Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

OT: German as pronounced here in America.

From:Leo Caesius <leo_caesius@...>
Date:Sunday, September 17, 2000, 19:16
Yoon Ha Lee wrote:
"And then there's some rock song a friend played for me--can't remember
the group--where you hear this deep voice spouting guttural German (maybe
that's redundant), and these wild cheers in the background, and if you don't
know enough German you hear it and think Oh no, it's a Hitleresque deal, and
all the voice is saying in German is a recipe for hemp brownies.  :-p"

    From an American perspective, filtered through Hollywood, there seem to
be two main ways of pronouncing German:  The Adolf Hitler/Erich von Stroheim
school of pronunciation (where you shout everything that you say, no matter
what you are saying) and the 1920s bisexual Berlin Kabaret MC school of
pronunciation (where German's alleged "hard edges" are softened, and the
language acquires a more standard European pronunciation - "Ich bin eure
conferenceur - je suis votre compere - I am your host!").
   The second, Cabaret-esque German reminds me of Lebanese Arabic, which
stands in relation to the other colloquial Levantine dialects of Arabic
almost exactly as these two theatrical pronunciations of German stand in
relation to one another.  It's almost like Arabic with a French accent.
Possibly for that very reason, other Arabs tend to view the Lebanese as a
little lavender, if you know what I mean.  Arabic, like German, need not be
"guttural" to still be perfectly good Arabic and German.

Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at

Share information about yourself, create your own public profile at