German: 1. Letters & Pronunciation (Deutsche: 1. Buchstaben und Aussprache)

For the first lesson, I thought it appropriate to start with the letters we’ll be using and how to pronounce them. Click this video and follow along by reading the letters below.

The letters in red are the way the letters are pronounced when sounding them out in words. The letters without a red pronunciation sound the same as they do in English when sounding them out in words.

. . .

 
A: ah
short: up / long: far
 
B: bee
 
C: see
 
D: dee
 
E: eeh
short: ten / long: no equivalent
 
F: eff
 
G: geeh
go
 
H: haa
 
I: eeh
short: it / long: easy
 
J: yot
yes
 
K: kah
 
L: ell
 
M: em
 
N: en
 
O: oh
 
P: pay
 
Q: koo
 
R: er
(sounds like saying “ew” with the back of your throat)
same as above without the “e”
 
S: es
zoo
(pronounced like English “s” when end of word or syllable)

 
T: tay
 
U: ooh
you
 
V: fow
mostly for / sometimes vessel
 
W: vee
vessel
 
X: iks
 
Y: oops-i-lon
sounds like “Ü” below
 
Z: tset
bits
 
Ä: ah
mad
(Keyboard shortcut: Alt+0196)
 
Ö: ay (with “kissy face” lips)
short: flirt / long: same as above
(Keyboard shortcut: Alt+0214)
 
Ü: ee (with “kissy face” lips)
same as above
(Keyboard shortcut: Alt+0220)
 
Letters with umlauts (above) are always short before “ck, ch, sch” or “ss, ll, tt” and long before “h” and double vowels.
 
ß: ss
short: kiss
(Keyboard shortcut: Alt+0223)
 
The following are the sounds made when combining certain letters:
 

Äu: boy
 
Eu: boy
 
Ei: ice
 
Ie: easy
 
Ch: short – can & long – huge
 
Sch: shy
 
Sp/St: shy (when at beginning of the word)
 
Sk: kiss (when at beginning or middle of a word)


 
. . .
 
Keyboard Shortcuts: http://home.fau.edu/etrotter/web/German_Character_Keyboard_Shortcuts.htm

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