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
H: haa
I: eeh
short: it / long: easy
J: yot
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
(pronounced like English “s” when end of word or syllable)

T: tay
U: ooh
V: fow
mostly for / sometimes vessel
W: vee
X: iks
Y: oops-i-lon
sounds like “Ü” below
Z: tset
Ä: ah
(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:

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