How To Talk with a German Accent

Drinking tea
When you learn a new language, syntax is one thing. But on top of that, you’ve got to master the accent too. A German accent has a distinguishable sound to it. There’s no mistaking the abrupt dialect and unique approach to consonants. If you need to learn how to speak with a German accent, there are a few simple rules that you can apply. With a little practice, you’ll learn to talk with a German accent in no time.

Step 1

Lose the letter W. German people don't use this sound. They've replaced it with a V sound. Try this sentence: "We are going to get wet". It should sound like, "Ve are going to get vet". Make the effort to really pronounce the V sound too. It will make your accent sound very authentic.

Step 2

Switch the letter V to an F sound. Since the V sound has been assigned to the W, you can't just continue to say the V sound for the letter V too. Instead, you need to replace all V's with an F sound. Try this sentence: "We had some very nice vegetables for supper". It should sounds like, "Ve had some fery nice fegetables for supper". (Notice how we practice the W and the V here.... fery good).

Step 3

Replace the sound of TH with a D. Native German speakers have a hard time getting their tongue around the "th" sound, so they avoid it. Instead, they replace it with a D sound. Try this: "They don't like the vegetables". It should sound like, "Dey don't like de fegetables." Are you starting to see how sound substitutions work?

Step 4

Replace D with a T sound. Here we go again. Since we've already assigned the D sound, we need to give the letter D a new sound when learning to talk with a German accent. So, instead of pronouncing a D, replace it with a T sound. Try this: "Dogs are good pets." It should sound like "Togs are goot pets."  Now you're getting it!

Step 5

Use your throat. This is the less-appealing aspect of learning to talk with a German accent. You're going to need to practice speaking from the back of your throat, almost like every word ends with a phlegm sound. Try saying "ich" and "ach" while letting the sounds roll around in your throat for a little bit. It's not easy at first, but just think of it as clearing your throat and speaking at the same time.

Step 6

Practice speaking concisely and seriously. When you hear someone talk with a German accent, it doesn't have the most romantic sound to it. Instead, a German accent is usually more concise and almost stoical. You don't want to sound stern or offensive, but each word should end with a slight abruption. Once you can string a whole bunch of words together, you'll realize just how serious German people sound when they talk.

You may feel a little silly at first, but learning how to talk with a German accent doesn’t require much practice. If you can substitute the sounds of the letters above, you’ve got the basics of a strong German accent.


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