Tips needed to improve my accent

Hello all,

I was wondering if anyone has any tips on how to improve my accent as a German speaker?
I have watched some of my videos back and have realised I just sound like a Scotsman saying German words, which is hilarious to me but I really want to iron out my harsh Scottish tones in order to sound more native.

Some of the teachers on here have the most beautiful German accents and I’d love to replicate that in my own speaking.

Cheers!

Thomas

6 Likes

Hi Thomas,
Probably not going to be able to offer you any advice as I too am a Brit who has been living in Germany for the past quarter of a century speaking German daily and still my accent is detected! Changing the topic completely, my great grandfather was a Thomas Sutherland who came from Caithness and married a wee Welsh woman and never went back. I’m sure a German tutor will reply with advice regarding accents and I hope I haven’t wasted your time. Happy Easter!
Best regards
Alison

6 Likes

Hey Alison,

Thanks for the anecdote, how very nice. I’m sure you have a lovely accent if you’ve been surrounded by native speaks for that length of time. Yeah, I don’t think i’ll ever mange to get rid of my accent, just looking to iron out the “scottishness”, make it flow better and sound softer.

See ya around,

Thomas

2 Likes

Hey THomas

i think that a really important thing is to start to watch movies in german and listen to german podcasts or audiobooks. maybe you will not understand everything at first but it really helped me with my spanish pronunciation. I also listened to a lot of spanish music which was also helpful…

3 Likes

Tip top advice Larissa! Thank you. Any music or bands (that sing in German) recommendations? I always seem to find songs sung in German that are so cheesy! It makes me not want to listen. Also I was in a bar in Vienna around 4 years ago and there was some Austrian Indie music being played by the DJ that was amazing, but I didn’t ask her who the band were. It was a big regret.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

3 Likes

Sportfreunde Stiller
Die Aerzte
Clueso
Soehne Mannheims

And yes you are right, there is a lot of very cheesy german music. I totally agree. The ones I listed above are some of the bands I like though

Cheers

2 Likes

Totally banging! You are a legend Larissa! Bis samstag.

1 Like

Hi Thomas,

The following topics in our forum could be interesting for you:

Pronunciation topics:

Die Deutsche Aussprache und R

Pronunciation 's' vs. 'z'?

When to pronounce "s" vs "sh"?

Pronunciation of the German "ch"

Movies & Series

Film or TV show recommendations for beginners

30 Jahre Mauerfall - Filme und Serien

6 Likes

Smashing Kjanina! Thank you.

1 Like

Hallo Thomas, another good way to work on your pronunciation would be to record yourself, while reading and then compare yourself to a native german reader.
There is a fabulous website with free audio books, stories and free downloadable PDF Text.
Check out www.vorleser.net Here you can find very easy children’s stories, novels and many more interesting audio books and text.
After you have recorded yourself, listen to the native speaker again and critic yourself. :slight_smile:

6 Likes

Hey Thomas, as an American who has been learning German and living here for a little over a year and a half I also want to improve my accent. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVwdxA-OZsY Janina shared this post with a great video on the R I had posted a while ago. It isn’t full proof, but it helps you a lot and now I realize how I stuck out like a sore thumb at first with very hard American Rs.

I am also trying to work on my accent, but I think most of the topics that were posted are very geared towards English native speakers. We have a completely different R, we can’t get the CH right, we don’t realize a Z is sort of like a T in English in German and sometimes we ignore or can’t get the pitch down on ö or ü. I am trying to be cognizant of the stereotypical mistakes that I make and give me away. This video below is a funny example:

I would also try to focus on it more as getting the right pronunciation down as compared to losing your accent. Think of all the people you know who speak great English with a funny accent. The roles are just reversed and now you have the funny accent :slight_smile: EDIT: As a Scotsman you probably also have a funny accent in English to me as well.

5 Likes

That’s fantastic Dagmar, a wonderful practice suggestion and that website looks great. Thank you.

Thanks Kgeisl1,
I think you are right on the money with focusing on pronunciation.
The video on the R sound is very good, I wasn’t really aware of that so now I can focus on on it, thanks. The only transferable German phonic sound we Scots have is the CH sound as we use it for the word “loch”. I suppose that helps with the R sound too as it’s an open throaty sound.

Thanks for the insight.

Thomas

2 Likes

https://youtu.be/EdRuJuUeOng ich lerne mit Youtube

3 Likes

As some people mentioned, you’re probably never going to eradicate your accent completely, remember that’s totally okay and just as beautiful as a native German accent :slight_smile:

There are also many different way to pronounciate, depending on accents. If you live in Germany I’d suggest sticking to the one of your region, if not always ask your tutors to present the ‘Hochdeutsch’ pronunciation. It’s the so called ‘higher german’, meaning the closest to a unified accent.

And then lots of listening to podcasts and movies of course! Wish you all the best.

3 Likes