Appendix:German pronunciation

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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.

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

Notes[edit]

  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] invalid IPA characters (][), and often [ʊ], [ɔ], and [aʊ].
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ [ɛː] is often replaced by [eː], chiefly in northern and eastern Germany.
  5. ^ Some references transcribe this diphthong as /ɔɪ/.
  6. ^ Compare /ʁ/.

Bibliography[edit]