Pronunciation of "lese" (as in "Ich lese eine Zeitung")
Is "lese" supposed to be pronounced, "leezuh" or "layzuh"? The recorded voice is a bit ambiguous.
It's neither "leezuh" nor "layzuh". The first "e" in "lese" is a flat vowel. This sound doesn't actually exist in English. Have a listen to this (The long German /e:/ vowel): http://www.pauljoycegerman.co.uk/pronounce/vowele.html
Expanding on Twenben: phonetic script can be daunting, but it's not all that hard if you just compare it to words that you already know. Here, a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YI5G8Glea5k&feature=related. Best explanation that I found yet. Just look for a list of all sounds in German with the IPA symbols, add English words containing those letters next to them on a page and print it, so you don't have to remember it right away. Cheers!