Wolfgang Rauch | Sprachunterricht

Speech Training

Make your pronunciation your business card!

Mastery of the correct high level language ennobles the presentation of content and form, whether in everyday life, at work or on official occasions.

Understanding language lessons:

Nearly all languages in the world exist on the interplay between vowels as carriers of emotion and consonants as carriers of information. As infants, we learn to speak through imitation, so that we are forced to adapt our natural vocal apparatus to the specificities of the mother tongue.

Depending on the national and linguistic context in which we grow up, we train the muscular apparatus of our pronunciation very differently.

For example:

The German language, for example, has similar open vowels to the Italian language, but the consonants are pronounced more harshly, and the flow of speech is less legato. Thus, among others the ü / ö, the ch or the Aspirated H are unknown to the Italian

the French language tends towards nasality and a more closed mouth or lip sound, combined with a singing speech flow

the American language is characterised by guttural consonants and the elongation of vowels.

These are only a few examples from my practice. What they all have in common, however, is that the muscular functions of the diction tract must be unilaterally adapted by speakers to the needs of the native language or dialect.

This works well as long as one can speak in a carefree way within the framework of one’s own dialect or mother tongue. But even if one stays within the framework of one’s national language, it should be possible to fall back on a clean high or stage pronunciation if necessary. Consequently, my pronunciation lessons for the German language are based on the compendium by Theodor Siebs, Deutsche Bühnenaussprache und Hochsprache, and exercises based on Der kleine Hey, die Kunst des Sprechens by Fritz Reusch, among others.

Likewise, it is a matter of discernment and courtesy if one strives to optimise one’s pronunciation when learning a foreign language.

In my long career on the stages of this world I have sung in German, Italian, French, English and Spanish. In the old Italian bel canto style of singing, I have always had a crystal clear concept of the pronunciation of the vowels, but also of the semi-singers and consonants, since these are stylistically prolonged in the vocal line.

This extreme form of pronunciation allowed me to analyse in detail the various tools of our diction apparatus, such as mouth opening, lip ring tension, jaw opening, tongue position and transition as well as the soft palate, the pharyngeal opening, the compression of exhaled air and its management during speech and singing.

The starting position is different for each trainee, and I work out an individual toolbox containing the rules of pronunciation, the activation and training of the muscular processes of the diction and phonation apparatus as well as breath control and posture.

In addition to my mother tongue, German, my knowledge and experience in French, Italian, English and Spanish support me in this process.

To express it with the sentence of the old bel canto school:

„Chi pronuncia bene, canta bene“

Or, as I would say:

„He who sings well, pronounces well.“

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