindful that the "ch" following the vowel "i" should be not as far back in the throat and not as hard as the "ch" following, say, "a" as in "ach". If you keep a good distinction between these two "ch" sounds, you'll probably be okay.
Confusing, I know. If you think of the phrase as meaning “I'm done“ or “I'm finished“ then it's easier to make sense of the tired/exhausted meaning.
I just checked with my wife, a native speaker, who said that if you want to say you are ready to start a task it's best to use “ich bin bereit“.
It all depends on the context, and tone of voice. If you said "ich bin fertig" in an exhausted-sounding tone, people would guess that you meant exhausted. Especially if they are not currently waiting for you to complete something. It's like saying "I'm done" in English: if you've just finished doing something exhausting you might also add "...and now I'm really done" to indicate the other sense.
Duolingo probably rejected 'I am tired' because fertig/exhausted is much stronger than ordinary tiredness: that would be "ich bin müde".
Context. As with English "mad" which can, for at least some speakers, mean both "crazy, insane" and "angry".
In general, I'd say that fertig in the meaning of "exhausted" is often accompanied by an adverb as in völlig fertig or echt fertig (completely exhausted, really exhausted).
A bit like how in English, "mad" in the sense of "angry" is often accompanied by "at ...".
In English you can shorten I am for i'm, you are for you're, we are for we're, etc. Can you do that in German? Even if its not grammatically correct? In French, the "common" way of speaking (non-formal) you can shorten these words as well (tu es→ t'es, je suis→j'suis, etc.) But only while talking. This would not be accepted written down as it is not grammatically correct. Just wondering if you can do this in German.
Why is fertig ready and exhausted? Does it depend on context?
Kind of like "cool" -- "this water feels cool to the couch" and "that music sounds cool" have different meanings, depending on the context.
Or "careful, this stove if hot" versus "dude, that guy over there is hot".
Wait, so does it mean ready, tired, or shattered? I've tried all of these and it will accept them. Outside of conversational context, is there any way to differentiate or is it just one of those homographs like 'bow' in English that has several meanings and you just have to figure it out?