Drive yourself Nuts (and improve your pronounciation)

Warning. This post may induce mild psychosis

Well this has nothing to do with LingQ but I thought I’d share how I’ve been driving myself absolutely insane for the past few days at work.

Go to
Download MP3 of the word you have trouble pronouncing correctly (you must login first to do this)
Open in iTunes
Put on Repeat
Right Click, Get Info. Go to Options. Set the start and end playing times to exactly when the word is spoken (ie, trim the extra empty noise)
Put on headphones
Click play and listen oh… like 25000 times in one day

So if you cut down a file to about 1 second of audio, that’s 60 times a minute. 3600 times an hour. About 28000 times over a normal work day. At the end of the day you should be pronouncing like a native.



I think for overall pronunciation of language (not just words) listening to spoken language and thus exposing yourself to it is the best.

Well… I was pseudo-joking. But putting my “hard” words on repeat for 20-30 times helps me out quite a bit. I did put the local beer on repeat “Feldschlösschen” so I could get my pronunciation just right at the bar.

Fortunately I hear plenty of high german all day at work for my pronunciation.

Did you start that German speaking computer hacker job in the end?

Well… yes and no. I did take a startup hacker job but not the particular one that wanted to “give me a raise after learning german”. I took another good one that paid better and speaks… well… swiss german, german, french, and english. Lots of hours but lots of language practice

We do our normal standup meeting in high German – I usually understand around 80% of it. But when it’s my turn to speak I respond in English. The past few months at work have done wonders actually.

Even better… I’ve bribed one of my swiss coworkers into a translation agreement. I give him a homemade muffin courtesy of my wife and he translates a few of Steve’s “common sentence patterns” and other difficult sentences I come up with. Maybe I’ll make that into a LingQ lesson one of these days

BTW, know any good beers in our area? Holzfass from Appenzeller Switzerland is a fantastic swiss beer. See if you can find that in Vienna. Feldschlösschen is the “bud light” of Switzersand it seems. That and maybe Quollfrisch. Both are worth a try if you can find them

I love beer, but I don’t keep track of brands. If I remember, I will keep an eye out for these ones.

It is good that you are exposed to German at work, even if you don’t speak much. I don’t think there is anything much you can do about that. You can hardly say that you want to speak in German to practice your German when this is going to hinder communication during a business meeting. You are there to work, not to practice German.


If you don’t know about it already, the best place to get bottles in Zurich is the beer store in the Hauptbahnhof. I think it’s called “Drinks of the world” and it has a nice selection of Swiss craft beers, in addition to beers from all over Europe, and the world. It’s on the lower level in the shopping mall.