Appendix:German Pronunciation
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Appendix:German Pronunciation

The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents German pronunciations in Wiktionary entries.

See German phonology at resource for a more thorough look at the sounds of German.

IPA Examples English approximation
/b/ Ball ball
/ç/ ich, durch hue
/d/ dann done
/d?/ Dschungel jungle
/f/ Fass, Vogel fuss
/?/ Gast guest
/h/ hat hut
/j/ ja yard
/k/ kalt, Tag cold
/l/ Last last
/m/ Mast must
/n/ Naht not
/?/ lang long
/p/ Pakt, hab puck
/pf/ Pfahl cupfull
/?/ Rast like a French R
(a voiced uvular fricative)[1]
/s/ Wasser fast
/?/ Schal, Stein shall
/t/ Tal tall
/ts/ Zahl cats
/t?/ Matsch match
/v/ was vanish
/x/: [x], [?] Bach[2] loch (Scottish)
/z/ Hase hose
/?/ Genie beige, measure
[?] Beamter[3]
the glottal stop in uh-oh!
' Bahnhof
as in battleship ['bæt?lp]
IPA Examples English approximation
/a/ Dach bra (but shorter)
/a:/ Bahn bra
/e:/ Beet face
/?/ Bett, hätte bed
/?:/ wähle[4] as above but longer; like RP English barely
/i:/ viel meet
/?/ bist sit
/o:/ Boot somewhat like bone
/?/ Post boss
/ø:/ Öl somewhat like hurl; French deux
/oe/ göttlich close to hurt or French soeur
/u:/ Hut true
/?/ Putz took
/y:/ Rübe French rue
/?/ füllt much like the above but shorter
/a?/ weit tie
/a?/ Haut how
// Heu, Räuber[5] boy
Reduced vowels
/?/ Ober[6] fun
/?/ halte comma
// Uhr uh
/i?/ Studie magnolia
/u?/ aktuell visual
/y?/ Libyen French huit
Unstressed full vowels
/e/ Methan (short [e:])
/i/ vital city (short [i:])
/o/ Moral (short [o:])
/ø/ Ökonom (short [ø:])
/u/ kulant virtue (short [u:])
/y/ Psychologie (short [y:])


  1. ^ In free variation with [?] and also -- in Switzerland, Bavaria, and Austria -- the voiced alveolar trill [r]. Compare /?/.
  2. ^ /x/ is realized as a uvular fricative [?] after [a], [a:], and often [?], [?], and [a?].
  3. ^ The presence or absence of [?] is not phonemic. In most standard varieties of German, all initial vowels are preceded by [?]. However, this does not generally hold true for Swiss Standard German and most colloquial varieties.
  4. ^ [?:] is often replaced by [e:], chiefly in northern and eastern Germany.
  5. ^ Some references transcribe this diphthong as //.
  6. ^ Compare /?/.


  • Duden 6: Das Aussprachewörterbuch (3rd edition, 1990, ->ISBN).

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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