I often hear Americans say how terrifying German sounds, no matter the words

  • Yes, that's definitely a lead in to yet another comedy video illustrating the difference in phonetics.


    I'm certainly not a linguist, but I do notice a rather significant difference when I listen to german vs one of the other Germanic languages in the above video. A brief Google search reveals this page (which actually references the previous video) which suggests that "When people talk about ‘harsh-sounding’ languages, they’re usually referring to languages that have sounds made in the back of the vocal tract". Personally, I don't find German to be all that more harsh, but it seems (I have no evidence) to be easier to make it more "clipped" (maybe "enunciated" is a good word?), which makes it much easier to make it sound harsh. With all the native German speakers here on the forum, I'm wondering what you folks think about this.

  • These videos suck because most of them spelling the words extremely aggressive. The normal German person doesn't talk like that.

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    Just compare the 'R' in German with the 'R' in Russian, it is formed by a completely different part of the mouth, resulting in a greatly different sound.


    This is even more clear in this video which shows a few English words that Germans have a hard time to pronounce. For example, I have never figured out how to pronounce "squirrel" properly, it conflicts with the way I'm used to pronounce certain letters in some constructs - and I'm not alone with that.


    In case you're curious, go ahead and visit http://www.dict.cc/?s=Eichh%C3%B6rnchen. 'Eichhörnchen' is the German word for squirrel, the page lists a play button (see screenshot below) next to each word/phrase so you can listen to the pronunciation. Try to pronounce it yourself and let me know how long you've tried it until you've given up in frustration ;)


    Edit: @SoftCreatR The video isn't dead serious about that, he also noted that in his post.

  • These videos suck because most of them spelling the words extremely aggressive. The normal German person doesn't talk like that.

    Absolutely! It's definitely a comedy video, and not at all trying to accurate or scientifically portray any aggressive differences. I've only met, and verbally spoken at any length to, a few German speakers in my life, but none of them started angrily screaming out a bunch of words that created a gallon of phlegm in the back of their throat. :D


    This is even more clear in this video which shows a few English words that Germans have a hard time to pronounce. For example, I have never figured out how to pronounce "squirrel" properly, it conflicts with the way I'm used to pronounce certain letters in some constructs.

    I didn't even try. I don't have the patience to be super awful at something this particular morning. :D



    Personally, if I were to learn a language, it'd probably be German. I find it the most interesting of the Germanic languages/languages with rules related closely enough to English for me to "easily" learn. Also, it sounds very pleasant when calmly spoken by a pretty lady. ;)


    As a spoken language, my experience is that German seems to have fewer "hard" sounds (such as those created by the K sound in English). Is this just my lack of experience with the language, or is German just a generally more flowing language?

  • Since you're on the subject...


    I saw this yesterday and it had me a little dumbfounded. This can't really be one word, can it? Did someone forget to add a couple of spaces? Maybe someone had some fun with Photoshop.


  • Thats a totaly valid word in german :D Though it may be fake anyway, I don't know...

    Cacator cave malum! Aut si contempseris, habeas Jovem iratum!

  • Thats a totaly valid word in german

    Maybe DynamoGeek will change his mind about wanting to learn the language now :P .


    I probably know a total of 5 German words, but I enjoy some of Peter Fox's music even though I can't understand it. There is nothing in song like this one that sounds "terrifying" to me.


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  • Google Translate suggests the word means "flooring sanding machine rental". Of interest, Google suggested the word pretty quick as I was typing it in, so others must have had the same question. :DIs that common when translating from other languages to English; to have a single word translate into multiple English words?

  • Yes, in german it is totaly valid to just combine words into a long one, so if you try to translate them they often need to get splitted^^

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    Hi

    I saw this yesterday and it had me a little dumbfounded. This can't really be one word, can it? Did someone forget to add a couple of spaces? Maybe someone had some fun with Photoshop.

    This is a word consisting of several substantives nouns forming a compound. The translation by @DynamoGeek look proper to me. It's basically a one to one mapping between German and English, the main difference is that English uses gerunds and spaces while the German one uses substantives nouns and no spaces. It is “legal” to insert hyphens for readability, though.


    The substantives nouns inside the compound are: Fußboden, Schleifmaschine and Verleih. Once you know the different parts of the compound it should be fairly easy to understand :)

  • This is a word consisting of several substantives forming a compound. The translation by @DynamoGeek look proper to me. It's basically a one to one mapping between German and English, the main difference is that English uses gerunds and spaces while the German one uses substantives and no spaces. It is “legal” to insert hyphens for readability, though.

    If I need to know all those fancy language terms to learn German (or any other language) you can count me out! :P

  • If I need to know all those fancy language terms to learn German (or any other language) you can count me out!

    LOL. My wife speaks Romanian (her native language), English, French and Italian fluently, and she has also taught herself some Spanish. My wife knows all of the fancy words for different parts of each language and often corrects my use of the English language with words I have never heard before X/ . Unfortunately Americans are not taught about language like people from other parts of the world are, it doesn't seem as important to us or people from other English speaking countries.

  • Whoops. I just realized that the proper translation is “noun” and not “substantive”. Fixing my previous post. The German word for noun is Substantiv.

    Ah, all right. I can deal with words with a fancy level equal to "noun". :D



    LOL. My wife speaks Romanian (her native language), English, French and Italian fluently, and she has also taught herself some Spanish. My wife knows all of the fancy words for different parts of each language and often corrects my use of the English language with words I have never heard before . Unfortunately Americans are not taught about language like people from other parts of the world are, it doesn't seem as important to us or people from other English speaking countries.

    We (Americans) seem just a bit arrogant about things when it comes to English. As a society, we seem to take it for granted that anyone who wants to interact with us (trade, diplomacy, business, casual chat) will communicate in our language (or such is my personal opinion, anyway).

  • This can't really be one word, can it?


    Ever heard Donaudampfschiffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft? That's also valid in germany :D


    Btw...


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  • Btw...

    LOL, read with a very strong Russian accent. It is unnecessary for any word to be that long.


    Until today, the longest English word that I knew of was "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious".

  • Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious


    That's from Marry Poppins, isn't it?


    The longest word in english has 189,819 letters. The 2nd one has just 1,909 letters, the 3rd has 182: Lopado­temacho­selacho­galeo­kranio­leipsano­drim­hypo­trimmato­silphio­parao­melito­katakechy­meno­kichl­epi­kossypho­phatto­perister­alektryon­opte­kephallio­kigklo­peleio­lagoio­siraio­baphe­tragano­pterygon


    But in dictionaries, the official longest word is Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis (45 letters).

  • That's from Marry Poppins, isn't it?

    Yes :) . It's in the movie. It's probably been over 35 years since I've seen it.


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  • I'm significant younger :D PS:


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    Here you can hear the difference.

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