Why Can't Germans Say 'Squirrel'?

"Squrrrrr … skraaaawl … squirruh … SQUOOW!"

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Re: Why Can't Germans Say 'Squirrel'?

#21  Postby Regina » Mar 08, 2012 9:28 pm

China, Chemie, not Kina, or Kemie. :grin:
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Re: Why Can't Germans Say 'Squirrel'?

#22  Postby Evolving » Mar 08, 2012 9:31 pm

is that ch as in Kirche, or as in Kirsche? (I say Kemie!)
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Re: Why Can't Germans Say 'Squirrel'?

#23  Postby Regina » Mar 08, 2012 9:32 pm

CH as in Kirche.
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Re: Why Can't Germans Say 'Squirrel'?

#24  Postby Evolving » Mar 08, 2012 9:36 pm

Thought as much.

Somewhat back on topic: can Americans say "squirrel"? I have this mental image of George W. Bush having a go and saying "squirr'l", just as a German might.
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Re: Why Can't Germans Say 'Squirrel'?

#25  Postby cherries » Mar 08, 2012 9:39 pm

Evolving wrote:
cherries wrote:squirrel


Pretty good. Keep practising.


it's just right Image

try to say buah nangka in malay :popcorn:

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Re: Why Can't Germans Say 'Squirrel'?

#26  Postby Regina » Mar 08, 2012 9:40 pm

Evolving wrote:Thought as much.

Somewhat back on topic: can Americans say "squirrel"? I have this mental image of George W. Bush having a go and saying "squirr'l", just as a German might.

Look here, my pronunciation isn't different:

http://www.dict.cc/?s=squirrel
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Re: Why Can't Germans Say 'Squirrel'?

#27  Postby OnkelCannabia » Mar 09, 2012 11:35 am

I can say "squirrel". Now can you say "niedliche Eichhörnchen in Streichholzschächtelchen"? :ask:
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Re: Why Can't Germans Say 'Squirrel'?

#28  Postby Regina » Mar 09, 2012 11:37 am

Yep.
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Re: Why Can't Germans Say 'Squirrel'?

#29  Postby Evolving » Mar 09, 2012 11:42 am

First show me one. Then I might think about naming it.
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Re: Why Can't Germans Say 'Squirrel'?

#30  Postby mattthomas » Mar 09, 2012 11:49 am

So picture you're in the car with your German passenger, and you run over and kill a squirrel. They will point and say "Dude, you just killed that skraaaawl"

Suddenly, you don't feel so guilty haha
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Re: Why Can't Germans Say 'Squirrel'?

#31  Postby Blip » Mar 09, 2012 11:51 am

Although I'm a Brit, I have a slight 'literary R' and find 'squirrel' rather difficult to say. One of the 'r's falls into a bit of a 'w'; both of them on a bad day. Speaking German I always had a problem with ü - no idea why, really.
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Re: Why Can't Germans Say 'Squirrel'?

#32  Postby Evolving » Mar 09, 2012 12:08 pm

Blip wrote:ü


Position your lips to say "ooh", then lift your tongue towards the top of your mouth as if you were saying "eeh".

Or do it in the reverse order, if that is easier.
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Re: Why Can't Germans Say 'Squirrel'?

#33  Postby Blip » Mar 09, 2012 12:20 pm

Evolving wrote:
Blip wrote:ü


Position your lips to say "ooh", then lift your tongue towards the top of your mouth as if you were saying "eeh".

Or do it in the reverse order, if that is easier.


I know what it should sound like, Evie, but I simply can't make the sound myself. I tried for many years without success. I've just tried your suggestion and noticed that I don't lift my tongue to make the 'eeh' sound - rather I draw it back slightly. Perhaps that has something to do with it. :popcorn:
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Re: Why Can't Germans Say 'Squirrel'?

#34  Postby Evolving » Mar 09, 2012 12:27 pm

Can I suggest the following voyage of discovery?

All the following without changing the position of your lips after step 1.

1. Say "ah": your tongue is down in the bottom of your mouth. (I hope; otherwise we have an issue that I may not have a solution for!)

2. Say "ä" (which is the vowel in the English word "mare" - I know you know that, Blip!), just by lifting your tongue a little.

3. Lift your tongue a bit more to say "eh".

4. Lift it even further until you are saying "eeh" (ignoring how you usually make that sound).

5. Now you can move your lips into the "ooh" position for the "ü".
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Re: Why Can't Germans Say 'Squirrel'?

#35  Postby Blip » Mar 09, 2012 12:40 pm

That works quite well! It sounds slightly effete somehow, probably because it's quite tricky for me to make the 'eeh' sound like that, but it's not bad! You're a genius, Evie.
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Re: Why Can't Germans Say 'Squirrel'?

#36  Postby Evolving » Mar 09, 2012 12:47 pm

Well, I am, yes; but this is the fruit of singing lessons when I was younger.
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Re: Why Can't Germans Say 'Squirrel'?

#37  Postby rainbow » Mar 09, 2012 12:51 pm

Many South Africans battle to pronounce
!ke e: ǀxarra ǁke

:smug:
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Re: Why Can't Germans Say 'Squirrel'?

#38  Postby Blip » Mar 09, 2012 12:52 pm

Evolving wrote:Well, I am, yes; but this is the fruit of singing lessons when I was younger.


Ok, you've raised my hopes now. Can you cure my literary 'r' so that I can say 'squirrel'? :popcorn: ETA this might help the Germans too!
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Re: Why Can't Germans Say 'Squirrel'?

#39  Postby NilsGLindgren » Mar 09, 2012 12:55 pm

OnkelCannabia wrote:I can say "squirrel". Now can you say "niedliche Eichhörnchen in Streichholzschächtelchen"? :ask:

That'd have to be a very small squirrel. Or a big match box.
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Re: Why Can't Germans Say 'Squirrel'?

#40  Postby Evolving » Mar 09, 2012 12:57 pm

First I need to understand what on earth a literary 'r' is...

I wouldn't get my hopes up too high, though. Singing is about vowels far more than about consonants - or at least it was when I was being taught!
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