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The Umlaut “Ö” in German: Theory and Exercises

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Präsentation zum Thema: "The Umlaut “Ö” in German: Theory and Exercises"—  Präsentation transkript:

1 The Umlaut “Ö” in German: Theory and Exercises
Based on chapter 5.8 of Rundblick 2 and online Speaking Practice Chapter 5, 9.9 and 11.8

2 Please pause or go back/forward whenever needed 
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3 . . . . O o Umlaut Ö/ö: Spelling
Both the capital letter Ö and the small letter ö, distinguish themselves from the non-Umlaut O/o by adding two dots above the letter: . . . . O o

4 Umlaut Ö/ö: Length [ɶ/ø:]
Just like O/o, the Umlaut version Ö/ö can be either a short sound or a long sound (often double consonants denote shortness and double vowels or a “h” after the Umlaut denote length): Long: schon [‘ʃo:n] , schön [‘ʃø:n] Short: offen[‘ɔfn], öffnen [‘ɶfnǝn] Tipp: If you can read the phonetic alphabet (words in [ ] brackets), you notice that the long vowels are always indicated by a colon “:”

5 Umlaut “Ö” and “O” –contrast:
Whilst the mouth position of both “o” and “ö” is pretty similar, the position of jaw and Adam’s Apple changes: For the “o”, the lips are pursed, the teeth are apart, the bottom jaw is dropped, the tongue loose in the bottom of the mouth. For the “ö”, the mouth is a little wider, the Adam’s Apple moves slightly up, the lower jaw closes slightly, the tongue presses against the bottom teeth and the sound is higher in pitch. This difference is best practised in front of a mirror: place your fingers softly on your Adam’s Apple and say a few times: “Ohren” (ears, plural) – “hören” (to hear)

6 Umlaut “Ö” and “O” –contrast:
Phonetic symbol: [ɶ/ø:] Phonetic symbol: [ɔ/o:] schön öffnen zwölf Köln schon offen Zwo (alternative to “Zwei”) Koblenz

7 Umlaut “Ö” and “O” – contrast in action:

8 The Umlaut Ö/ö: What is it good for?
1. It is often used for the plural form of nouns: Example: der Sohn (son, singular) – die Söhne (sons, plural) 2. It distinguishes number/tenses in verbs: Example 1: ich kann (I can, 1st person singular) – ihr könnt (you can, 2nd person plural) Example 2: ich mochte (I liked, simple past of “mögen”) – ich möchte (I like , present tense of “möchten”) 3. It distinguishes completely different words: Example: schon (already) – schön (beautiful)

9 Test Yourself 2: what do you hear – “o” [ɔ/o:] or “ö” [ɶ/ø:]?
. . möchte Brot Vogel Löwe Bogen Möbel Töchter mochte Lösung Sohn Ohr Brötchen

10 Test Yourself 2: what do you hear – “short ö” [ɶ] or “long ö” [ø:]?
schön der Löwe können Französisch die Schlösser (plural) die Höhen (plural) zwölf hören die Söhne (plural) die Töchter (plural) öffnen

11 Your turn to practise: the Ö/ö [ɶ/ø:] sound
Please repeat the following words after me (I say each word 2x): Köln das Brötchen die Vögel (plural) Französisch zwölf die Lösung können die Söhne (plural)

12 Your turn to practise: using both the [ɶ/ø:] and the [ɔ/o:] sound:
Please repeat the following words after me: Möchte – mochte – möchte Lösung – Losung – Lösung öffnen – offen – öffnen Brötchen – Brot – Brötchen Franzose – Französisch – Franzose offen – geöffnet – offen zwo – zwölf – zwo hoch – höher - hoch

13 Thank you  Thank you very much for listening to this recording. Remember, you can play this screencast as often as you like. You may wish to save the link to this recording. All materials used in this screencast were produced by the author, Eva Staiger.

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