Sunday, 18 January 2009

Nach und nach

Welcome to the first entry in this blog on how to learn German. If you want to speak a language you have to learn little by little. There are no lesson plans, no tests, no homework, but you may learn something that will add to your knowledge of German.

Perhaps the best way to learn how to say things in German is to listen to a German person but there are some definite rules that you can learn simply by reading. In this blog I will take you through many different aspects of learning German. Ich lerne nach und nach und ich lerne aus meinen Fehlern. If you are not sure what this means then take a look at a dictionary. Get used to using it and you will learn little by little, and you may learn by your mistakes as long as you get them corrected, so don't be afraid to ask anyone for help.

How to say 'I am called...' / 'Ich heiße...'
The pronunciation of ch in ich varies depending on region or dialect. Ich is the word for 'I'. It is pronounced ikh or you can say something like ish but you have to change it to make it sound German. You put your tongue in the same position as when you are saying yes (you can also hear some explanations for the tongue position like saying the word Hugh. It's the same position). We don't have this sound in English but the sound is often explained as an ish coming from further back in the mouth. I found this explanation difficult for a long time because you have to change the facial muscles at the same time (which attach to the corners of the mouth). It is a sort of half small as if saying 'ee'

Whenever you see ß it is called an eszett (pronounced "ess-tsett") as it is a combination of an s (ess) and a z (tset). The sound is identical to 'ss'. The ei in german sounds like eye. So ou can now pronounce 'heiße'.

To learn anything you have to enjoy the learning process. So I am not going to give out any detentions or make you write any lines, but try to learn nach und nach.

Bis bald.

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