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The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Colognian pronunciations in resource articles. For a guide to adding IPA characters to resource articles, see {{IPA-ksh}} and Resource: Manual of Style/Pronunciation § Entering IPA characters.

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

IPA Colognian examples English approximation
b Ball, dubbel ball
d dann, Saddel done
d? Dschungel, wadschele jungle
f F, Waffel fuss
? waggele gust
h hatt, Buhai, Bah hut
? Schimie, Weechter, biestig bush
j[1] Jack, wääje yuck
?[1] Geniere, nuschele pleasure
k K, frickele, Pek kiss
l Lack, welle luck
m Mai, summe, öm may
n Noht, Jewenner, Sun not
? senge, lang long
p Peck, Appel, Kapp peck
? Rään, ware guttural r
s faste, Baß bus
? schäl, sche, sch bush
t Toon, tte, tt tone
ts Zupp, tze, Fuz pizza
t? tschö Click the icon to hear the word!(i), letsche, Matsch chat
v Vas, övver vast
w wat will
x Woche, Loch Scottish loch
z Sunn, sse zone
? |it, be|erdije, perdü| the "catch" in uh-oh!
Pitch accent
IPA Colognian
' Bahnhoffstrohße intonation primary stress
? Bahnhoffstrohße intonation secondary stress
/'?tî:f/ "stiffness",
/'hû:s/ "house (dat.)",
/'?l:?/ "beats (n. pl.)",
/'zêi/ "sieve",
/'kân/ "(tea)pot, jug"[2]
falling tone
Accent 1)
IPA Colognian examples English approximation
a: Plaat, Bar, Ahle, Bahn bra
a Ax, spack,
e: Elend, Feez, Beet somewhat like play
e enjonn, seze bed
?: Ääpel, Pääd, nää Click the icon to hear the word!(i), äänz, Nähl like bed, but long
? Eck, hätt, dä! bed
i: Ieß, Pief, di, ieser, Dier, auwieh! eat
i mi city
? in, Friko sit
?: Ooß, Pooz, booh, Ohß, Pohl, jo bore
? offe, doll, mer on
oe: Ööschel, pöze, Blööh, Öl, Pöhl somewhat like urgent
oe Öschel, Pött
ø: Ööz, kööze, bleu, Rösje, Bröh
ø Öllije, Kött, ?ömjonn
o: Ooschel, koot, Ohm, Dooch, Nivoh go
o op, lovve, do hot
?: Pattevuel took
? us, Hunk, do, ?Bunn
u: uze, Pluute, Schmu, Uhr, Bud, esu ooze
u Ussel, Fuz took
y: üüßerlech, süht, Üül, Lüüß, perdü somewhat like cute
y üvver, müje
? üch, tüntele
a? ei, Eiter, Weihnaach, zwei, Eier, Weiher, Pavei I, idle, byte, tie
a:? Auto, Strauß, mau out, tower, how
a? Auflach, Zauß, Schabau, ?zaubere, ?Kakau
e? ei, eins, Zeidung, sei, eine, zeije, Schnei alien, mania, bay
i Liehr, ?Zottier similar to dear
o? Auge, Baum, hau, Aug, sauge, Hau similar to over, stow
Schnäuzer, Heu, Häuche, Häu similar to oil, boy
ø? Sträuf, Späu, Äujelche, Bäum, neu Click the icon to hear the word!(i)
Reduced vowels
? verdonn, Vatter nut or sofa (but not balance)[3]
? e, en, bedon, de balance (but not sofa)[3]


  1. ^ a b The phone occurs also often as a positional allophone of when a final or of a word stem is either followed by a vowel of a grammatical suffix or becomes voiced under the influence of a liaison or due to coarticulation. Under normal circumstances, is used to transcribe these.
  2. ^ Only occurs on stressed vowels. Though a falling tone in Cologne, realizations vary by dialect and accent. Compare these "accent 1" words with their "accent 2" words /'?ti:f/ "stiff", /'hu:s/ "house (nom./acc.)", /'?l?:?/ "bad", /zei/ "she", /kan/ "(I/he) can" without Stoßton
  3. ^ a b As several other Germanic languages, Colognian has mid and open schwas. Care must be taken to clearly distinguish between the two. In English, the former appears in words such as balance, cannon and chairman and the latter variably in sofa, China (especially at the very end of utterance) and, in some dialects, also in ago and again, but one needs to remember that Colognian has no such free variation and is always open, just as is always mid. In some English dialects, /?/ in words such as nut and strut is a perfect replacement for Colognian , but the latter is an unstressed-only vowel that can also appear in open syllables, which generally cannot be said about the English /?/.


  • Hoenig, Fritz (1905). Wörterbuch der Kölner Mundart (in German) (2nd ed.). Köln.
  • Heike, Georg (1964). "Zur Phonologie der Stadtkölner Mundart. Eine experimentelle Untersuchung der akustischen Unterscheidungsmerkmale". Deutsche Dialektgeographie. 57. Marburg: Elwert-Verlag.
  • Froitzheim, Claudia (1984). "Artikulationsnormen der Umgangssprache in Köln". Continuum. Schriftenreihe zur Linguistik. 2. Tübingen: Narr. ISBN 3-87808-332-7. (Also Dissertation at the University of Cologne, 1983).
  • Wrede, Adam (1999). Neuer Kölnischer Sprachschatz (12th ed.). Köln: Greven Verlag. ISBN 3-7743-0243-X.
  • Bhatt, Christa; Herrwegen, Alice (2005). Das Kölsche Wörterbuch (2nd ed.). Köln: J. P. Bachem-Verlag. ISBN 3-7616-1942-1.

For another simpler phonemic writing system of West Middle German and Meuse-Rhenish including Colognian, see:

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