WHAT IS THE GERMAN PRONUNCIATION BUNDLE?
The German pronunciation bundle is a set of the essential Anki flashcards to learn German pronunciation. It is made for German learners at the beginners level who would like to learn and memorize German pronunciation within 1-2 months. Even intermediate and advanced German learners will find this useful, especially if you still have German pronunciation problems. With this digital flashcard bundle, you’ll learn the German alphabet, German IPA pronunciation and German minimal pairs.
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WHY SHOULD I LEARN GERMAN PRONUNCIATION?
Sounds of German are the Foundations of the Language
If we breakdown the German language and examine what makes up a language, we can see that German conversations are made up of sentences. Then, each sentence is made up of words. But each German word is made up of unique German sounds. These sounds are the foundations of the German language.
The sounds of German are different to your native language. Some of the German sounds aren’t used very often in the English language for example, such as the “œ” sound, also known as the “open-mid front rounded vowel” used in the German word “öffnen”. The way we would pronounce letters from the alphabet are also different in English compared to German. In order to begin learning German and the sounds of German, we need to learn German pronunciation.
Learn German Pronunciation to Avoid Permanent Errors in Speaking
If you speak with terrible German pronunciation to a native German speaker, they may not understand you, even though your German vocab and grammar are perfect. We want to make sure that you get the foundations of German handled right from the beginning because it might be very difficult to change your accent later on.
Language experts call this phenomenon “fossilization”. It’s when language learners make permanent errors in the way they speak a foreign language because they constantly use language features of their native language. If you skip learning pronunciation, you’ll most likely create bad habits, which can prevent you from being able to communicate in German.
Self-correction and Boost of Confidence
If you have terrible pronunciation, then you’re more likely to face situations where you are misunderstood and confused. When this happens, you might feel embarrassed and frustrated because you’re unable to communicate properly and this hinders your ability to learn German.
It would be impossible to have a German tutor follow you everywhere and correct your pronunciation in all situations. So we recommend that the best solution to your poor pronunciation is to improve your ability to self-correct yourself. In this way, you will be able to catch yourself making pronunciation mistakes, and then correct yourself before miscommunication occurs. The German Pronunciation Flashcards Bundle helps you remember all of the important sounds of German so that you can self-correct your pronunciation in any situation.
When you improve your German pronunciation, you also get the added bonus of improving your confidence and motivation to learn German, and research studies have shown this to be true. By self-correcting your own pronunciation difficulties, it will help improve your listening comprehension and give you confidence to speak in German. Your German pronunciation can enhance your fluency and native speakers will understand you better.
HOW DO I LEARN GERMAN PRONUNCIATION?
German pronunciation can be broken down into 3 parts: German alphabet, German IPA and German minimal pairs. All 3 parts will help to improve your German pronunciation in different but essential ways.
1. German Alphabet
In order to improve your pronunciation, the German alphabet is the first step because the alphabet is used to write out German words and represent German sounds. Native German speakers use this alphabet to write words and sentences, so it makes sense when learning German to start with the German alphabet.
Although German letters mostly look the same as the English alphabet, the German name of the letter and its use in German words will be different. Again, we want to familiarize ourselves with the German sounds in order to avoid “fossilization” from occurring and affecting your speech.
By learning the German alphabet, you’ll also expose yourself to some words that start with those letters. This can help you associate how those letters sound in actual German words.
2. German IPA
The German IPA (German International Phonetic Alphabet) is a standardized representation of the sounds of spoken language. The IPA is useful because the IPA of a word tells you how to pronounce it correctly in German in a standardized way.
The regular German alphabet is different from the German IPA. Take the example of the German word “Dschungel”, which means “jungle”. If you read this German word as it’s spelled in regular German letters, then you may not pronounce it correctly.
As a native English speaker, you may pronounce it as “deskungel” because of all the consonant letters joined together, but that is incorrect and a German speaker will be totally confused. You’ll feel embarrassed and not get your point across. But, if you read the IPA of “Dschungel”, you’ll find it spelled like this ” /ˈ(d)ʒʊŋəl/ “.
By learning the German IPA you’ll be able to pronounce sounds in German from the written IPA. In time, you’ll be able to see the IPA symbols and know how the word should be pronounced correctly.
3. German Minimal Pairs
Minimal pairs are 2 words that seem very similar when you hear them, except for just 1 sound. In German, there are minimal pairs such as “stehlt” and “stellt”, which mean “steal” and “provides” respectively.
These subtle differences in sound can make all the difference when you are trying to understand or speak German.
Learning the German minimal pairs can improve your pronunciation skills as well as your listening comprehension. This is proven by academic research.
Ann Bradlow from Cornell University and colleagues did academic research that found that minimal pair training results in improved pronunciation. Language learners of English improved their ability to discriminate between the /r/ and /l/ sounds to around 82 percent accuracy from 65 percent from a training period of 15-22 hours over 3 weeks.
In a recent study published in 2020, academic researchers from UCAM University did minimal pair testing in Spain. The researchers studied 52 language learners, focused on minimal pair words that compared sounds like /æ/ , /ɑː/ , /ʌ/ , and /ə/, as well as comparing the /s/ and /z/ sounds. They concluded that minimal pair training fostered substantial improvements in the learners’ perception and production of the target sounds.
German minimal pairs are important as there is strong academic evidence that shows that it can improve your German pronunciation. Also, if you can distinguish between the different German sounds, you’ll be able to understand German native speakers better and you’ll enunciate words clearer.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE GERMAN PRONUNCIATION BUNDLE?
The Anki German pronunciation flashcards bundle includes all 3 digital flashcard decks for Anki you’ll need to learn German pronunciation. The 3 flashcard decks included are:
Learn the German alphabet with pictures and audio. Get familiar with the sounds & letters of the German language.
Learn the fundamentals in German pronunciation using the German IPA Anki flashcards.
Learn the most common German minimal pairs to improve your German pronunciation.
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