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German alphabet and pronunciation of German words

This lesson contains topics:

  1. German alphabet
  2. How to correctly pronounce German words?

The goal of this lesson is to learn German pronunciation. At the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  1. Correctly pronounce all letters in the German alphabet.
  2. Read and pronounce German words.

At this level, just emphasize on learning pronunciation.

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German alphabet

German alphabet has 26 normal letters, from A to Z. Some of them sound similar to their English counterparts and some have different pronunciations. However, there are four extra letters, of which three are umlauts (Ä, Ö, Ü) and one is ligature (ß). ß is only written in lower case. Whenever it has to be used as a capital letter, it is written as SS, for example, DIE STRASSE (the street) in capital form and die Straße in lower case.

Following video teaches pronunciation of all the letters in the German alphabet.

Click on the blue play button to listen the sound of a letter.

A B
C D
E F
G H
I J
K L
M N
O P
Q R
S T
U V
W X
Y Z
Ä Ö
Ü SS or ß

How to pronounce German words

In the first step, it's very important to memorize the pronunciation of German alphabet because if you try to pronounce a German word with help of English alphabet, most of the time it would be wrong.

Below are some German words, which in written form are similar to their English counterparts, but pronunciation is different.

Normally, German is easy to read as the words sound exactly as they are written. In the beginning stage of learning any language, we divide a word into different parts and try to pronounce these parts and then combine these parts to form a complete word. For details, please see the following video.

Practice

Try to pronounce the following German words Practice. These are same words used in the above video. We suggest that you don't jump practice sessions in this course and be patient. Only move to the next lesson after complete command on the current lesson.

German English
Alphabet Alphabet
Argument Argument
Aquarium Aquarium
Album Album
Automobil Automobile
Aluminium Aluminium
Atom Atom
Bus Bus
Ball Ball
Bank Bank
Butter Butter
Club Club
Diplomat Diplomat
Detail Detail
Dialog Dialog
Element Element
Fax Fax
Format Format
Forum Forum
Garage Garage
Gas Gas
Hand Hand
Hotel Hotel
Idiot Idiot
Journalist Journalist
Land Land
Limousine Limousine
Magnet Magnet
Mann Man
Matrix Matrix
Maximum Maximum
Minimum Minimum
Medium Medium
Mineral Mineral
Modell Model
Moment Moment
Museum Museum
Name Name
Optimum Optimum
Patriot Patriot
Pause Pause
Person Person
Phase Phase
Radio Radio
Radius Radius
Routine Routine
Sack Sack
Sand Sand
Sauce Sauce
Sauna Sauna
Absender Sender
Sofa Sofa
System System
Talent Talent
Tank Tank
Taxi Taxi
Theater Theater
Tiger Tiger
Tunnel Tunnel
Uniform Uniform
Union Union
Universität University
Volkswagen Volkswagen
Vater father
Zebra Zebra
Zone Zone

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mein-auto

Was ist das? (What is this?)

Das ist mein Auto. (This is my car.)

Ist das BMW? (Is this BMW?)

Nein. (No.)

Ist das VW? (Is this VW?)

Nein. (No.)

Ist das Mercedes-Benz? (Is this Mercedes-Benz?)

Vielleicht. (May be.)

Was ist vielleicht? (What is mayvbe?)

Halb BMW und halb VW. (Half BMW and half VW.)


Vocabulary

was (what)

ist (is)

mein (my)

Auto (car/used of small vehicle)

das (this/that)

halb (half)

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