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As with any language, there are a variety of German accents and dialects. Within Germany, we can generally break the accent down into three groups: Low, Central, and Upper/High. Within those groupings, we have Low Saxon, East Low German, West Central German, East Central German, North Upper German, and East Upper German. Break that down any further, and there are over 30 regional dialects. And that’s not even counting the many dialects that exist outside of Germany, whether in Austria or Argentina.
Good news; most German dialects sound fairly similar to one another. And like any language, they only tend to vary slightly in pronunciation, grammar, and general tone. That said, there are certainly some accents and dialects that present more of a challenge. In particular, Swiss German, which is spoken in northern Switzerland and extreme Southwest Germany, can be phenomenally difficult to understand. Many say it’s akin to an American listening to an extreme Scottish accent; it can almost sound like another language entirely.
Rosetta Stone’s Dynamic Immersion® methodology teaches you the language, not just the words. What makes it effective is that we prepare you to use your new language in the real world. So, it’s not just about the features, but what you’re able to do because of them. With practice, you’ll be ready to handle situations with confidence.
LEARN GERMAN WORDS AND PHRASES
German is the second-most widely spoken language of the European Union. German comes just after English in its popularity in the EU. This makes sense when you take into consideration that German is one of the official languages of a number of European countries, including Austria, Belgium, Germany, parts of Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Poland, and Switzerland. Around the globe, there are more than 229 million German speakers. The worldwide use of the German language makes it one of the most popular and practical languages to learn for reasons of business and travel.
Rosetta Stone German language lessons help beginning learners focus first on needed foundational language concepts. Every Rosetta Stone German lesson provides brief and practical exercises that help you learn to speak German with correct pronunciation, from the start. Language lessons begin with helping you understand and say everyday phrases like; nice to meet you, good day, how are you, pardon me, and excuse me. Then building on these basics, Rosetta Stone lessons will help you learn to understand and be understood in German. The language lessons are designed to help you learn to speak in German with confidence. So whether you have plans to travel across Northern Germany, ski through the Alps, or experience city life in Munich and Berlin, learning German with Rosetta Stone will serve you well.
One fun aspect of German is its tendency to combine multiple words into one word. So in English where you might use two or even three words, in German you might combine those two or three words into a single, compound word. As an example, the single word for orange juice in German is Orangensaft. Orangen + Saft = Orangensaft. And what’s more, these compounded German words also have a gender. Here’s how you determine a word’s gender: The gender of the word which comes last in the compound word (e.g., der, die, das) determines the gender of the compound word. For example, “die Orange” is feminine, but “der Saft” is masculine, so the resulting compound word “der Orangensaft” is also masculine.
The German language does include vocabulary that can be challenging to learn. Mark Twain is said to have famously taken issue with the “clumsy” German language practice of creating overly complicated, compound, multi-syllable words. As one example, let’s look at the German word Freundschaftsbezeugung. This lengthy word means “demonstrations of friendship.” Yes, the word is quite long, but it might help to try to break it into its recognizable and understandable parts. You can see that the compound word starts with the single word “Freund.” The word “Freund” is what is called a cognate, a counterpart with the same meaning of the English word “friend.”
Acquiring the skills to accurately pronounce German requires immediate feedback on your pronunciation efforts. Rosetta Stone’s TruAccent™ speech-recognition engine helps guide you to the correct pronunciation. Our patented speech engine instantly compares your voice to native and non-native speakers, so you get real-time feedback for the most accurate pronunciation. It’s also adjustable, which allows you to fine-tune your accent. TruAccent is a powerful tool for helping you learn and speak the Gemran language.
After you have developed the ability to understand and speak the basics of the German language, you can move onto learning the longer phrases that come into play in everyday conversation. Rosetta Stone’s 10-minute lessons are built to lead you along the path of learning to confidently understand and correctly speak German. With Rosetta Stone, you’ll learn German vocabulary and proper pronunciation for real-world situations.
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