Think the German language is hard to learn? Long German words can be a nightmare to pronounce but the English language is a challenge too, as this poem shows. We have put together a list of some of the words and sounds which Germans struggle with the most when learning English, just to make ourselves feel a bit better about our German pronunciation mishaps. Rural Just as English speakers struggle to learn how to pronounce the throaty German ‘r’ sound, German native speakers find the English ‘r’ challenging. It is a soft ‘r’ sound which doesn’t exist in German, so words such as ‘Rural’ with two ‘r’ sounds close together are particularly difficult to pronounce. Squirrel Squirrel has become notorious as a word which non-native English speakers can’t pronounce. There’s even a whole reddit thread discussing why Germans squirm in their quest to pronounce the seemingly simply word, and a viral video documenting … [Read more...] about English words and sounds that Germans will never pronounce correctly
How words sound in german
Wednesday marks the European Day of Languages, which counts German among its 225 major and minority languages. While Yiddish is no longer actively spoken in Europe, several words are still kept alive through German speakers - whether they realize it or not. Yiddish, the language spoken by Ashkenazi Jews, is an amalgam of many different languages itself, mixing Hebrew, West Germanic, Aramaic, Romance and Slavic components. Thus, Yiddish was the lingua franca among European Jews living in various countries, including Germany, before World War II and the Holocaust. Scholars assume that Yiddish has been around for some 1,100 years and probably originated in German cities such as Aachen, Mainz, Worms, Speyer. A synogogue in Worms. Photo: DPA Even following the Shoah, several expressions such as “dufte” (“great”) are still frequently used in colloquial German. The “Kleine Lexikon deutscher Wörter jiddischer Herkunft“ (“The small … [Read more...] about How Yiddish survives in Europe
In the 17th Century, when the kingdom of Bohemia was under Habsburg rule, the Czech language almost disappeared. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Share on WhatsApp Share on Google+ Share by Email Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Share on Google+ Share by Email By Jacklyn Janeksela 21 August 2018 I entered a puppet shop in Prague and peered towards the back corner into a room, where sculptors were busy at work creating life out of wood. Once the eyes were painted on, a figure emerged. It wasn’t long before the shop owner pulled the strings to see how realistic he could make the puppet appear. I stood near those doors, watching and wondering if the sculptors knew the history they were holding in their hands.Because it was thanks to the humble puppet that the Czech nation – and its language – … [Read more...] about Why Czechs don’t speak German
For many, Casablanca is not just any old movie but the old movie. When Woody Allen was looking for a heroic exemplar for his nebbish cineaste in Play it Again, Sam, it was to Bogart’s Rick Blaine that he turned. When Nora Ephron wanted to illustrate the practicality of women in When Harry Met Sally, it was Bergman’s example she held up (“I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in Casablanca married to a man who owns a bar”). The source of endless spin-offs, parodies and skits, from the Marx Brothers’ A Night in Casablanca to Saturday Night Live, Casablanca is the movie we go to when we want to invoke movieishness itself, the dream factory at full tilt, a heroic foil to our mock-heroic age. As Umberto Eco put it in Casablanca: Cult Movies and Intertextual Collage, “It is movies”. This cultural ubiquity has entailed a certain sniffiness from critics, whose estimation has tended to chime with the Warner Brothers script reader who first … [Read more...] about ConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlight Playing it over and over again: how Casablanca was made Pungent as Old Spice and smooth as cheap nylon: the BBC’s Law and Order 40 years on
Some of these words can sometimes be very difficult even for Russians. Legion Media Seemingly bizarre and alien letters, complex verb conjugations and a slew of consonant letters – even those who are fluent sometimes find their tongue tied. The Russian language has 33 letters and even more sounds. In addition, letters are pronounced differently than written. Which words are most difficult even for those who speak Russian well? Try to pronounce these! Linguistic nightmares Pronouncing the letter ы [y] is a nightmare for foreigners. How to do it correctly? Smile and put your finger parallel to your lips and then pronounce и [e]. When foreigners try to pronounce something with this sound they often make other letters softer, for example, they say мишь instead of мышь. Some describe this as the sound a person makes when kicked in the stomach. “The hardest words for me … [Read more...] about Which Russian words drive foreign speakers crazy?