Bachelor Thesis from the year 2019 in the subject Speech Science / Linguistics, grade: 2,7, University of Vechta, language: English, abstract: The linguistic differences between German and English are going to be researched and compared, in order to light upon the reasons for mispronunciations and difficulties for German speakers of English. Learning a language or a skill in general, naturally needs practice and commitment to be able to master it. However, this text is going to leave this aspect aside and will concentrate on differences which emerge from the languages themselves. German and English are two different languages with the same Latin alphabet and different grammar
for the naked eye, but beneath the surface are further differences and similarities which can be described in order to understand why German speakers of English seem to produce the same mistakes when no practice for correct pronunciation is given. The importance of English has increased over the past years and is one of the most spoken and important languages. It is needed in business relations, to read manuals, can be used in almost all foreign countries for communication and is generally important for every working citizen in terms of a business language, as former European Commissioner Günther Oettinger stated in his interview with German broadcast channel SWR in 2005. In 2010 a speech of Oettinger was published, which was held in the Columbia University of Berlin and showed, after his contribution in the broadcast, that his English proficiency was not appropriate when considering the circumstances. Especially in terms of politics, an individual wants to be taken seriously and act superior in all tasks given to comply with the role of a representative politician. After Oettinger held his speech, it was naturally connected to what was originally said by him, with the obvious connotation that he failed to meet his own expectations in English acquisition by far, although it was of utmost importance. The English language however can be difficult for foreign speakers. Although being of the same Germanic origin as German, many foreign speakers experience a hard time when trying to achieve native-like pronunciation. Words such as squirrel, all words with a 'th-' and minimal pairs (e.g. hat and had) are often difficult to pronounce and distinguish for foreign learners, due to phonetic and phonemic differences, which cannot easily be translated into the German system due to their non-existence.