I was once asked by a learner of German: “Markus, wann sagt man eigentlich eigentlich?”, which translates to English as: “When does one actually say actually?”
Hmm, a good question which native speakers don’t think about very often. Of course, I could have embarked on a lengthy explanation of eigentlich as a modal particle, eigentlich as an adverb and eigentlich as an adjective; however, I doubt somehow that this would have earned me much appreciation. 😉
The other reason that kept me from doing so was that I didn’t know this in great detail myself at the time. Hence, I gathered lots and lots of examples which, hopefully, cleared this up a bit. I kept thinking, kept searching for a good example that demonstrates the actual versatility of this wonderful word. And I think I found it!
FThe following is a list of German consonant sounds. They will be listed together with their written correspondents; this way you will be better able to relate the sounds to words that you know. Moreover, the instructions of their articulation will be based on English as a native language. When we learn a new language, there will always be a certain amount of influence by our mother tongue. Perhaps you have listened to a German person speaking English viss a tsherman accent. 😉
One more thing: When you read the examples, it will be really helpful to you if you say them out loud and pay attention to what is happening in your mouth, i.e. how your lips and tongue move.
Now let’s get started.
Inspired by a recent post on DW.de – 10 German Words Non-Germans Can’t Pronounce, I have decided to revisit my short guide to German pronunciation which was previously published here on this website and in the bulletin of the German Teachers Association of Ireland: GDI Bulletin – Short Guide to German Pronunciation by Markus Böttner
Before listing a selection of German sounds (phonemes) and offer suggestions for their correct articulation from an English native speaker’s perspective in the next two posts on this website, I would like to draw your attention to pronunciation in general and, moreover, why correct pronunciation is underrated.