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Do you think German sounds "aggressive" ???


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Yes! As a native English speaker, German sounds very aggressive. In fact, most German speakers sound angry to me. There is something about the flow of the language that sounds like someone is getting scolded every time they speak.

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  • 3 weeks later...
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I think especially songs like this show how "nice" German can sound:

Before I started studying German, I had the same impression. I think, now, that a lot of is just intonation. Germans intonate things differently than people do in standard English which can make normal statements sound like accusations.

In terms of phonology, the only rough sound in my opinion in German is the "ch" in words like auch, and that phoneme is fairly rare. In standard German the "ch" in ich, dich, etc. sounds fine. I've actually found it rather interesting in that the more I've exposed myself to German and French the more the stereotypes have reversed. German sounds quite schön to me now, whereas I find it more and more difficult to ignore the "cave-man" type sounds that are common in French and make it sound much less pretty to me now. Though I can still appreciate its beauty.

(french:

)

I might have chosen a particularly bad sample though... ;)

No offense meant to an Frenchmen here.

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Since I've started studying German I've noticed the language can sound quite rough and aggressive, it is true. Just as Italian sounds melodic and cheerful. I've watched German movies while learning the beginnings and there were parts of normal dialogue where it really seem they were fighting. Just like Chinese, I also find it aggressive.

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I completely agree with our Admin on the harshness of the German language. To me it sounds like a very angry language when spoken even though it’s probably not to be perceived that way. I guess my issue is that to me the way the German language is expressed in the media or in films really doesn’t help the defense here. Anytime I have heard the German language, I think of hardships and lack of democracy. Maybe that’s just me getting the perception of the language or culture confused with what has been portrayed throughout history.

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I think German sounds pretty sexy, honestly. It's a very hard language for me to personally learn, though. I tried once about 7 years ago, and gave up as soon as the words started joining together to form bigger and bigger words.. and they all seemed to become giant centipede sentences.

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I think aggressive is a good way to describe it. As someone once told me, "You can call it what you want but it's never going to be confused with a romantic language." The German culture is a strong one and I think their language suits that very well. 

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I don't think German sounds aggressive, exactly, but I do think it tends to sound rough. Like they ran out of vowels and had to make do.  :wink:

This made me giggle. :) If you really want to talk about a lack of vowels though you should check out Welsh!

I think most people are probably exposed to the more stereotypical dialects of German spoken boisterously by deep-voiced men, drinking songs, etc. I was trained in singing for some years and sang a number of German songs and none of them sounded rough to me. It definitely depends on the voice of the person speaking and the volume and force behind it.

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It could be because of the German accent and manner of speaking that's why most people think they sound too aggressive or always angry. :) It's not just the German language which has that connotation as well as some dialects we have here in our country wherein some speak fast and the tone of voice of the speaker is always mistaken for being angry. :)

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Before I started learning it yes I did. Everyone kept saying poking fun in German language that it sounds aggressive as Arabic. I started learning German and then I knew it doesn't as everyone used to say. Same thing that they say about Arabic and how aggressive it sounds, I speak arabic aswell and it doesnt sound aggressive :P

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It is definitely more harsh sounding that most languages, but I also find that it depends on the region in Germany. Some areas say their "ch" more like a hard "k" while others give it a "sh" sound. So I think it depends where you are in Germany or where the speaker is from that determines how aggressive it sounds.

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As someone who has never studied German, it definitely sounds harsher on the ear to me than other European languages like French and Spanish. I do wonder whether English sounds similar though, but may not be noticed in the same way.

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I see you are a fellow native speaker!

I, just like you, do not think German is especially rough. But we are obviously looking at this from the inside, and people who don't understand our language hear a rough, sometimes even aggressive sound.

My American husband does tell me that it sounds aggressive, stakkato-like even, while I think that is completely untrue.

I am learning Swedish and Norwegian, and they have some pretty rough dialects up there! But to an American that doesn't mean anything.

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As someone who has never studied German, it definitely sounds harsher on the ear to me than other European languages like French and Spanish. I do wonder whether English sounds similar though, but may not be noticed in the same way.

I'm glad you asked that actually, as it's something I've been wondering about too. I'm in a German class now reading modern short stories, and one of them was from the perspective of an exchange student from Germany going to a uni in Louisiana, and the thing she pointed out was our "R"s are too pronounced, sounding too much like growling, like a lion. Professor (native German) agreed. lol

But I am curious.

Also about the accents, I think Americans especially are really only introduced to spoken German with the southern accents which use more of the back of the mouth and the soft "ch"s and the r's are a bit harsher too. In the north it's more "ik" than "ich" if I'm not mistaken. And it's so strange listening to that sort of accent because it's not the German you grow up thinking of. Maybe it's just Americans, or just me, but you kind of grow up thinking other countries are this homogenous thing and they all talk the same way even though speech varies widely throughout your state and country. Might be a kid thing too. :)

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Not really, but maybe how the language is pronounced makes it seem aggressive? Come to think of it, I love listening the Rammstein's songs, they're a German band, and the way the lead singer sings is quite aggressive sounding. I will now observe how normal German words are spoken in casual conversation to see if it really sounds aggressive.

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Yes. I think the German language sounds aggressive. I don't speak a word of German and when I hear people conversing in German I feel as though they're fighting. When my cousin and his girlfriend talk in German I often feel awkward because it's as though I'm with a couple who's always fighting, they've both assured me though that that's just the way they sound.

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