Is German pronounced phonetically? If so is there somewhere one can get an MP3 which is a paragraph read aloud or something - I found a page showing basic pronunciation rules but I'm not sure how to put them together.
No, but it's much more regular than English. In English, you have to memorize the pronunciation of a lot more words than in German.
Check out the website for Deutsche Welle -- the German news channel. You should be able to find some audio files there.
In my experience with German, it is very phonetic. However, written dialects that are very different from standard German are not as phonetic as standard German is.
In my opinion, German is more phonetic than Enlish. I place it somewhere between French and Spanish, closer to Spanish.
I would say German is extremelly phonetic... OKay that we have consonantal encounters and diphthongs, but for that the only trouble - even if minor compered to English´s and Portuguese´s - are the ´ch´ double sound and the umlauts ( ie: häuser = Freud ).
German is phonetic as hell.
Can't seem to find anything on Deutsche Welle - maybe I should look in the German section, except I wouldn't be able to understand it...
try Yahoo Germany
They have "Nachrichten" and videos "auf Deutsch". You may find something to your liking.