Monday, 26 March 2012

German Telekom cloud

The English word cloud (and all other words with a syllable-final voiced obstruent) is one of the shibboleths to give someone away as a German speaker of English. Listen to this advert produced for the German telecommunications company Telekom:

video
credit: sound by telekomentertain


Said with a German accent cloud sounds like the 3rd person singular present tense indicative form of the German verb klauen (steal, pinch, nick).

7 comments:

  1. I think it wdn sound all that un-English like that from a native English speaker

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JWL, you're fairly lenient!

      Delete
    2. He's speaking German, though, isn't he? Not English.

      So there's no more reason why he should make his "Cloud" (rhymes with "Braut") sound any more distinctly un-German than there is for a native-English-speaker (using his own language) to pronounce, say, "sauerkraut" (rhymes with "power grout") in a noticeably non-English way.

      Delete
    3. Kevin, everything's fine as long as Germans speaking German say 'cloud' to rhyme with the German word 'klaut' and Brits pronounce 'sauerkraut' to rhyme with 'power grout'. BUT - my students tend to 'export' 'cloud=klaut' into English without making the necessary changes. Or, when speaking English, they make 'crowd' rhyme with my nick.

      Delete
  2. Deutsche Telecom are boasting that they've got a lot of clout? Or are they threatening to give someone a clout?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's them that should be given a clout round the ear/mouth

      Delete
    2. Surely they can't be any worse than the UK's post-privatisation nightmare.

      Had the internet installed after moving to new digs recently. Checked out what was available on this great free market we've got - all the companies have the same basic packages. Now that's what I call choice! Then had to wait for a month while the internet/phone company made an appointment for the infrastructure company to send someone round to drill a hole in the wall. Then only a couple more weeks before the internet/phone company managed to turn on the new connection.

      Is this privatised market really so much better than the nationalised system in replaced?

      And the hilarious thing is that it is the government that has to give these great private companies massive handouts in order for them to update the infrastructure and make sure that the system limps into the 21st century.

      Delete