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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone.
Welcome to The Ultimate German Pronunciation Guide.
In this lesson, you'll learn 3 new German consonants.
ç, x, ʔ
When you listen to a German conversation, at a certain point you might think that somebody may be a bit sick, clearing his or her throat, But in fact, they are consonant sounds in the German language.
These sounds don't appear in English, so they'll be trickier than the last lot.
Be sure to practice them because these are the unique sounds that learners often get wrong!
Are you ready?
Then let's get started!
The first consonant is...
ich (I)
nicht (not)
Sicht (sight)
(voiceless palatal fricative) Some English dialects actually produce this sound. Some Americans may produce this sound when pronouncing the word 'hue' for example. Try it!
"This sound is pronounced close to the roof of the mouth. Say a long, drawn-out ""eeee"" and while holding that mouth position, just exhale strongly. The resultant noise should be turbulent, and this is how you should pronounce this sound.
Listen to Alisa."
ç, ç (slowly)
ç, ç (slowly)
The next consonant is...
Bach (stream)
Loch (hole)
Fach (subject)
This is exactly like a prolonged K sound. The trick is to make a K sound and slowly blowing a constant stream of air until you get a turbulent sound. The key is blowing without cutting off the airstream completely, while allowing the back of the mouth to lightly touch the fleshy part near the roof of your mouth.
It's like the CH sound in the word yech or the Scottish loch, as in Loch Ness.
x, x (slowly)
x, x (slowly)
Both of these sounds are commonly represented as CH in written German.
When to pronounce these sounds will depend on the vowel preceding it.
( ç ) will follow vowels that are closer to the front of the mouth.
Such as...
echt (true)
Kirche (church)
dich (you)
While ( x ) will follow vowels that are closer to the back of the mouth.
Such as...
acht (eight)
Koch (cook)
Buch (book)
Another thing to note, is that the following suffixes will always be pronounced...
For example...
hastig (hasty)
lustig (funny)
richtig (correct)
Hündchen (puppy dog)
Kätzchen (kitten)
Kuchen (cake)
Here are two useful sentences to help you practice these two sounds.
Dieses Buch ist doch zum Lachen, ich brauche es echt nicht. (This book is a joke, I really don`t need it)
Ich möchte jeden Mittwoch Pfirsichkuchen essen. (Every Wednesday I want to eat peach cake)
The final consonant for this lesson is...
bearbeiten (to edit)
erinnern (remember)
beenden (to end something)
(glottal stop) This sound, or one can argue lack of sound, is the abrupt pause that takes place before the next sound is released suddenly.
It usually appears at the beginning of every word in German that starts with a vowel.
You can pronounce it by contracting your throat muscles quickly to obstruct the airflow, and then releasing the pressure abruptly.
Because the vocal cords are held tightly together, this prevents them from vibrating, so you should not hear anything for a short period of time.
Some English speakers may produce this sound when pronouncing the word 'button' for example, or when they say 'uh-oh!'
Listen to Alisa pronounce this consonant sound.
ʔ, ʔ (slowly)
ʔ, ʔ (slowly)
Well done! You just learned 3 more German consonants.
ç, x, ʔ
We've covered every single sound that could possibly appear in the German language. You can now properly pronounce anything in German! Isn't that great?
How difficult were they to learn? Please comment and share your thoughts.
See you in the next Ultimate German Pronunciation Guide lesson!