Episode 9 - Aussprache

Rhythm - Rhythmus

If you are an English native speaker you will not have any problems with the German rhythm.
But if not, this exercise can be very useful to you.

Listen to the audio file and pay attention to the stress. Where do you hear it?
Every sentence is the answer to the question: Wie geht es Elsbeth eigentlich?

Elsbeth - Es geht ihr gut!

Es geht ihr gut.
Es geht ihr ganz gut.
Es geht ihr eigentlich gut.
Es geht ihr eigentlich ganz gut.
Es geht ihr eigentlich ziemlich gut.
Es geht ihr heute eigentlich ziemlich gut.

The stress is always on "gut". And - more importantly - the time we need to pronounce the sentence is always the same. We recorded the voice together with a metronome (an electronic beat counter). So you can count the beat. Test it, please.
It's a strange phenomenon, isn't it?
The rule for German rhythm is: The time between two accents has the tendency to be always the same, even if the numbers of syllables change.

Look, you can count 4 syllables in the first sentence and 11 in the last. (Test it, please!) But if you use a stress only on "gut", you have to pronounce both in the same time!
We repeat it in a natural way. Listen:

Is this possible in your language? If not, train it - and you will train your English pronunciation at the same time! Repeat the sentences together with the sample.
Can you hear the reduction of eigentlich? In normal speech we reduce it to: einklich.

It's not so easy, isn't it? You really need reductions to perform it, don't you?

If the sample is too fast for you, slow down - but keep the rhythm!

Do you agree that German language offers a great variety of rhythm? And do you agree that German language offers a lot of possibilities to express emotions or semantic differences alone through its rhythm? - If not, pay attention to the argument. Perhaps you will understand it when you are more sensitive to the German language.

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