Ja ne alter

I saw this video German Speaking Hints - YouTube

He teaches to add “ja”, “ne”, and “alter” in sentences to make it sound non-textbook like.

Is this for real or a joke?

I’m not sure about how truthful these examples are but it’s small words AND phrases like these which really do make a difference in how fluent and comfortable you sound. Actually, I think they’re required. There’s a certain percentage of normal conversation which needs to be fluff. It’s like a sort of lubricant.

Such like the word “like” and “ummm” in Australian English.

It’s like… ummm… you know… like… yesterday, I saw that …

Going from that guy’s youtube comments, “alter” appears to mean “dude” and “ja” and “ne” are fillers.

Personally I’ve never really used the word ‘like’ as a filler. I’d always interpreted that as an American thing. But, you get the idea.

Sometimes, the meaning can actually be altered by these types of words. It’s a rather complex area and I think that many people get to a good stage with a language and lack these things or use them incorrect usage (the rules being mostly unwritten). There’s a lot of intuition in this domain, I believe.

I can’t take this video seriously. Teenagers may use these words when they talk to their friends but not in general and not as much as this video make you think.

I recommend never to use this kind of speech in formal situations. It is very, very informal. Not to say that it sounds uneducated. There are teenagers who use it to sound more ‘cool’. And some German rappers use this kind of language.

You should be really familiar with German if you use these words. Otherwise it could happen that you sound silly.