German vowels tend to be pure and rarely form diphthongs. This one is a particular doozy due to the abundance of "ch" - a combination not found in English. While mile-long words may be tiring for the eyes, it's often the short and seemingly simple ones that give non-native speakers away in no time. In this case, however, you can blame it on the French. If you haven't been practicing zwanzig, then you'll probably have to skip lunch and stick to drinks. Just how good is your spoken German?
The Germans borrowed the term from their neighbors, which is why it sounds somewhat exotic to the German ear, but narrowed the context to mainly refer to theater or the silver screen. If you have more suggestions for hard-to-pronounce German words, send them to us at feedback. The German "z" is pronounced like "ts" - another sound that isn't common at the begining of words in English and can be a dead giveaway that you're not from around here. Regisseur A soft "g" followed by a double "ss" is killer in this word for film or stage director. A female director is called a Regisseurin - though that's no easier to pronounce. That's because the official spelling rules have been officially changed several times over the past few decades. If you haven't been practicing zwanzig, then you'll probably have to skip lunch and stick to drinks. The short "u" and "t" at the end only add to the hidden challenge. If you want to sound like a native, watch out for these tongue traps. They used to be spelled radfahren and Schiffahrt, respectively. But if your lips just can't form a proper Frucht, then try Obst, which also means fruit. Once again, that troublesome "ch" comes into play in the word for fruit. In this case, however, you can blame it on the French. Frucht Just six letters can spell the end of making people think you're German. A child studying for a spelling exam in Germany shouldn't ask his grandmother for help because her tips for words like Rad fahren to ride a bike and Schifffahrt shipping may be outdated. Many look easier than they really are. Schlittschuhlaufen "Ch" and "sch" form entirely different sounds, but both are nearly impossible for non-natives - particularly when the combination turns up multiple times in the same word. While the length of a word isn't necessarily proportional to its tongue-twisting capacity, the sheer mass of letters is enough to bring even the most advanced language learner to their knees. Unfortunately, even if you can pronounce "cats" perfectly, "zwanzig" may still require some practice. Convincingly pronouncing "Das hat mich so happy gemacht" - "That made me so happy" - is bound to make you, well, happy. While the word for spelling is a feat for non-Germans, spelling itself is actually quite difficult for natives. We've compiled our favorite hard-to-pronounce German words. Zwanzig This one is not a word at all, but a number: This one is a particular doozy due to the abundance of "ch" - a combination not found in English. Just how good is your spoken German? German vowels tend to be pure and rarely form diphthongs. While mile-long words may be tiring for the eyes, it's often the short and seemingly simple ones that give non-native speakers away in no time.
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