Previous Lesson 1 Next

German Alphabet and Pronunciation of German Words


This unit contains the following topics:

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

Get your book

Routetogermany.com's course book with extended exercises and explanations

The initial stage of learning the German language involves familiarizing oneself with the alphabet and practicing accurate pronunciation, even without understanding the meanings of the words. The initial lessons in the A1 level course primarily focus on mastering the correct pronunciation of German. The primary objective of this lesson centers around developing proficiency in German pronunciation. By the end of this lesson, you will have the capacity to achieve the following:

  1. Precisely pronounce each letter in the German alphabet.
  2. Capably read and accurately pronounce simple German words.

At this stage, the primary emphasis remains on the development of pronunciation skills in the context of learning the German language.

German alphabet

German alphabet has 26 normal letters, from A to Z. Some of them sound similar to their English counterparts but most of them 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 lowercase. Whenever ß has to be used in the capital form, it is written as SS, for example, DIE STRASSE (the street) in capital letters, and die Straße in lowercase.

The following video introduces 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?

At the initial stage of the German learning journey, the most crucial task involves mastering the pronunciations of German letters. This step is paramount because attempting to articulate German words using the English alphabet often leads to inaccuracies.

Below are some German words that bear a resemblance in written form to their English counterparts, yet their pronunciation differs significantly.

German is an easy-to-read language, as the words are pronounced just as they are spelled. In the initial phases of learning this language, we dissect words into distinct components and practice their pronunciations individually. Subsequently, we merge these components to create the entire word. For more guidance, please refer to the video below, which delves into the specifics of learning German pronunciation.


Practice

Now, you should attempt to articulate the given German vocabulary terms, subsequently evaluating them against their corresponding audio clips. These are the same words used in the above video. We recommend refraining from skipping practice sessions in this course and being patient. Proceed to the subsequent lesson only once you have attained a thorough grasp of the current one.

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)


Next Lesson