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German Pronunciation

This page has 2 primary uses:-
  1. Use it as a reference page to learn the IPA symbols of the German language.
  2. Use it to familiarize yourself with the sounds of the German language if you’re just beginning your studies.

Consonants

IPA

Examples

Listen

English approximation

b

Ball  ball

ç

durch, ich hue

d

dann  done

f

Fass, Vogel fuss

ɡ

Gast  guest

h

hat hut

j

ja yard

k

kalt cold

l

Last last

m

Mast must

n

Naht not

ŋ

lang long

p

Pakt puck

pf

Pfahl cupfull

ʀ

rast red (Northumbrian Burr)

s

Hast fast

ʃ

schal, Stein shall

t

Tal tall

ts

Zahl cats

Matsch match

v

was vanish

x

Bach  loch (Scottish English)

z

Hase  hose

ʔ

beamtet ([bəˈʔamtət]) the glottal stop in uh-oh!

Non-native consonants

Dschungel  jungle

ʒ

Genie  pleasure

Stress

ˈ

Bahnhofstraße ([ˈbaːnhoːfˌʃtʁaːsə]) as in battleship /ˈbætəlˌʃɪp/

ˌ

 Bahnhofstraße Secondary Stress
    

Vowels

IPA

Examples

Listen

English approximation

Monophthongs

a

Dach bra (but shorter)

Bahn bra

Beet feet

ɛ

hätte, Bett, bed

ɛː

wähle  says

viel feel

ɪ

bist sit

Boot roughly like law (British English)

ɔ

Post cost

øː

Öl roughly like hurt

œ

göttlich roughly like hurt

Hut true

ʊ

Putz took

Rübe roughly like few

ʏ

füllt much like the above but shorter

Diphthongs

weit tie

Haut how

ɔʏ

Heu, Räuber roughly like boy

Reduced vowels

ɐ

Ober  fun

ə

halte comma (when pronounced without stress)

Semivowels

ɐ̯

Uhr  comma

Studie studio

aktuell actual

Non-native vowels

e

Methan (short [eː])

i

vital city (short [iː])

o

Moral (short [oː])

ø

Ökonom (short [øː])

u

kulant (short [uː])

y

Psychologie (short [yː])
  
 These tables represent standard German pronunciation but there are a few minor regional variations.

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