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German Alphabet and Pronunciation of German Words


This unit contains topics:

  1. German alphabet
  2. How to correctly pronounce German words?
German A1 book
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Lets-learn-german.com's course book with extended exercises and explanations

The first step toward learning German is to read the alphabet and then words accurately, even if we don't know their meanings. The first few lessons in the A1 level course are just about learning correct pronunciation. 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 learning pronunciation.

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 the 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 letters, and die Straße in the lower case.

The following video teaches the pronunciation of all the letters in the German alphabet.

Practice

Try to pronounce each letter and then compare it with the given sound. Learning German letters in their own pronunciations is important before jumping onto the next section (i.e. How to pronounce German words).

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 learn the pronunciation of the German alphabet because if you try to pronounce a German word with help of the 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.

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


Practice

Try to pronounce the following German words and then compare them with provided audios. These are the 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 a complete command of 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


Vocabulary building

mein-auto Car illustration

person illustration Was ist das? (What is this?)

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

person illustration Ist das BMW? (Is this BMW?)

person illustration Nein. (No.)

person illustration Ist das VW? (Is this VW?)

person illustration Nein. (No.)

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

person illustration Vielleicht. (May be.)

person illustration Was ist vielleicht? (What is mayvbe?)

person illustration 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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