German diminutives

November 21, 2006 at 3:36 pm | Posted in German, Language | 2 Comments

It just occured to me that German diminutives are probably some of the cutest sounding words in the world. At least to a Western ear. In particular when they’ve got an Umlaut in them, too. Can anyone think of anything cuter than

Knöchelchen
Mägelchen
Würzelchen
Pfötchen
Öhrchen
etc.

Trick is, however, that you’d have to know how to pronounce the German -ch in diminutives. And I think there is probably only one native of English that I know that knows how to get them right.

There are some audio examples explaining the pronunciation of the -ch (which can take on rather different sounds depending on the context in which it appears), on a website by the University of Exeter, unfortunately it doesn’t hold any examples of a diminutive.

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2 Comments »

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  1. While doing some research this morning, I came across this heading regarding the news that Heidi Klum and Seal have had another child:

    “Das dritte Klümchen ist da”

    (from http://www.aon.at)

  2. Oh! That is indeed an outstanding example of a German diminutive…


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