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Lesson Transcript

Judith: Hallo, [Ich heiße Judith].
Chuck: Hi, I am Chuck.
Judith: [Sie hören Germanpod101.com]!
Chuck: You are listening to germanpod101.com this is accent improvement series, lesson 5. Hello and welcome to the accent improvement series at germanpod101.com where we study modern German in a fun and educational format.
Judith: So brush up on the German that you started learning long ago or start learning today.
Chuck: Thanks for being here for this lesson. So Judith, what are we looking at in this lesson?
Judith: Today we are going to study common diphthongs, vowel combinations.
Chuck: Attention listeners! Comment, comment and comment some more.
Judith: It’s easy.
Chuck: And asking questions really helps improve progress.
Judith: So of all those diphthongs, in German, there are three common diphthongs represented by five different spellings.
Chuck: Unlike the umlaut that we did last time, these vowel combinations are not really new songs. You recognize them from English.
Judith: However to speak accent free German, you will have to pronounce them a little bit differently than you used to.
Chuck: So pay close attention when we compare them directly to the English equivalents.
Judith: And after the lesson, use the line by line dialogue tool to listen to the distinctions over and over.
Chuck: Judith, could you please give us an example sentence with all the different diphthongs that we will talk about today.
Judith: Sure. [Kommt deine abergläubische Freundin aus Bahrain heute auch]?
Chuck: This means, is your superstitious friend from Bahrain coming also today. Say this sentence again but slowly please.
Judith: [Kommt deine abergläubische Freundin aus Bahrain heute auch]? The first sound is [ei].
Chuck: It’s most commonly spelled ei in German but ai also exists. There is no difference in pronunciation between the two but the sound is a tiny bit different from the English equivalent.
Judith: Compare
Chuck: [my]
Judith: And [mai]. For example or…
Chuck: [mein]
Judith: And mine.
Chuck: Note that the diphthongs are fixed in length. So you don’t have to worry about long and short sounds.
Judith: The next sound is [au].
Chuck: This can only be spelled au in German. Again you may think you know the sound for English but there is a slight difference of pronunciation.
Judith: Compare:
Chuck: [how].
Judith: and [hau].
Chuck: Beat
Judith: Or
Chuck: House
Judith: And [Haus].
Chuck: These kinds of differences are part of what creates the German accent in English or the English accent in German. So be careful if you want to sound natural.
Judith: The third and last common diphthong sound is [eu].
Chuck: This one is typically spelled eu but may also be spelled a with an umlaut u. Especially in the plural of words with au. For example
Judith: [Häuser].
Chuck: Houses. In this case, the English and German pronunciation appear to be identical. This one should be easy for you.
Judith: The most common word in German with this sound is [heute].
Chuck: Now, let’s hear the example sentence again.
Judith: [Kommt deine abergläubische Freundin aus Bahrain heute auch]?
Chuck: Judith, could you go through the diphthong sounds in that phrase and remind us what they are?
Judith: Sure. So the first diphthong sounds is [deine]. It is spelled ei and the I sound and then [abergläubische] in this case it is the [eu] sound but it’s spelled with a with an umlaut and [u] then [Freundin] same sound, but spelled eu [aus] au, [Bahrain] ai for the I sound and [heute] eu and [auch] au.
Chuck: Now please go to the learning center at germanpod101.com and practice this sentence until you sound just like a native.
Judith: For best results, use the voice recording tool.
Chuck: Yes the voice recording tool in the premium learning center.
Judith: Record your voice with a click of a button
Chuck: And play it back just as easily.
Judith: So you record your voice and then you listen to it.
Chuck: Compare it to native speakers.
Judith: And adjust your pronunciation.
Chuck: This will help you improve your pronunciation fast.
Judith: Alright, that’s it for today. Next time, we are moving on to consonants.
Chuck: So be sure to tune again then. See you then.
Judith: [Bis dann]!