SmartPhrase.com: German: Pronunciation: Helpful Books for German;

Where is German Spoken?
The German language has a staggering 120 million speakers. Primarily these reside in Germany (Deutschland) , Austria (Φsterreich), and Switzerland (der Schweiz), but you will also find German spoken in areas of Romania (Rumδnien), the USA (Vereinigten Staaten), Russia ( Ruίland), and Kazakhstan.

The Alphabet
In German, the alphabet is exactly the same as for English. ί could be considered to be an additional letter, although it simply represents double-s (ss).

Accents
The umlaut (δ, λ, ο, φ, ό) is the only accent used in German writing. It alters the pronunciation of vowels in words.

Consonants (and combinations)

b

• like b in boy (when preceding a vowel), or
• like p in stop (at the end of a syllable, or before s or t)

c

• c in cat

ch

• like ch in Scottish loch

d

• like d in dog (when preceding a vowel), or
• like t in bet (at the end of a syllable, or before s or t)

f

• like f in fish

g

• like g in gum (when preceding a vowel), or
• like ck in pack (at the end of a syllable, or before s or t)

h

• like h in house

j

• like y in yes

k

• like ck in back, but with less air exhaled

l

• like l in lime, but much lighter

m

• like m in me

n

• like n in nice

p

• like p in pit, but with less air exhaled

r

• rolled/trilled like r in French, but not so strongly

s

• like z in haze (when preceding a vowel)
•  otherwise: like s in sit

sp

• like sh in sheep, but with lips more rounded (when preceding a vowel)

st

• like sh in sheep, but with lips more rounded (when preceding a vowel)

ί, ss

• like s in sit

t

• like t in tape, but with less air exhaled

v

• like f in fake

w

• like v in vest

z

• like ts in pots

a

• short between u in cut and o in cot, but even shorter, or
• long like a in hard

e

• short like e in set, but even shorter, or
• long like a in lane

i

• short like i in bit, but even shorter, or
• long like ee in feet

o

• short like o in hot, but even shorter, or
• long like oa in boat, said with pursed lips
• (φ) like ur in turn

u

• like u in bush, but even shorter, or
• long like oo in boot, said with pursed lips
• (ό ) similar to ew in pew; more like ue in French rue

ai

• like i in pine, but shorter

oi

• like oi in coin, but shorter

au

• long like ou in mouse

Vowels

SmartPhrase language pronunciation guide. Helping you to speak better German and talk with an accent the Germans can understand. Explaining the pronunciation of individual letters: consonants and vowels. Pronouncing phonemes and diphthongs. Phonology, phonetics, and dialects of speech. Language pronunciation guide for spoken sounds, speech, talking.

German: Pronunciation
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You & Family
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Be Understood
Pronunciation
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