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Old 15.05.2013, 08:05
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Sechs und sex

This is one of those questions I've been putting off for years. I haven't figured out who to ask. I think I have an accent when I speak German. There are certain consonants I may not be pronouncing hard enough, and certain vowels I may not be aspirating correctly.

I have a slight hesitation whenever I say the number 6. I'm not confident I am pronouncing it correctly. For example, I was at a gas station and asked which pump I used, so I said "sechs" in a somewhat unsure way. I detected a slight double-take and smirk from the cashier, but not sure if it was because of my pronounciation or my awkward wilt.

Is there a difference in the pronounciations of "sechs" and "sex" that native german speakers can distinguish? I don't know if I am deaf to it, or if I am being overly self-conscious.
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Old 15.05.2013, 08:08
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Re: Sechs und sex

I think the first "s" in sechs is pronounced like a "z".
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Old 15.05.2013, 08:09
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Re: Sechs und sex

Sechs has more of a z sound at the beginning, sex has more of a moaning sound at the end.
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Old 15.05.2013, 08:09
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Re: Sechs und sex

The X is pronounced like "ks" whereas the CH is like in ich.
If you have the feeling that you pronounce sechs like sex, you probably do it
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Old 15.05.2013, 08:12
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Re: Sechs und sex

Wing it when in doubt.

Put a Swiss German angle in your pronunciation: "Sachsie" for six.

If you need to refer to "sex", substitute with "geil" as no one uses "sexy" any longer, that was so 90s.
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Old 15.05.2013, 08:16
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Re: Sechs und sex

Part two: around Geneva are many towns with an ...ex ending. I was told that Gex is pronounced Gay. So in the Romandie do they pronounce sex as say?
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Old 15.05.2013, 08:17
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Re: Sechs und sex

The "Sec" in Sechs, is spoken softer that the "S" of Sex.
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Old 15.05.2013, 08:27
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Re: Sechs und sex

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The "Sec" in Sechs, is spoken softer that the "S" of Sex.
Thats what dictionarys tell you. In the south of the German speaking area most people do not differentiate between voiced and invoiced s. Thus the two words are pronounced identically.
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Old 15.05.2013, 08:41
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Re: Sechs und sex

Sächs is pronounced like Chuchichäschtli while the X at the end of Sex is a real X like in Saxony and Anglo-Saxon
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Old 15.05.2013, 08:46
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Re: Sechs und sex

There's another German word that causes me trouble in much the same way as I have a problem with pronouncing Umlauts. Birds!!
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Old 15.05.2013, 09:22
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Re: Sechs und sex

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Sächs is pronounced like Chuchichäschtli while the X at the end of Sex is a real X like in Saxony and Anglo-Saxon
That's what you often here in Switzerland, because its the way 6 is said in the allemanic dialect. In Standard German the only difference is whether the s is voiced or unvoiced, which is, as told above, not done by German speakers from the south.
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Old 15.05.2013, 09:24
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Re: Sechs und sex

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There's another German word that causes me trouble in much the same way as I have a problem with pronouncing Umlauts. Birds!!
Haha! That's why I never shop at Charles Fugly.
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Old 15.05.2013, 09:24
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Re: Sechs und sex

According to Freud, what lies between Fear and Sex?

Fünf.



I avoid the whole problem by adopting Basel dialect "zax" (rough transliteration into english).
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Old 15.05.2013, 09:51
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Re: Sechs und sex

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There's another German word that causes me trouble in much the same way as I have a problem with pronouncing Umlauts. Birds!!
If you haven't yet figured out the subtle difference between "Vögel" and "vögeln", it's probably best to stay away from ornithologists.
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Old 15.05.2013, 10:07
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Re: Sechs und sex

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Part two: around Geneva are many towns with an ...ex ending. I was told that Gex is pronounced Gay. So in the Romandie do they pronounce sex as say?
Gex would be the French way, not the romandie way as it is over the border. So Gex is gechs. But sex would be sey in this area.

I pronounce sechs with a bit longer e that sex, more like "eeh"
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Old 15.05.2013, 10:12
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Re: Sechs und sex

You could just say "Füüfi a eis" or "Dru a dru". Gas-station attendants love playing addition games.
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Old 15.05.2013, 10:34
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Re: Sechs und sex

In High German, the pronounciation for the number 6 is "sex", exactly as in sex.

In Swiss German however, the pronounciation is "sächs", with a soft ch. If you pronounce it sex and your Swiss German is really good otherwise, it is possible that it could be taken as an intended ambiguity/joke.

BTW I found that here in Switzerland most gas station cashiers monitor the outside very closely and usually already know your pump number when you get in.
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Old 15.05.2013, 10:57
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Re: Sechs und sex

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Thats what dictionarys tell you. In the south of the German speaking area most people do not differentiate between voiced and invoiced s. Thus the two words are pronounced identically.
Agree, but south Germans aside (who are largely monosyllabic at the best of times) there is a marked difference in pronunciation, for the last hour or so I have been saying Sex and Sechs over and over again and now I am confused, wanting to get laid and have evening meal at the same time.
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Old 15.05.2013, 11:00
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Re: Sechs und sex

I drag out the middle and clear my throat after one of them.
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Old 15.05.2013, 11:26
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Re: Sechs und sex

Go to LEO.org and listen to the pronunciation of each word:

sechs http://dict.leo.org/ende/index_de.ht...dShowSingle=on

sex
http://dict.leo.org/ende/index_de.ht...dShowSingle=on


or ask a German or Swiss German person to help you figure out the difference in sounds.
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