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Lesson Transcript

Judith: Hallo, [ich heiße] Judith.
Chuck: Hi, I am Chuck.
Judith: [Willkommen]!
Chuck: You are listening to germanpod101.com this is accent improvement series, lesson 9. 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 with us for this lesson. Judith, what are we learning?
Judith: Today we are going to study the letter C and Q and also a little extra about the CH combination.
Chuck: Attention listeners, comment!
Judith: Comment!
Chuck: And comment some more.
Judith: It’s easy.
Chuck: And asking questions really helps improve progress.
Judith: So about those letters...
Chuck: Judith, I think it would be nice to have an example sentence of these letters to start.
Judith: Sure. [Quatsch! Dieser Clown meint, dass Cäsar China durchquert hätte].
Chuck: This means, nonsense, this clown says that seas are across China. Could you say that again but a bit slower this time?
Judith: Of course: [Quatsch! Dieser Clown meint, dass Cäsar China durchquert hätte]. So let’s go over the letters one by one.
Chuck: The German letter [q] always appears with a letter [u] following it. It never stands on its own.
Judith: And there is only one possible pronunciation for it [q] as in the explanation [Quatsch]!
Chuck: Bogus.
Judith: This does not change even when qu appears in the middle of a word as in [durchqueren].
Chuck: To traverse. Next the German letter C has two possible pronunciations when it stands on its own either a K or TS. The former is more common.
Judith: As an example of the letter C being pronounced as [c] our sample sentence featured the word clown. As an example of it being pronounced as [c] there is the word [Cäsar].
Chuck: It’s very uncommon that a letter C is used on its own like this in German. The letter K replaces it in most cases where English would use C.
Judith: However, C is part of the cluster sch the German equivalent of an sh and as we’ve seen before, c is also part of the cluster ch which is pronounced either as an [ach] or as an [Ich].
Chuck: Let’s cover one more thing about this vital German consonant combination. How to pronounce it at the beginning of a word. CH as the beginning of the word is very much a matter of taste.
Judith: There are some people that will pronounce it as in [Ich] some pronounce it like the English SH and some pronounce it as [k]. All of these are valid pronunciations for words like [China] or [Chemie]. So you will hear people say [China] or [China] even and same for [Chemie]. You can say [Chemi] or [Chemie].
Chuck: However when you have a loan word like [Champagner] champagne, the pronunciation of the ch tends to be the same as in the original language. So sh in this case and tsh in the case of chat.
Judith: There is also a case to be made for ease of pronunciation. So in words with an R following the ch such as [Christentum].
Chuck: Christianity.
Judith: The ch will always be pronounced as K.
Chuck: Now let’s hear the example sentence again.
Judith: [Quatsch! Dieser Clown meint, dass Cäsar China durchquert hätte].
Chuck: Judith, could you go for the sounds we covered in this phrase and remind us what they are again?
Judith: Of course: [Quatsch] is the qu, clown is the c pronounced as a k, [Cäsar] is the c pronounced as [China] well, I personally pronounce it as sh but that is just one possibility and [durch] the [quert] in there is the qu sound again.
Chuck: Now please go to the learning center at germanpod101.com and practice the sentence until you sound 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: Then play it back just as easily.
Judith: So you record your voice and then you listen to it.
Chuck: Compare it to the native speakers
Judith: And adjust your pronunciation.
Chuck: This will help you improve your pronunciation fast.
Judith: All right, that’s it for today.
Chuck: So be sure to tune in again next time. See you then.
Judith: [Bis dann]!