iloko asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 8 years ago

Why does the German language sound a lot more...?

powerful and sagacious than the English language yet they are both considered 'West Germanic' languages?


Do you know German and is this an accurate description?

3 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favourite answer

    Because you don't have a real picture of the German language. Honestly, I watch everything in English and I am a native German. It's simply too funny if somebody starts to speak German in a American film. Like in the series Grimm, in which they use a lot of German. It sounds ridicously funny. "Alles hat ein Ende nur die Wurst hat zwei." (Everything has an end, only a sausage has two). Good old saying that we are all annoyed of because we don't think it is funny and our grandparent have already overused it in their dementia. But it's in there in a pronunciation I didn't even correctly understand. I had an idea what he just said, but I had to wait for the English translation to be sure.

    The picture people have of Germany, with its hard sounds, are often derived from Hitler's speeches and theatre. Hitler had a special kind of voice, something that came to him naturally, but others actually train for. It is that kind of voice which you use in a theatre. That's because you have to carry your voice to the last rows of seats without using a microphone. But colloquial German is losing, like every colloquial language, a lot of its hard sounds. You just skip over them, like you do in other languages. Half pronounced is enough, mostly goes ^^

    So in the end, real German doesn't sound half as hard as you see in all the films. They just take that kind of German to satisfy a stereotype. Without that, people wouldn't even believe that's German.

  • 8 years ago

    it all depends on the speaker, his voice and his mood. every language can sound powerful and sagacious when being shouted and stressed on each syllable, and on the other hand, every language can sound pleasantly and tender when spoken softly. the cliché of the loud and intimidating sound of german comes from hitler's hateful inflammatory speeches that everyone abroad is aware of and which is considered "ordinary german" for many people. it always makes me cringe when i hear my mother tongue parodied in an english or american tv show. it comes across as harsh, robotic and jerky, just completely distorted and unfamiliar to my ears, because in reality it has nothing in common with the actual sound of german that i hear around me every day here in germany.

  • 8 years ago

    An English or American drill sergeant can sound "powerful and sagacious". A German actress doing a romantic monologue on the other hand ... It all depends on who says what to what desired effect.

    Source(s): Belgian
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