Appendix:German pronunciation

From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search

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

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

German consonant pronunciation
IPA Examples English approximation
/b/ Ball ball
/ç/ ich, durch hue
/d/ dann done
/d͡ʒ/ Dschungel jungle
/f/ Fass, Vogel fuss
/ɡ/ Gast guest
/h/ hat hut
/j/ ja yard
/k/ kalt, Tag cold
/l/ Last last
/m/ Mast must
/n/ Naht not
/ŋ/ lang long
/p/ Pakt, hab puck
/p͡f/ Pfahl cupfull
/ʁ/ Rast like a French R
(a voiced uvular fricative)[1]
/s/ Wasser fast
/ʃ/ Schal, Stein shall
/t/ Tal tall
/t͡s/ Zahl cats
/t͡ʃ/ Matsch match
/v/ was vanish
/x/: [x], [χ] Bach[2] loch (Scottish)
/z/ Hase[3] hose
/ʒ/ Genie beige, measure
[ʔ] Beamter[4]
the glottal stop in uh-oh!
ˈ Bahnhof
as in battleship [ˈbætəlˌʃɪp]
German vowel pronunciation
IPA Examples English approximation
/a/ Dach bra (but shorter)
// Bahn bra
// Beet face
/ɛ/ Bett, hätte bed
/ɛː/ wähle[5] as above but longer; like RP English barely
// viel meet
/ɪ/ bist sit
// schon, Boot somewhat like bone
/ɔ/ Post boss
/øː/ Öl somewhat like hurl; French deux
/œ/ göttlich close to hurt or French sœur
// Hut true
/ʊ/ Putz took
// Rübe French rue
/ʏ/ füllt much like the above but shorter
/aɪ̯/ weit tie
/aʊ̯/ Haut how
/ɔɪ̯/ Heu, Räuber[6] boy
Reduced vowels
/ɐ/ Ober[7] fun
/ə/ halte comma
/ɐ̯/ Uhr uh
/i̯/ Studie magnolia
/u̯/ aktuell visual
/y̯/ Libyen French huit
Unstressed full vowels
/e/ Methan (short [eː])
/i/ vital city (short [iː])
/o/ Moral (short [oː])
/ø/ Ökonom (short [øː])
/u/ kulant virtue (short [uː])
/y/ Psychologie (short [yː])


  1. ^ In free variation with [ʀ] and also — in Switzerland, Bavaria, and Austria — the voiced alveolar trill [r]. Compare /ɐ/.
  2. ^ /x/ is realized as a uvular fricative [χ] after [a], [aː], and often [ʊ], [ɔ], and [aʊ].
  3. ^ Predominantly realized as [z̥] (devoiced) or [s] (voiceless) in southern regions (Switzerland, Bavaria, Austria).
  4. ^ The presence or absence of [ʔ] is not phonemic. In most standard varieties of German, all initial vowels are preceded by [ʔ]. However, this does not generally hold true for Swiss Standard German and most colloquial varieties.
  5. ^ [ɛː] is often replaced by [eː], chiefly in northern and eastern Germany.
  6. ^ Some references transcribe this diphthong as /ɔʏ/.
  7. ^ Compare /ʁ/.


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