Sunday, 14 November 2010

stories in German

"Erzähl mir keine Stories!" in the sense of 'don't tell me any lies' is a frequently heard saying in German. The usual pronunciation would be something like /ɛɐtsɛːl miːɐ kainə ʃtɔris/. So far so German. But – at least 70 per cent of my German students read the English sentence “his stories usually have a happy ending” in last week’s phonetics course by saying /stɔris/. 
They all laughed, of course, when I reminded them of the German saying, and they laughed again when I tried to say the German sentence with an English accent: [ɛətsɛɪɫ mɪə khaɪnə stɔːriz]. I guess the memory trace of this little /ʃtɔri/ won’t last long in their minds, so I will have to refresh it and tell them another /stɔːri/.

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