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|[y]||kühl||ee rounded / long vowel|
|[ʏ]||hübsch||ih rounded / short vowel|
|[ø]||schön||ay rounded / long vowel|
|[œ]||zwölf||eh rounded / short vowel|
|[ɑ]||kam||ah / longer vowel than [a]|
|[ɐ]||Wetter||uhr / also short vowel like [ə]|
Notice that words spelled with ö and ü can be pronounced with a long or short vowel, so determining the pronunciation
based on the spelling is not possible. The other umlauted letter, ä,
is generally pronounced as [e], though it can be pronounced as [ɛ]
in some dialects. A general rule for pronunciation, however, states that the
short vowels / ɪ ʏ ʊ ɛ ɔ / must be followed by a consonant,
whereas the long vowels / i y u e ø o / can occur at the end of the syllable
|[aɪ]||ein, mein||eye, buy, why|
|[aʊ]||auf, kaufen||cow, now, how|
|[ɔɪ]||neu, Gebäude||toy, boy, foil|
There are a few German consonants that do not exist in English, and some consonant combinations that are not common in English. Notice that the pronunciation of the German r changes according to the location in the countries that speak German, i.e. [R] in northern Germany and [r] in southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
|Spelling||IPA||Sample words||How to pronounce:|
|ch (with vowels e and i)||[ç]||Chemie, mich, nicht||Make yuh sound voiceless (no vibration of vocal cords)|
|ch (with vowels a, o, u)||[x]||Buch, lachen, kochen||Make kuh sound a fricative (continuous airflow)|
|pf||[pf]||Apfel, Pferd, Pfanne||Pronounce together as one sound|
|z||[ts]||Zeit, Zug, Tanz||Pronounce together as one sound|
|j||[j]||ja, Januar, Junge||yuh|
|qu||[kv]||Quote, Quiz, Quitte||kv|
|st / sp (at beginning of syllable)||[ʃt] / [ʃp]||Stadt, sprechen||sht / shp|
|s (before vowel)||[z]||Salz, seit, Sitz||z|
In addition, the sounds [b], [d], and [g] lose their voicing at the end of a syllable, so they are pronounced as their voiceless counterparts [p], [t], and [k], respectively. However, the spelling does not reflect the pronunciation.
Stress generally falls on the first syllable of the word, except in words borrowed from other languages, where the stress falls on the last syllable (especially with French words.)
If you enjoy the tutorials, then please consider buying French, Informal French, Italian, Spanish, German, Swedish, or Dutch Language Tutorials as a PDF e-book with free mp3s and free lifetime updates.Buy French Tutorial
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