The Mimic Method Blog
Although it seems complicated, German is easier than it looks: no letters are silent, it is phonetically consistent, and some of the more peculiar vowel sounds (the umlauts, in particular) resemble sounds that are familiar.
Most guides are really only about pronunciation rules for languages. They tend to fall short of teaching you how to actually hear and pronounce said sounds. Here at The Mimic Method, we think this latter part is even more important than just recognizing the location of a sound in word spelling.
By the end of this guide, you should be familiar with most of the sounds associated with the different combinations of the German alphabet. You may even discover a few tricks to overcome things like the dreaded Fricative sounds.
What we Do
At The Mimic method, we create products for people to learn languages online. But our approach is different from that of other language companies. We don’t teach literacy, grammar theory, or translation like everyone else.
Instead, we help people unblock their hearing and pronunciation in the language.
- When you unblock your hearing, you can understand native speakers when they talk fast.
- When you unblock your pronunciation, you can impress native speakers with your accent.
The more you can understand and impress people in conversation, the more you can connect with them. We don’t care about people reading foreign language newspapers or passing language certification exams.
We care about people making human connections across the language barrier.
We believe the world would be a better place if more people did this. There would be less fear and violence and more love and creativity. If you agree with our philosophy, and you want to help us in our mission, then we may have the perfect job for you…
I’ve been learning Italian on and off for the past few months now. Things started off strong, but as is always the case, life got in the way. The holidays came around and there was a lot of other work to do.
Despite this, I still progressed quickly to quasi-conversational level. I owe a lot of this progress to systematically approaching the language from a differently, instead focusing first on the sounds and how to speak them. This meant that I spent my practice either listening or speaking to native speakers from a swath of resources. The most important parts of this process involved meeting and talking to as many native speakers as possible.
But I found that it’s not enough to simply be efficient. I found that the best way to maximize the fruits of my labor was to go back and review my mistakes often.
People ask me all the time about which accent is the best one to learn. They’re worried that picking the wrong accent will make them sound stupid or uneducated. They’re worried that people will judge them for speaking in a weird way, or that they’ll build a habit that can’t be reversed as they learn more about the language.
But this is actually the wrong question.
Before you can settle on the best accent to learn, you need to take a step back and ask yourself what is your true end goal is for learning this language.
Once you answer that question, you can really only come to one conclusion, and that’s that you need to mimic the accent of the person you are talking to right then and there.