There’s a famous video about the German language
and how it compares to others, and it got quite a lot of attention
when it was first published. You know the one. It goes like this: Because the German language is really harsh, right? Well of course, that is the joke.
But it doesn’t have to be like that. For example: Yes, you can make anything harsh if you want to. But the joke — and it is a joke —
plays on a stereotype. And this stereotype does exist.
Is there any truth to it? If we want to be honest, the main reason
we have this stereotype is probably Hollywood. From the Nazi villains of the concentration camps to the terrorist mastermind of “Die Hard”, Germans are frequently cast as the bad guys. So! Of course! They speak like this! Or maybe… they speak like this. But is there something about the German language
itself that sounds harsh? Well, there’s the “CH” sound
you hear in words like: But you don’t actually have to pronounce them
like a cat coughing up a furball. You see? German also seems to have an abundance
of “K”, as in: “knicken”. But again, you don’t have to
make a meal of it: “knicken”. And in the German language it’s normal
to pronounce words clearly and distinctly. In English, the words tend to run into each other. In German, words are pronounced separately. Well, yes, if you are very
careful with your pronunciation. In real life, most Germans in general conversation
do speak a little more fluidly.