Many British broadcasters have picked up the
knowledge that in German s
often pronounced sh,
proudly demonstrating their expertise, they pronounce Bundestag
This is wrong: s
is not always pronounced sh.
Its pronunciation depends on
its position in the lexical unit.
followed by a consonant is pronounced sh
as in sturm
<shturm> = storm
or in stehen
= stand and in its past
<ge-shtand’n> = stood.
Initially and medially followed by a
is pronounced z,
as in singen
<zing’n> = to sing,
<bayz’n> = broom.
In final position, whether followed by a
consonant or not, s
as in das
<dass> = the (neuter nominative
& accusative of the definite article)
= best, (including declined
Many German words are compounds, made up
than one lexical unit, as is Bundestag.
The lexical units here are Bund
<bunt> = union or federation
here in the genitive case
with a possessive s
the final stop = Diet
sense of daily meeting) The correct pronunciation is therefore <bundes-tac>.
If you still doubt this advice compare Bundestag
with other words relating
to the German constitution:
<bundesraht> [the upper house]
This should make it quite clear that the
lexical unit in all cases is Bundes
with a final voiceless s.
While there is a German word Stag
it means stay
which is scarcely
relevant to the parliamentary context.
to the Malcolm
an e-mail to Malcolm
Potter-Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org