Unit 2: Part 1
Basic Sentences [mp3 2.1]
Bei der Passkontrolle und beim Zoll
*End of mp3 2.1*
Changes since the 1960's : Gnädige Frau might have been considered polite 50 years ago in diplomatic circles but it is very old-fashioned today. Dame is very formal in Germany, but still commonly used in Austria.
Austrian German: Da means something nearby and dort is
something very far away in Austrian German. It's really a matter of feeling
but even in Austria they are becoming more and more interchangeable everyday.
However, there are examples where dort instead of da would sound odd:
If you want to call Thomas, but his mother answers the phone you would
ask: Ist Thomas da? (meaning "at home", near the mother).
Da can create confusion if Austrians and Germans talk to each other. In Austria it almost always means the same as hier (here) while in Germany da has the notion of either being present, having arrived (Ist Herr Müller schon da?) or it refers to a place which is somewhere else (i.e. synonomous to dort). It can also be used to refer to a point in the past (da habe ich mich sehr gefreut). So, apart from the latter use, if a German speaks to you, you can safely translate da to there, while if it's an Austrian you probably have to translate it to here.
[Thanks to kflavin84 & chrismes for some of these updates!]
Notes on Pronunciation [mp3 2.2]
A. Long and short vowels
|ihn - in
bieten - bitten
Lied - litt
mieten - mitten
|Beet - Bett
beten - Betten
den - denn
Sehne - Senne
|Staat - Stadt
wate - Watte
Wahn - wann
bahne - banne
|bog - Bock
wohne - Wonne
lohte - Lotte
Ofen - offen
|Mus - muss
Pute - Putte
bucht - Bucht
Muhme - Mumme
|König - können
Höhle - Hölle
böge - Böcke
Goethe - Götter
|Hüte - Hütte
fühle - fülle
müder - Mütter
Lüge - Lücke
Ask your instructor to say German Wein, then say English "wine“. Notice that the duration of the German vowel combination is considerably shorter than the English.
C. Post-vocalic r
Post-vocalic r in German has a vowel-like sound. It does not sound like the English r. Listen carefully to the following pairs of words and imitate them to the satisfaction of your instructor.
|diese - dieser
eine - einer
Liebe - lieber
Ode - oder
|Miete - Mieter
Alte - Alter
bitte - bitter
welche - welcher
|älter - Eltern
Vetter - Vettern
Kinder - Kindern
|Gästen - gestern
locken - lockern
fetten - Vettern
Note that the syllable with post-vocalic r is in every case slightly longer than the syllable without it. If you watch your instructor's lips carefully you may also see that they are slightly farther apart, his mouth slightly more open on this syllable.
Now practice the following groups, first the long vowels and then the pairs of long and short vowels with post-vocalic r, and finally the vowels followed by r and a consonant.
her - Herr
D. Pre-vocalic r (voiceless)
The pre-vocalic r differs from the post-vocalic r. Most speakers of German make the pre-vocalic r with slight friction between the back of the tongue and the soft palate, the region back of the mouth near the uvula. This sound is very similar to the final sound in noch and nach. Practice the following groups:
Now try making the same sound right after the initial consonants in the following groups:
You may find it necessary at first to whisper an extra syllable at the beginning of these words and pronounce Pochau, Tochost, pochall, Kochone, etc. Don't hesitate to try this if necessary.
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