https://www.duolingo.com/aimeesuggitt

Tips for speaking German ?

I am hooked on learning German, but I can't seem to grasp speaking it. Listening and writing it are coming along as expected. Its the speaking that is throwing me off. I cant get the pronunciation right. Does anyone know of any websites that help you speak German and focus on pronouncing words?

January 26, 2015

30 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/DogePamyuPamyu

I personally would find a ton of German music, subscribe to German YouTubers (I suggest Kelly MissesVlog) and just listening to them.

When I was learning Dutch, the pronunciation on Duolingo was very bad for some things. I just subscribed to a ton of Dutch YouTubers and in a few weeks I could understand the language more and pronounce things better.

Just some tips...

  • Sch is pronounced like "sh"
  • Ch is pronounced like a "h" from the roof of your mouth (NOT sh)
  • W is pronounced like an English V
  • V is pronounced like an English F
  • J is pronounced like an English Y

You'll get the accent over time I think. I've been learning German for 3.5 years so I guess my accent is "developed". I posted a video on YouTube of me speaking Dutch and some people said I spoke it with a very German accent lol...

Just be glad you aren't learning Swedish! The pronunciation is very hard. :D

January 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DogePamyuPamyu

Oh, also, another "accent" tip... Pronounce 'r' like the British 'r' (softer/cut short compared to American 'r') if it isn't the first letter of a word.

  • Rat (council, advice) would be pronounced with more of a hard r
  • Der Arbeiter (the worker) would have the softer British 'r' sounds
January 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DogePamyuPamyu

Oh and furthermore about the 'r' sound AT THE BEGINNING OF A WORD... When I say the 'r', the front of my tongue touches the roof of my mouth. Even the R at the beginning of a word isn't like the very hard American 'r' sound. It's like you'd do if you were rolling your 'r', but you don't roll it, if that makes sense.

January 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DogePamyuPamyu

And for pronouncing the 'z' letter, there's usually a t to it. Like in der Arzt, there's a bit of a t sound from the z too. It's hard to explain but now that you know to look out for it you can find it and repeat it. Very subtle.

January 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ManOfGer

I'm not a native speaker, as such, but I lived in Germany as a child and was once a native speaker. As such, my accent is not bad, although I know little of the actual language from when I was a child.

I would say that the "z" sound is closest to an English "ts" sound. If I've had friends who have had difficulty, I've said to say the word "cats" without saying the "ca" bit.

January 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DogePamyuPamyu

Cats without the ca is perfect to describe it, that's how I do it. :D

January 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/aimeesuggitt

I have noticed a lot of differences in the sound of individual letters. I have mistaken a lot of the sounds for the English "ch" "sh" "z" and they have been something I would never have guessed. A lot of the words sound similar to the English ones. I think its a little difficult to when your brain goes immediately for the English pronunciation of letter combinations. But it'll take more practice. Thank your for your help! I'll remember the "ts" thing. It was really helpful! Thank you :)

January 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DogePamyuPamyu

Many simple words in English like house, dog, cat, or rat are from a Germanic background, so there will be lots of cognates there. Our more complex words are from French.

January 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/aimeesuggitt

Thank you so much for all your comments! They are very helpful :)

January 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/schyrsivochter

Z is simply a ts, everywhere.

January 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/schyrsivochter

You're wrong, the V is sometimes an F, sometimes a V. And the CH is a voiceless J/Y after front vowels (e, i, ü, ö, ä), else a voiceless German (and French) R, the sound you described.

January 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/cgalvao1993

The pronounciation of Swedish is hard depending on your native language! I had tried learning it a few years ago and that is not that hard for Portuguese speakers like me :D

January 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JokoLelono

Reverse Tree and immersion is a good idea. Also do things you like in German, e.g. video games, movies, books or graphic novels. I can recommend a few shows on youtube:
1. GetGermanized---Learn German, get to know Germany and German culture and have fun doing so
2. Emily Bland --- Vlogs of a brit living in Berlin
3. IratschTV--- Best German prankster
4. 0,5er--- Another Prankster with subtitles
5. StrengGeheim--- Mysteries and conspiracy theories in German with subtitles
6. Top10---Top ten lists in German with subtitles
7. Die Sendung mit der Maus---German children show where different topics are explained for children
8. Die Sendung mit dem Klaus--- A spoof show of "Die Sendung mit der Maus" but with topics for grown-ups
9. DasSandmännchen---German children show
10. Pumuckel---German children show about a Bavarian carpenter who discovers a goblin in his workshop
11. Eazy German--- Interviews with real life Germans and people living in Germany with subtitles
12. Leon Machere---Albanian prankster pranking Germans
13. Kurzgesagt---German science channel with subtitles
14. Whatsforbeats---German cooking/music shows
15. Der Humpink---Christoph Waltz doing some silly stuff
16. DiagonalViewDe---The weird part of the internet explained in German
17. DeinZoo---Youtube channel for animal lovers in German
18.Galileo---German TV show about science & lifehacks
19. Der Erste Weltkrieg----German history channel about WW I with subtitles
20. Flying Pandas---Awesome slo-mos and sketches in German
21. Thien Nguyen---About asians in Germany, manga and entertainment
22. TheDevilMethod---German magician & nerd who will teach you how to pick up German girls
23. Jaysbeauty---German make up guru
24. LamiyaSlimani---Another German beauty guru
25. Anna Maria Damm---German-Pinay fashion youtuber
26. Sami Slimani---German male beauty guru
27. Wasgehtab---German news & entertainment channel
28. Lingojam---Authentic German conversations, follow a funny story set in Berlin and understand everything through translation & dictionary
29. WahreVerbrechen---German crime channel about real psychopaths and crimes
30. Flula --- German entertainer based in LA who likes to sing and #dance!
31.StudyinGermany --- describes the life of foreign students in Germany with subtitles
32.GermanCreepypasta
33. Learn German with Herr Antrim --- Learn German with Herr Antrim and his puppets

January 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/aimeesuggitt

Thank you :) I can't wait to get started now!

January 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JokoLelono

Bitte,bitte :D

January 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DeutscheMaus

Niiice list Joko!

January 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JokoLelono

glad you like it ;D

January 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/cgalvao1993

Take my Lingot!!

January 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JokoLelono

Muito obrigado!

January 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/SethFriday

I saw this posted a few weeks ago. I like how he explains the pronunciation from and English speaker's perspective.

The Youtube channel Deutsch Für Euch is a great resource. I like her videos explaining the German R and CH sounds.

Besides that, i agree with listening to, or watching videos of, native speakers often and keep an ear/eye out for words with sounds you are struggling with. If you can, try recording yourself and playing it back to hear what you sound like speaking German. The speaking lessons on Duo used to do that and let you play it back. Maybe it was just part of an A/B test, but i thought it was interesting and helpful.

January 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/aimeesuggitt

Thank you so much! Iv just checked out Deutsch Für Euch on youtube and I can see her videos being helpful!!

January 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DeutscheMaus

Aimee, I saw that JokoLelono made a great list of German YouTube learning videos/channels and at the top of his list is the"Get Germanized" channel which is my personal favorite because the guy on this channel, Dominik, speaks a bit slower than the woman on "Deutsch Fur Euch" (sorry, I left out the umlaut!)

Anyway, everyone has their own favorites, but check out a couple of lessons from Dominik on the Get Germanized channel to see if you like him! You can pick through different videos of his to find actual lessons, and he also posts a lot of "life in Germany" things and cultural topics. He is funny too and his mini lessons, although short, are very fun to watch and learn from. Just my two cents worth. :) I am sure you will be able to find your own personal favorite pronunciation aid!

January 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/aimeesuggitt

Thanks for the tips! I do love the youtube channel Get Germanized! Iv been watching it today and I an see it being really helpful with speaking German.

January 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DeutscheMaus

Aimee, glad you like it! I wanted to ask, were you able to find some of Dominik's videos on pronunciation? He has several but you might literally have to type in, "Get Germanized pronunciation" or similar search words to find specific videos of his that focus on pronouncing different German sounds with speaking. ;)

January 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/aimeesuggitt

Yes! Iv watched his German alphabet video a few times to try and understand how each of the German letters sound. I think his videos are going to be really helpful!

January 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/pont

Someone recently shared this excellent pronunciation resource: http://www.uiowa.edu/~acadtech/phonetics/german/german.html . Great for figuring out what you're meant to be doing physically to pronounce the various sounds that make up German.

January 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/aimeesuggitt

Thank you! :)

January 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DeutscheMaus

Aimee, I saw your response up above Pont's post..so glad you are finding what you need on those Germanized videos, great!

January 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/aimeesuggitt

They are great! Thank you so much :)

January 27, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/DeutscheMaus

You are welcome Aimee. :)

January 27, 2015
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