The 3 letters " o,u and a" with 2 dots on them(ä, ü and ö)are called umlauts in Deutsch. They have a different pronounciation than the normal letters. ä-is pronounced as "a" as in the name of english letter "A". ü- is pronounced as "you" as in english word. Eg. B-you-cher ö- is pronounced as "yo" as in the english slang word.
It sounds like that in the app and maybe be even when people speak because the real world pronunciation depends on the person speaking it. But if you look at it grammatically the actual pronuncuation of umlaut is as i've discribed them. You can consult someone who teaches the language for this doubt it'll be much more helpfull as its difficult to write how to pronounce it.
Sometimes in German when the word have only one vowel, and that vowel is "umlautable" (a, o, u) must put the umlaut in that vowel to form the plural, for example Mann = Männer, Fuß = Füße, Wort = Wörter. There's no set rule though, you must learn the plural when you learn the word.
Remember that if there is an 'e' at the end of the sentence it is pronounced like an 'a' This is a helpful thing to know and helped me succeed in a lot of spelling. german words are pretty much spelled how they sound so if you figure out those tricks like with the 'e' then it will be easier.
For everybody that isn't able to clearly hear the pronunciation of Bücher on here and on Forvo, the group of which I do belong to, there is a clear pronunciation here:
If you still can't hear it, just look at the I.P.A. on that page, which is listed as /ˈbyːçɐ/, and click "key" by where it says "IPA" to find:
This indicates that the 'ch' in 'Bücher' is pronounced the same as the 'ch' in 'ich'.
The 'u' with an umlaut is, or so I've been told, as someone else has mentioned here, pronounced most closely by making the lips into the 'oo' shape, as in when you say the word 'moose', and then saying the 'ee' sound, as in the word 'bee', with your lips still in the moose shape. We can call this pronunciation, therefore, the moose-bee pronunciation. There's an image for you!
In the lesson notes, you are given I, you, he/she/it etc and the corresponding verb. However, how do you know which verb to use when the sentence doesn't have I, you he/she/it etc? What happens when you see 'The girl reads'? 'The men read'? How do you know which verb to use then?
However, how do you know which verb to use when the sentence doesn't have I, you he/she/it etc? What happens when you see 'The girl reads'? 'The men read'? How do you know which verb to use then?
You look at which pronoun could replace the subject.
the girl = she
the men = they
So "the girl reads" is das Mädchen liest just like er/sie/es liest
And "the men read" is die Männer lesen just like sie lesen.
If you click on the lightbulb before starting the lessons you'll find a lot of it there. Also the world block questions (the ones where you match the english and german words) give you a lot of them. I keep a notebook of the vocabulary and i keep a list of the verb conjugates .
yeah, I tried listening to it multiple times. sometimes I hear it as booye, other times like boochier, bushier, gushier, etc... I also tried saying it on google translate to see if it will recognize what I'm saying, but it turns out thinking I said something like gucci or something
Note that reversing the position of the subject/object is only done to change the emphasis. It's not just "whichever one you like". So if there's no special emphasis intended on what the children are reading, don't do it.
But otherwise, you're pretty much right. Although, you've added Die with Bücher which was not in the original sentence (so you've changed the meaning), and you've used the wrong verb conjugation (it should still be lesen as it's still based off die Kinder).
However, this is one of those situations where the subject/object isn't made explicitly clear by the grammar alone (since it's using die in both accusative and nominative for plurals, unlike der/den in your example). It'd have to be made clear by context or intonation when speaking. If it was used in writing, it would likely cause at least momentary confusion for the reader - which if not intentional should probably be a sign that you should reword it for clarity.
Because "The children reading books" is not a sentence. The earlier portion of the Duolingo course requires declarative sentences, that is, sentences which are composed of a subject "The children" and a predicate "are reading books". The sentence would not be complete if it were "The children reading books" because nothing is being predicated of that subject.
If you meant to type "The children ARE reading books", then that would be a perfect answer. German present tense verbs are ambiguous between two senses, the complete/perfect and the progressive.
Yeah, az_p is correct. Ein/eine is like the indefinite article "a/an". Since bucher is the plural of buch, like the English word books is the plural form of book, using ein/eine here would be like saying the children are reading a books (or an books). You could, however, use a definite article, even though one is not needed, like the English word "the". This, however, would have the effect of implying that the children are reading specific books. It is somewhat akin to the difference between saying "the children are reading books" and "the children are reading the books" in English.
Because that implies (with the use of "the books") that the children are reading a particular set of books that is known to the listener, typically because you had mentioned that particular set of books before.
But the German sentence does not refer to any particular set of books -- it uses Bücher without a definite article, i.e. books in general.
I haven't been studying German for a while but, if I recall correctly, das Buch would become die Bücher in the plural. Also, while I think that you can say "sind lesen" in German, it doesn't seem necessary to say "sind lesen". That, to my mind, emphasizes the fact that they ARE reading books as opposed to just saying that they are reading books. The conjugation of German verbs already gives an idea of who is doing the reading, so you would probably only want to use "sind" for clarification or to say that they ARE reading the books (as in--no, really, the children ARE reading the books).
I think that you can say "sind lesen" in German
No, you can't.
Die Kinder sind lesen. would translate to "The children are read." and that does not make sense in either language.
German does not have a continuous aspect in its verbs.
This is mentioned in the tips and notes for the very first unit of this course ( https://www.duolingo.com/skill/de/Basics-1 ).
Good to know. That is why I didn't state that you could with any sort of certitude. I stand corrected, good sir.
Just to be clear, I wasn't thinking that you could say just "Die Kinder sind lesen", but are you saying that you can't even say "Die Kinder sind lesen Bücher" (and not that it's just not done, but that it would be grammatically incorrect)? I think that this is a valuable lesson for everybody here.
Thanks for your time!
German uses definite and indefinite articles more or less like English does.
So there is a difference between Die Kinder lesen Bücher "The children are reading books" (no article before books: indefinite) and Die Kinder lesen die Bücher "The children are reading the books" (with definite article before books) -- the version with the definite article implies that the speaker is talking about a specific group of books that the listener will know about, perhaps because those books have been mentioned before in the conversation.
Yes -- plural noun phrases such as die Kinder take third person plural verb forms, which is lesen in this case.
(First and third person plural, i.e. "we" and "they", always look the same, and they always look like the infinitive except, as far as I know, for the verb "to be": sein but wir sind, sie sind.)
Many of the other sentences I have encountered were read as "The men are reading books" when it said "Die Männer lesen Bücher" so why is there no "are" in this sentence? Perhaps I may have gotten the lesen wrong in my eample sentnce, though I do see that some of the same sentences discussing people preforming verbs interchangeably use "(people) ARE (doing the activity)" and just simply "(people) (do the activitiy)". Why is this and when/how can I identify the difference in German?
German doesn’t have separate present continuous and present simple tenses — there is just one present tense.
So whereas in English you have to think about whether an action is repeated or habitual or always true (present simple) or something that is happening right now (present continuous), you don’t have to worry about that in German — both “they read (every day)” and “they are reading (right now)” translate to sie lesen.
When you’re translating from German into English, an individual Duolingo sentence usually does not contain any context about whether an action is repeated or one time, and so usually both translations can be appropriate and will be accepted.
Is it more proper in german to say "die Bücher"? E.g. Die Kinder lesen die Bücher.
Both sentences are possible and they mean different things.
Die Kinder lesen die Bücher. "The children are reading the books." (The children are reading a particular collection of books that is known (or obvious) to the listener -- the listener can identify what "the books" refers to.)
Die Kinder lesen Bücher. "The children are reading books." (There is no expectation that the listener will know which books are being referred to. "books" is indefinite here -- it could be any books.)
Not sure when Duo thinks translation should be in simple present or continuous present tense.
E. G. Because my previous was wrong hear I have given "The children are reading book", now this time this wrong and Duo wants it as "The children read book". This is exactly reverse of previous question.
"...sch" is when to pronounce is as Sh (as in "shhhh, be quiet"). The leading 's' gives it away. Else a "...ch" is like a breathy "ck", more akin to ck'h, if there was such a string of letters in English. Less tight and curt, more Liverpudlian (sorry Liverpool dwellers). Think of the name Middle Eastern name Achmed, it's not A-ck-med so really gravel up the 'ch-hhhhh'. Also don't fall into the typical English mispronunciation of Buch = Butch, there's no 't' in there.
Waschmaschine = Washing Machine, sch = sh. Erwachsenen = Adults, ch = ck'h
I've been to an Italian run Eiscafe in Austria, and they pronounced Becher (beaker/glass/goblet) "Besher", which is incorrect, as there's no "sch", just "ch". It shouldn't sound like the abbreviated girls name Becka, but more "Beckheh".
But pronounced as a 'J'? J's are pronounced like Y's in German.
Helpful YouTube playlist about German pronunciation: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8345BD873EEE18F4
This was asked and answered several times already in the comments - always read them first to find helpful stuff!
Duolingo has a speech simulator. If you click the blue speaker icon, it will play the word to you with a computerised voice. Often this is good enough.
There is a website called Forvo which has real recordings of native speakers. It is one of many useful sites you should bookmark to help your learning.
YouTube is a great place for finding pronunciation tutorials. Here is a playlist that covers many parts of German, so you might find something in there. You can also make your own searches (if for example you want explanations in another language besides English).
The international phonetic alphabet isn't something everyone understands (I don't know it), so I didn't suggest it up front.
You can usually find transcriptions of words using the IPA in dictionaries. Wiktionary has it, and so does Pons (you can also hover a mouse cursor over the phonetic spelling for more tips, but it's in German). You may find others that you like too.
Sind meaning "are" is only in the sense of "the children are books" (which does not make sense). You could say something like "the children are small": Die Kinder sind klein.
The English "are reading" just uses "are" as a 'helping verb' - it doesn't actually mean that the children are anything, and so it doesn't translate to sind in German.
In grammatical terminology, "are reading" is called present-continuing tense (they are still doing it right now), and "read" is just present tense (they do it, but nothing is said about when). German, interestingly, does not have present-continuing tense. This is why when we want to translate present-continuing tense into German, it just becomes present tense (yes, a little bit of the meaning is lost). And in reverse, why we can usually translate present tense in German into either present tense in English, or present-continuing tense. In reality, just choose whichever one sounds best to you based on the context (or select both if it's multiple-choice).
For future reference, this and other useful tips are explained at the beginning of each lesson if you use a web browser and scroll down after selecting a topic but before starting a practice session: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/de/Basics-1
They remind me to put umlouts (sp?) Because im not using a German keyboard on my phone. However, my question is how imporant are they if i was typing with a native German speaker? Would it completely change the word? Would it make it difficult for them to understand what im saying without them?
so the plural nouns have -er at the end?
Some of them, but -er is only one possible plural ending in German. Other ones include -e, -en, and -s, as well as no ending at all (i.e. singular looks like plural, or only the vowel in the stem changes between singular and plural).
Conjugation, in most languages that I know of, is based primarily upon the number and person of the subject (although, it might also have to do with mood, tense, etc.).
The subject can be a noun or a pronoun, as in English. In this case the subject is the noun 'die Kinder', the children. You can see that the number is plural, rather than singular, by the use of the word 'Kinder', rather than Kind, and by the use of the plural definite article 'die', rather than the singular, neuter article das.
The tricky part is knowing the person of the noun. The way I like to think of it is to determine what pronoun I would use in place of the noun (i.e., I, you, he/she/it, we, you all, or they). It is obvious that you wouldn't say 'I am reading books', 'You are reading books', 'he/she/it is reading books', 'we are reading books', or 'you all are reading books' when replacing the noun with a pronoun. Therefore, you would say 'They are reading books'. They is the 3rd person plural pronoun. For that reason, you would use the 3rd person plural conjugation of lesen, which is lesen, which also happens to be the same as the 1st person plural conjugation of lesen.
That is a slow, but sure, way of figuring it out. Now, this will change when you are dealing with things like the subjunctive mood (konjunktiv), but for now that is how I would go about it.
The faster way is to memorize the phrase as a unit. 'Die Kinder lesen', 'Das Kind liest', etc. Also, it just makes sense that when you are talking about someone else, like the children, you are not going to be saying I, you, we, or you all. You will, when speaking about a third party (hence "third person"), always be saying either 'he/she/it' or 'they'. The only question, then, is which number, singular or plural, or, in this case, one child or more than one child.
I hope that this helps you.
Feel free to correct me, anybody. I haven't been studying German for long (but I do like studying language, in general).