Europa Pages Language Learning Home german language courses in germany Europa Pages Home
Europa Pages Home
 > How to Pronounce German Words

 - GERMANY -

LEARN GERMAN
. german course selection
. specialist german courses
. german exams
. sample email to schools

Other Resources
. aupair in germany
. language penpals
. language jobs
. free german course
. free french course
. free spanish course
. site map - germany

GERMAN HOME

 
Free German Language Lessons Home

HOW TO PRONOUNCE GERMAN VOWELS

 

a
like 'u' in "cup", 'a' in "target"
e
like 'e' in "ten", 'a' in "bake"
i
like 'i' in "bingo"
o
like 'oo' in "door", like 'o' in "top"
u
like 'ou' in "you"
(Umlaut, transcribed as 'ae') like 'e' in "ten", 'a' in "band"
(Umlaut, transcribed as 'oe') like 'i' in "Sir"
(Umlaut, transcribed as 'ue') like 'y' in 'Tyrell'
y
same as '', but also consonant "j" in words of foreign origin ("Yacht")


. A vowel is shortened when followed by a double consonant.
. A vowel is lengthened by a subsequent 'h', or by a double vowel, depending on the word. An exception is 'i', which is lengthened by a following 'e' or 'eh'.
. Examples: the h in Hahn makes the a long; the aa in Haar is also long, the e in Tier makes the i long. (See below for "Diphthongs".)

Listen Hear how to say the letters of the German alphabet. (Move your mouse over each letter to hear it spoken in German)

. More practise: Video links showing how to say the German letters '' & '' are provided at the end of this page

HOW TO PRONOUNCE GERMAN CONSONANTS

b
like 'b' in "bed"
c
like 'ts' in "bits" before 'i' and 'e'; like 'k' in "kid" else
d
like 'd' in "dog"
f
like 'ph' in "phone"
g
like 'g' in "go" (never as in "giraffe")
h
like 'h' in "help"
j
like 'y' in "yoga"
k
like 'c' in "cat"
l
like 'l' in "love"
m
like 'm' in "mother"
n
like 'n' in "nice"
p
like 'p' in "pig"
q
like 'q' in "quest" (always with "u")
r
like 'r' in "arm", like 'r' in "feather" (often like silent "h")
s
like 'z' in "haze"
t
like 't' in "top"
v
like 'f' in "father", or like "v" in "victory"
w
like 'v' in "victory", never like 'wh' in "whisky"
x
like 'cks' in "kicks"
like 'ss' in "hiss"

. Consonants are pronounced quite strongly (except perhaps the 'r')

 

HOW TO PRONOUNCE GERMAN DIPHTHONGS (gliding vowels)

 

au
like 'ow' in "how"
ae
transcription for '' if not available on a keyboard or in URLs
ah
like 'a' in "bar", longer than 'a'
u
like 'oy' in "boy"
ei
like 'i' in "wine"
eu
like 'oy' in "boy"
eh
long 'e'
ie
like 'ee' in "week", longer than 'i'
ieh
like 'ee' in "week", longer than 'i', fundamentally no difference to 'ie'
oe
transcription for '' if not available on a keyboard or in URLs
oh
like 'oo' in "door", longer than 'o'
ue
transcription for '' if not available on a keyboard or in URLs
uh
like 'ou' in "youth", longer than 'u'
'ch' after 'a', 'o' and 'u'
like 'ch' in Scottish "loch", spoken in the throat, like 'j' in German
'ch' after 'i' and 'e'
like 'h' in "huge"
'ch' at the beginning of a word
like 'ch' in "character"
ck
like 'ck' in "blocking"
ng
like both 'ng' in "singing", never like 'ng' in "finger"
ph
like 'f' in "fish"
sch
like 'sh' in "sheep"
'sp' at the beginning of a word
like 'shp' in "fish pool"
ss
like 'ss' in "hiss", in contrast to '', makes the preceding vowel shorter. Also used as transcription for '' in URLs or on foreign keyboards.
'st' at the beginning of a word
like 'sht' in "ashtray"

Practise saying

Practise saying



German  Free German Language Lesson Home  German

Pronunciation | Basics | Numbers | Telling the Time | Days of the Week / Months | Colors
Weather | Food / at the Restaurant | Asking for Directions | At the Hotel / Accommodation | Shopping

copyright / credits


Want to really improve your German? Then learn German at a Language School in Germany!


> GERMAN HOME

europa pages 1995-2012. All rights reserved.