anonymous asked:

Do you think I should try to sound like German native speakers? Even if it sounds a bit too forced? How did you break the barrier between speaking with an accent and speaking like them? How long did it take you?

Yes, I think you should try to sound like a German native speaker if accent is 1. important to you, 2. something you wish to improve upon, 3. a fun/challenging aspect of German you would enjoy spending your time practising, 4. something you already have a talent for (ex: doing voices, can mimic sounds closely), or any combination of those reasons. If you don’t care how you sound or know from experience that you can’t really shake off your native accent when speaking in a foreign language, don’t sweat it. 

Generally speaking, there’s two areas to focus on when it comes to “sounding like a German”: rhythm and accent. (Of course properly learning to create words and use everyday slang are high up there too in regards to “sounding German”, but right now we’re only talking about sounding native in the sense that, grammar and cultural mannerisms aside, your German sounds like someone who has always spoken German). 

If you get down the rhythm by listening to German music, Youtubers, and best of all audiobooks on tape/online and r e p e a t i n g t h em u n t i l y o u a r e b l u e i n t h e f a c e, you’ll sound less like an automated robot or a theatrical soandso who Over-Emphasizes EVERY Word IN a WEIrd WAY. And in the beginning it will sound forced and almost like you’re doing charicatures or standup, but that’s all right; it’ll tone down a few notches once you get used to it. The alternative is telling someone what an amazingly incredible experience you had over the weekend!!! while sounding like your dog just died.

With accent, the first thing you want to do is reduce reduce reduce the non-German sounds from other languages that pop up when you’re saying a perfectly fine German word. Then choose an accent you would like to learn specifically, preferebly one from a certain region or simply that of an individual with a lot of audio material to play nonstop. (My accent model was Bill Kaulitz, then I somewhat got into Berlinerisch/Brandenburgisch, but this accent only comes out slightly when I am in those areas of Germany.)

I think my enthusiasm for the German language was so high that it would have been impossible for any barrier to get in the way of me trying to speak with natives. From the second I began, I constantly leveled up with random German speakers I came across and was not shy to speak when I came to Germany.

For a timeline of how my German sounded, I’d recommend listening to a clip from some of videos below where I’m speaking German. I have been documenting my German learning, accent and studies on YT since 2009

  • After 1 year: 2009 (warning: this one’s audio is super loud in the beginning!)
  • After 2 years: 2010
  • After 3 years:  2011(while I was studying in Berlin)
  • After 5 years: 2013 (while I was living in Koblenz)
  • After 6 years: 2014

Have fun learning accents!

der Advent - Advent
der Adventskalender - advent calendar
das Apfelmus - apple sauce
das Band (Bänder) - ribbon
das Christkind
 - Christ child
die Cranberrysoße - cranberry sauce
die Dekoration (Dekorationen) - decoration
der/das Kamin (Kamine) - fireplace
der/das Knallbonbon (Knallbonbons) - cracker
der Eierlikör - eggnog
das Eis - ice/ice cream
der Engel - angel
die Ente (Enten) - duck
die Gans (Gänse) - goose
das Gebäck - baked goods
das Geschenk (Geschenke) - present/gift
das Geschenkpapier (Geschenkpapiere) - wrapping paper/gift paper
die Glocke (Glocken) - bell
das Glöckchen - little bell
der Glühwein - mulled wine
der Handschuh (Handschuhe) - glove
der Heilige Abend - Christmas Eve
die heiße Schokolade - hot chocolate
die Kastanie (Kastanien) - chestnut
der Keks (Kekse) - cookie/biscuit
die Kerze (Kerzen) - candle
die Kirche (Kirchen) - church
der Kranz (Kränze) - wreath
das Lametta - tinsel
der Lebkuchen - gingerbread
das Lebkuchenherz (Lebkuchenherzen) - gingerbread heart
das Lebkuchenhäuschen - gingerbread house
das Lebkuchenmännchen - gingerbread man
die Lichterkette (Lichterketten) - string of fairy lights
die Mandel (Mandeln) - almond

das/der Marzipan - marzipan
der Mince Pie (Mince Pies) - mince pie
der Mistelzweig (Mistelzweige) - piece of mistletoe
die Mütze (Mützen) - beanie
der Nordpol - North Pole
die Nuss (Nüsse) - nut
der Nussknacker - nutcracker
die Pfeffernuss (Pfeffernüsse) - small round gingerbread biscuit
das Plätzchen - cookie/biscuit
das Popcorn - popcorn
das Rentier (Rentiere) - reindeer
der Schinken - ham
der Schlitten - sled/sledge/sleigh
der Schlittschuh (Schlittschuhe) - ice skate
der Schmuck - decoration [uncountable]
der Schnee - snow
der Schneeball (Schneebälle) - snowball
die Schneeflocke (Schneeflocken) - snowflake
der Schneemann (Schneemänner) - snowman
die Schokolade (Schokolade) - chocolate
der Schornstein (Schornsteine) - chimney
das Schweinefleisch - pork
das Spielzeug (Spielzeuge) - toy
die Stechpalme (Stechpalme) - holly
der Stern (Sterne) - star
der Stiefel - boot
der Stollen - bread made with dried fruit and dusted with powdered sugar
die Süßigkeit (Süßigkeiten) - candy/sweet/lolly
der Tannenbaum (Tannenbäume) - fir tree/Christmas tree

der Tannenzapfen - pine cone
der Truthahn (Truthähne) - turkey
der Weihnachtsbaum (Weihnachtsbäume) - Christmas tree
die Weihnachtskarte (Weihnachtskarten) - Christmas card
der Weihnachtskuchen - Christmas cake
die Weihnachtskugel (Weihnachtskugeln) - Christmas bauble
das Weihnachtslied - Christmas carol
der Weihnachtsmann (Weihnachtsmänner) - Santa/Father Christmas
der Weihnachtsmarkt (Weihnachtsmärkte) - Christmas market
der Weihnachtspudding - Christmas pudding
die Weihnachtssocke (Weihnachtssocken) - Christmas sock
der Weihnachtsstern (Weihnachtssterne) - poinsettia
der Weihnachtsstrumpf (Weihnachtsstrümpfe) - Christmas stocking
die Weihnachtszeit - Christmas time
die Winterbeere (Winterbeeren) - holly berry

der Wunsch (Wünsche) - wish

der Wunschzettel - wish list
der Zimt - cinnamon
der Zimtstern (Zimtsterne) - star shaped cinnamon biscuit with white icing
die Zuckerstange (Zuckerstangen) - candy cane

auspacken - to open/to unwrap
backen - to bake
basteln - to make/to do arts and crafts
braten - to roast
dekorieren - to decorate
einen Brief an den Weihnachtsmann schreiben - to write a letter to Santa
einen Schneemann bauen - to make a snowman
einpacken - to wrap up
eislaufen - to ice skate
etwas an jemanden verschenken - to give something to someone
etwas mit der Post senden - to send something in the mail
etwas zu Weihnachten bekommen - to get something for Christmas
feiern - to celebrate
jemandem etwas schenken - to give something to someone

Kerzen anzünden - to light candles
schmücken - to decorate/to adorn
schneien - to snow

sich (+dat) etwas zu Weihnachten wünschen - to wish for something for Christmas

verpacken - to wrap up
Zeit mit seiner Familie verbringen - to spend time with one’s family
zusammenkommen - to meet/to get together

bezaubernd - enchanting
geröstet - roasted
glitzernd - twinkling/sparkling
glänzend - shining
golden - gold/golden
magisch - magical
mit Schokolade gefüllt - chocolate filled
silbern - silver
vorweihnachtlich - pre-Christmas
weihnachtlich - Christmassy
winterlich - wintery
zauberhaft - enchanting/delightful