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Do you think German sounds "aggressive" ???


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A lot of people do say German sounds very aggressive, as if they're angry all the time. Personally, I think I have to say I agree a bit. Although it doesn't sound very aggressive, it does sound more rough than other languages.

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I've heard people speak German before and I kind of agree that it sounds aggressive. Maybe I'm just not used to the language. I believe every language sounds aggressive when we do not understand it. Once we got used to it, it will sound normal.

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I guess foreign people often just hear Hitler speaking out of every German who opens his mouth.

That is what my late mother used to say when I first started my German studies. That used to be the case whenever I was studying grammar out loud, such as rows of exceptions such as: Christ, Fink, Fürst, etc. When I was stressing like that, I suppose it would have sounded aggressive to any listener.

However, dependant on the circumstances, German can be really soft spoken.

It would depend entirely upon the circumstances and the speaker.

I find that German poetry sounds really soft when spoken out loud. Rock like Rammstein will sound aggressive, but then and again, hard rock will sound rough in any language.

I find it interesting to hear that German sounds aggressive to Chinese speakers.

In my country, there are a lot of people that think that Chinese sounds aggressive as well.

Maybe, it comes all down to personal taste?

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I think it does sound pretty aggressive in comparison to a lot of languages. Most of the romance languages are a lot more soft. German has certain tones and inflections that can be grating. Even women that I've heard speak German sound coarse. That isn't to say that it can't be soft.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Swearing at people in German is a good way of displaying verbal violence in my opinion. However, the language itself isn't aggressive at all. It's like saying mathematics is more aggressive than physics because it is simply more complicated.

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While it isn't as friendly as Russian sometimes is I wouldn't call German aggressive or even rather rough. In my experience it is a strong language, but it is also a lovely language... like metal work. Metal is not soft, but it can be fine and bent into something lovely.

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I think it sounds "aggressive" mostly because it uses less vowels and many consonants. But I personally don't find it aggressive. Try listening to Dutch. That's even weirder. Latin or francophone languages sound softer because they use many vowels.

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While it isn't as friendly as Russian sometimes is I wouldn't call German aggressive or even rather rough. In my experience it is a strong language, but it is also a lovely language... like metal work. Metal is not soft, but it can be fine and bent into something lovely.

That's a lovely comparison. I agree, I don't think German is aggressive either.

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I absolutely do not think that German sounds aggressive. It can sound a bit guttural at times, and might sound more or less harsh depending on the dialect. However, I think many people exaggerate how loud and aggressive German sounds. Of course it will sound awful if you yell it, but normal German conversations sound totally fine.

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As a matter of a fact I do believe German sounds a bit aggressive, but it sounds a bit less aggressive than dutch, mostly because of that sound in dutch, you know like in words like ''gek''. I have such a hard time saying things like: U bent een beetje gek!  Lol, try saying all that together in correct dutch, so weird!

I really prefer German over dutch, I think learning German is way easier than learning dutch. I actually wish I had to learn German instead.  I like how aggressive German can sound sometimes, I find that appealing, way appealing that ''softer'' sounding languages, like for example french!  German is a beautiful language :)

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Aggressive has a negative connotation behind it, I'd consider it very deliberate. One of my friends is German and he speak with his mother in German quite often, their sentences are short and succinct. I forgot where I heard this, but aren't dogs very responsive to commands in German?

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German sounds extremely aggressive when listening to old speeches of Adolf Hitler  :angry: Generally, that is not the case. I've studied German back in college and never thought it to be aggressive. I found it quite polished and classy! German is a very smooth sounding language. At least that's my opinion!

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German sounds extremely aggressive when listening to old speeches of Adolf Hitler  :angry: Generally, that is not the case. I've studied German back in college and never thought it to be aggressive. I found it quite polished and classy! German is a very smooth sounding language. At least that's my opinion!

Haha, well that is definitely true. Luckily those days when people were speaking like him are over now!  (referring to the first sentence of your text).

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It could be the accent and manner of speaking German that connotates an aggressive undertone but not the language itself and or the native Germans speaking it. Also, movies and some we watch on TV describes the typical German as stiff, strict and authoritarian which can also influence our thinking towards the language.

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I don't know why but so many people reckon that German sounds aggressive. When having a normal conversation in German (in China), there were quite often some people (other foreigners) asking me if we got an argument or something.

I personally think that German can sound quite rough at times, however it does not sound that aggressive to me.

Yes, I agree that it can sound harsh and rough at times. But not aggressive whenever I hear it. I don't know why for some it is. Maybe because I studied it.

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German seems pretty rough to me. I remember when I'm on Duolingo, and I try to pronounce certain words, I have to say it like I'm angry for the program to tell me I got it correct. As you mentioned, even when you're not speaking it angrily, German is pretty harsh.

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I think it sounds great - The primary reason why I want to learn it is because the language sounds so wonderful, and a secondary reason is because of how subtly aggressive it can be - It's a powerful language, basically.

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The German language can sound harsh, but I certainly do not think of it as an aggressive language. I have a Scottish accent, which has also been described as being "hard" sounding. 

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Yes, very aggressive, although my friend in Germany says it is a very sweet language. I think a few stereotypes may have influence my viewing of the language as well.

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I think German as a word/nationality carries with it some connotations of a relatively recent violent history.

But the language itself sounds fine--beautiful, even.

I consider Dutch more gutteral. The German I've heard tends more towards a susurrus.

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As a German student I don't think it sounds aggressive at all and I think the idea that it does mostly comes from movies and from old video of Hitler's speeches. He spoke in a style called "Hard German" that was a rhetorical technique to get the crowd excited and in no way reflects how people speak German regularly. I think German sounds a lot like English myself in terms of how harsh it sounds.

You mentioned Chinese. What little Chinese I've heard (not sure which dialect) sounded like people were always yelling. I guess it's the intonation but yeah that one sounds a little aggressive to me.

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I always hear about this stereotype: that German is harsh or aggressive. My theory is that it's an English-speaker's bias. Because there are so many similarities with English, people tend to apply their own ideas about tone when they listen to German speakers.

That, and perhaps some sounds which aren't so common in English seem out of place. The same goes when I listen to Russian sometimes: these "harsh" tones aren't so often used in English words, but they can be used by English speakers as a kind of tonal identifier (of anger, or frustration, or something).

Mostly, however, it just seems like a stereotype that keeps getting propagated even if there is not so much truth to it.

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