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adrianlondon

German

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imron
just be aware (in case you're not) that it's not a real heavily anglicised German, it also has many grammatical and spelling mistakes (perhaps deliberate).
Entirely deliberate. It's a joke, written in pseudo-German for native English speakers to understand. It's often seen posted on the walls of server rooms, near racks of servers/routers full of blinking lights.

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atitarev

Pseudo-German sounds very funny in Russian too. The famous Vladimir Voinovich's World War II novel (The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin) has some very funny episodes where an NKVD (secret police) officer fell into a trap. He was caught by the army, which he mistakenly thinks is the German army. Much hilarity ensues. Both him and the interrogating officer speak pseudo-Russian both thinking that the other person is German. The officer gave away everything he knew trying to save his arse. Although he realised his mistake, he was executed by his own army.

The funniest word used was "strelieren", supposedly meaning "to shoot" (from Russian "strelyat' " (the proper German word fro shoot is "schießen" (sheessen).

The pseudo-German dialogue sounded something like that.

-Kommunistow strelieren? (Did you shoot Communists?)

-I Kommunistow strelieren, i bespartiynykh streliern... ((I) shot both Communists and non-party folks...)

I like this novel and recommend it.

The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Life_and_Extraordinary_Adventures_of_Private_Ivan_Chonkin

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adrianlondon

Well, I've been in Schtuttgart for a week now and I'm striggling with the "ch" sound. I keep trying to ask for a white coffee at the station. They know what I want, but always give me a funny look.

I've tried some sort of raspy (I can't do the Scottish "loch" thing either) milckckckc thing, I've tried milk and I've tried milsh. The latter seems the best so far. "eine milsh kaffee". I'm gonna ask for a latte next time!

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atitarev

If "sh" is the closest you can get to the palatalised German "ch" (ich, sprechen, Milch), that's OK for a start.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_phonology#Ich-Laut_and_ach-Laut

These are examples of the palatalised "ch":

Blech (tin), Stich (sting)

Bäche (streams), möchte (would like)

Bücher (books), euch (you)

Bräuche (customs), Dolch (dagger)

Mönch (monk), Storch (stork)

Listen here:


http://www.utils.ex.ac.uk/german/pronounce/audio/blech.wav

from page:

http://www.utils.ex.ac.uk/german/pronounce/pronoch.html

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adrianlondon

Thanks. I'm back to my commute tomorrow (today's a public holiday in Germany and I'm actually back in London for the weekend) and I'll see how I get on with my milky coffee!

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renzhe

"Milsch-kaffee" should be perfectly understandable to anyone in Germany. Many Germans with immigrant background speak like that.

I personally find the "ch" in "Milch" to be closer to the Englich "h". But then you'll sound Eastern European instead of Turkish :mrgreen:

Since you already speak Chinese, the Chinese "x" is closer than either, so you can try that.

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Lu

Milsh is probably understandable enough, but a bit like saying 'sank you' in English.

The German -ch is maybe closer to the Chinese hard h-.

Anyway, jiayou!

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roddy

Are you sure you're not still saying 你好 before ordering the coffee? That might explain the odd looks.

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renzhe

We should warn him that in Stuttgart, many people will speak Schwäbisch and not Hochdeutsch, so they'll probably look strangely at other Germans too :mrgreen:

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adrianlondon

I'm avoiding Schwabisch as best as I can ;)

Today I said "milx kaffee" with a pinyin-type x and got my latte, no questions asked, no funny looks.

And Roddy, funny you should say that. Although I've not said 你好 my brain does seem to only have two compartments for language - English and "foreign". I was back in London last weekend and, in my regular Sunday lunchtime Chinese restaurant, said "Danke" to the staff as I left. I usually chat to them (briefly!) in Mandarin. I corrected myself pretty quickly, but even so.

As a complete aside, I've got my bicycle here now (thanks, BA! - so easy) and Stuttgart is going to be a great place for me to spend the next half a year, I'm sure.

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atitarev
Milsh is probably understandable enough, but a bit like saying 'sank you' in English.

The German -ch is maybe closer to the Chinese hard h-.

Lu, there are 2 varieties of German "ch", the link I gave before shows both. The soft ch as in ich (I), euch (you, plural, oblique case) is very different from auch, Buch, etc.

The German hard "ch" is indeed identical to Chinese "h" or Russian "x" (Cyrillic) but never in the same position. Germans never pronounce ch + a, o, u correctly. Hard ch usually happens at the end of a syllable (auch, Buch).

The soft one is really closer to Chinese x in xi, so saying "ich" roughly as "ix" is OK.

Please listen to the recordings to, they are useful

I'll give you another hint:

-ig is often pronounced as ik, not ich. fertig - fertik, lustig-loostik, zwanzig-tsvantsik, etc.

Berliners often pronounce ich as ick as well. If you "ick habe" instead of "ich habe", you will sound like a Berliner. It's better than pronouncing "ich" as "ish".

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renzhe
The German hard "ch" is indeed identical to Chinese "h" or Russian "x" (Cyrillic) but never in the same position. Germans never pronounce ch + a, o, u correctly. Hard ch usually happens at the end of a syllable (auch, Buch).

It's harder than that, exactly as the hard Scottish "ch" in "ach" or "loch". Or even Arab خ

-ig is often pronounced as ik, not ich. fertig - fertik, lustig-loostik, zwanzig-tsvantsik, etc.

Yeah, but this is a regionalism, more common in the south.

In the north, on the other hand, you'll get every -g at the end of the word pronounced as "ch". So Tag = Tach, genug = genuch, and so on. But then you'll sound like you're from Hamburg (Hambuich) ;)

In correct standard German, -ig is the same as -ich, and every other final g is a hard g.

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Lu

Atitarev, thank you but I already know German. Learned it in middle school for five years, and at that point spoke it better than English. It deteriorated a bit now, unfortunately, for lack of practice. ish for ich is close, but I thought it would be useful to know it's not actually correct.

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atitarev

Lu and Renzhe. I see you both know German. I majored in German and worked as a translator/interpreter for a short time.

Renzhe, I know this too (about -ig) but I prefer to hear fertik to fertish.

Scottish, German "ch" (non-palatalised), Russian "x", Chinese "h" and Arabic خ are all about the same. The Arabic is perhaps is a bit more hoarse. This also means that Chinese "h" is not the same as English or German "h".

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renzhe
Scottish, German "ch" (non-palatalised), Russian "x", Chinese "h" and Arabic خ are all about the same.

I don't know Russian, and you obviously do, so I can't argue that, but I really consider the Chinese 'h' to be softer than the German "ach" or the Arabic خ , which are both very guttural. Perhaps you're right, and the German "ch" is often pronounced more softly, and the difference is not as pronounced.

I do agree it's harder than the 'h' in "hey, how are you?" but this is fast becoming an academic discussion that I'm not really qualified for :mrgreen:

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atitarev

There are some dialectal differences between [x] and [χ] but generally, being a native Russian, I don't make any adjustment for German "ch" and Chinese "h". Both Germans and Chinese commented about my good pronunciation (with Chinese, it's at least about initials).

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gougou
I don't make any adjustment for German "ch" and Chinese "h".
Interesting, so you would pronounce the two h in 很好 the same as the ch in German auch?

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atitarev

Yes, if using standard German pronunciation (Hochdeutsch). Both are rendered as [x] in IPA.

The difference is often in usage. Chinese "h" never occurs at the end of a syllable, always as an initial, German hard unpalatalised "ch" is usually at the end of a syllable - (not to mix with the palatalised one).

So, "ch" in suchen ['zu:xən] (seek) is the same as "h" in 很.

Russian "х" is usually romanised as "kh" in English but it's the same sound.

(Had to put a space to avoid an emoticon).

EDIT:

Thanks, Imron. Enabled disabling of emoticons. LOL

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renzhe

But the "ch" in "suchen" is different from the "ch" in "Bach", "doch", etc.

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atitarev

No, difference, I promise, not in standard. Ch in "such" and "suche" (imperative for "suchen") are the same, whether at the end of the syllable or in front of the shwa. As I said before, I don't consider [χ] standard and linguists haven't agreed how to classify these variations.

You don't agree with this list?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voiceless_velar_fricative#Occurrence

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