Episode 10 - Aussprache

Reductions: when should you use them? — Reduktionen: Wann benutzt man sie?

How to pronounce?
When do you have to use reductions, and when is it better not to use them? We told you that we need reductions to create rhythmical variations. But there is another important aspect.
You can read books about this argument - but you can also answer with a simple sentence: If you have the possibility to repeat your speech, you use reductions when you want to create "good vibrations" - if not - like a news-reader on TV or on the radio or like a theatre actor - you prefer very formal speech.
Listen to the interview with Adrian Simpson, Professor of German phonetics and a specialist on the argument.

Tip
Consult the glossary if you need help. Here you can read the transcript of the interview.

Here are some isolated reductions which occur in the spontaneous speech between Adrian and Susanne. Pay attention to them when you listen to the interview again.
We emphasized the reduced parts. Try to repeat the words using the reductions. German pronunciation is easier this way, isn't it?

  Sag mal
  Nicht? (Ist das nicht so? - Isn't it?)
  ist
  eigentlich
  entspannt
  braucht man


How is it in your language? Do you use reductions? If yes - why and when?
And what about you and your German?
How should you behave?
The answer is simple.
If your German is fluent, use reductions in informal situations.
If not, follow the rules of formal German. So people won't have problems understanding you and they'll praise your proper pronunciation.
We told you a lot about reductions because we primarily want you to understand normal people.

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