Maria B in Wuppertal schreibt: Die Artikel in Secretary Today sind für mich sehr gute Trainingseinheiten. Das Lesen und Durcharbeiten der einzelnen Artikel ist für mich außerordentlich hilfreich. Große Schwierigkeiten bereitet mir allerdings die Aussprache. Gibt es zu den einzelnen Ausgaben eventuell CDs für Hörverständnis und Pronunciation?
As yet, we do not have any audio material available, although I will certainly look into this for the future. I did think of explaining pronunciation using the phonetic alphabet, but not everyone knows how it works.
If you want to check the pronunciation of individual words, I can direct you to two websites. The first is the online dictionary ‘Leo’ run by the University of Munich.
As well as giving mostly very reliable translations, there is a button you can click on to hear how words are pronounced. The link is dict.leo.org/?lang=en&lp=ende
For general information on pronunciation, you can go to the BBC World Service website, which has a page for English learners. This is
I also recommend watching films or DVDs in original and – if possible – English language radio stations.
But first of all: Try these 2 tips:
1. Record yourself
Would you understand yourself on the phone? Record yourself and find out. Use your phone, mobile phone or an MP3 player. Listen to yourself some days later to see what you sound like.
2. Practice potentially dangerous words
The most difficult sound for German speakers is arguably 'th' which is pronounced as in 'this' or as in 'thing'. Then there is the difference between /ch/ as in chair and /sh/ as in shop. The difference between prize and price can also be problematic.
Finally, one word often mispronounced is 'cost'. It has a short /o/and rhymes with the German word 'Post'. Very often, people pronounce it 'coast', to rhyme with 'Toast', in which case it means 'Küste'.
Practice these pairs of sentences. If you pronounce the dangerous words incorrectly, you can make embarrassing mistakes.
|Do you know what their shares cost?||Was kosten Ihre Aktien?|
|Do you know what their chairs cost?||Was kosten Ihre Stühle?|
|I have been thinking.||Ich habe nachgedacht.|
|I have been sinking.||Ich war dabei, unterzugehen.|
|The cups have been shipped.||Die Tassen wurden versandt.|
|The cups have been chipped.||Die Tassen sind angeschlagen worden.|
|They are offering very good prices.||Sie bieten günstige Preise an.|
|They are offering very good prizes.||Sie haben gute Preise (zu gewinnen).|
|There has been a big decrease in costs.||Die Kosten sind stark gesunken.|
|There has been a big decrease in coasts.||Die Küsten sind stark zurückgegangen.|
|These are cheap.||Sie sind billig.|
|These are sheep.||Das sind Schafe.|