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View Diary: UPDATED-"I" before "E" except after "C how racist I am?"-moranically mispelled anti-Obama sign in TX (186 comments)

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  •  To be fair to the Great Orange Pumpking Head, (2+ / 0-)
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    edwardssl, here4tehbeer

    pronouncing the oe in Boehner as ay is a reasonably sensible way of treating the oe, which was originally a German umlaut ö. Ö can actually be written oe to mark the umlaut.  There are in fact a couple of dialects in south Germany which pronounce oe as what is very close to the English "ay".  

    At the risk of providing too much information,  for a fairly accurate pronunciation of an Ö, you put your tongue and everything else in your mouth in the position to say e as in "men" BUT you round your lips like a gold fish when you say it.  It's the same sound as the French eu in "feu".  To the American ear it sounds rather similar to the or in "worm."  

    -7.13 / -6.97 "The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion." -- Edmund Burke

    by GulfExpat on Wed May 15, 2013 at 11:36:00 AM PDT

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    •  I just sprained... (2+ / 0-)
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      here4tehbeer, grover tongue. And possibly my cheek : )

      "Back off, man. I'm a scientist."
      -- Dr. Peter Venkman

      Join me, Anne C. Savage & LOLGOP at

      by Eclectablog on Wed May 15, 2013 at 11:53:42 AM PDT

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    •  Even after four years of German, that's (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      still the hardest sound for me to get right.

      It has that little bit of an 'r' sound, but not too strong.

      I had mentioned to a German friend about that subtle 'r' sound in the ö, and he just looked at me with a blank face.  He didn't hear the 'r' at all and had no idea what I was talking about.

      •  There really is no 'r' sound (0+ / 0-)

        with it at all.  It's how the sound is interpreted by English speakers whose particular dialects use the so-called "retroflex r", which probably represents 85 - 90% of American English speakers.  Speakers of "r-less" dialects - most Brits, Aussies, Kiwis, South Africans, and Indians - don't generally hear it, either.  As for your German friend, when he thinks of an 'r' sound, it is NOT the retroflex version that we think of as 'r"; rather, he thinks of either a trilled or tap-r as in Spanish, or the uvular r in French.  German does not have the retroflex one at all.  That's why he looked blank.  He doesn't interpret anything about the sound of the Ö as having anything to do with an "r."  Actually, that r-sound is almost exclusive to American and Irish English, although it does occur in some dialects of Brazilian Portuguese. As a sound used by millions, it's a pretty rare bird among the world's languages.  Oh yes, and it's THE identifier of a North American English speaker when s/he tries speaking another language.  It sounds very weird -- and sometimes rather abrasive -- to everybody else.  If you can ditch it when you speak something else, you won't be identified as American, which can be an advantage.            

        -7.13 / -6.97 "The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion." -- Edmund Burke

        by GulfExpat on Thu May 16, 2013 at 12:46:57 AM PDT

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