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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 6.
Judith: [Willkommen]!
Chuck: Welcome to another accent improvement lesson by germanpod101.
Judith: Here you will learn about German pronunciation and develop a perfect German accent yourself.
Chuck: No matter if you are just starting out or already an advanced learner, it can help to work on your accent.
Judith: And to do that, listen carefully to the series and then practice your own pronunciation using the line by line audio tool in the learning center. There you can also record your own pronunciation and compare it to mine.
Chuck: Nothing is keeping you from improving your accent.
Judith: Germanpod101 is there to help you.
Chuck: Today we shall look at aspirated consonants. What are aspirated consonants?
Judith: Aspirated means that sounds that pronounce more forcefully releasing a burst of air as you say them.
Chuck: Okay. Can you give us an example sentence that contains lot of aspirated consonants?
Judith: Sure. [Hast du tanzen bei Patrick Clip gelernt]?
Chuck: That means, did you learn dancing from Patrick Clip. Could you say that sentence again but a little slower this time?
Judith: Sure. [Hast du tanzen bei Patrick Clip gelernt]?
Chuck: Generally pronouncing the aspirated consonants should not be a problem for you.
Judith: Most English dialects also aspirate these consonants.
Chuck: Just say words like call, toll, bill while holding the palm of your hand a few inches from your mouth and you will feel the aspiration.
Judith: The difficulty is that in German, these consonants are always aspirated.
Chuck: And in English, they are only aspirated at the beginning of a word or the beginning of a syllable. For example, if you say the English word spit, neither the P or the T should be aspirated. You might also notice this if you hear Germans speaking English.
Judith: Yes, because if you say the German word [spät] both the P and the T will be aspirated. Position doesn’t change anything in German.
Chuck: Of course people can still understand you if you forget your aspiration just like if a German would say [spit] for example.
Judith: [Spit] I still say like that. However in German, the aspiration is perceived as the main difference between voiced and voiceless consonants. For example between B and P whereas consonants like B, D and G are never aspirated whereas P, T and K always are.
Chuck: So if you forget to aspirate them, Germans may think you are saying the voice varying of that sound. This is something you will have to work on in order to improve your accent.
Judith: Hear the three sounds in direct comparison. I will say d unaspirated d and aspirated d both with [a] sound. [da, ta, ta]
Chuck: Could you do the same with the p sounds please.
Judith: Sure. [ba, pa, pa] This is hard for me because I normally never use the unaspirated t or p. Anyway here is the same for the k sounds. [ga, ka, ka].
Chuck: We will cut these out and post them in the line by line dialogue session so you can practice hearing the difference.
Judith: And of course practice pronouncing the sounds yourself using the voice recording tool.
Chuck: The voice recording tool in germanpod101’s learning center is really useful.
Judith: It is.
Chuck: All right, that’s it for this lesson. See you next time.
Judith: [Bis dann]!