Here we have good news. Although German is not a simple language, reading German extremely simple. There are no special cases!. Learn the sound of each vowel/consonant and their combinations, since it will sound exactly the same in every word it occurs. Who knows, this can be the beginning of you holding various jobs related to having the knowledge of speaking German.
This is unlike English, where, for example, a can sound like a (like in car), or e (like in cat). Also, silent letters, like in know, do not occur, unless they are silent everywhere. more on Languages, today.
The table described consonants/vowels which are pronounced differently in German.
The rest are close enough to be omitted. To have a more detailed overview, click here.
Click on the blue words to hear the correct German pronounciation.
|ch||sometimes like English sh|
sometimes like spanish j
| ich → I|
das Buch → book
|h||initial: h like in have |
|das Heft → notebook|
der Fehler → mistake
|j||English y||ja → yes|
jung → young
|qu||English kv||die Quittung → bill|
(check, at a restaurant)
|s||initial, between two vowels, or between |
l,m,n,r and a vowel: English z
Initial, or sp or st: English sh
Elsewhere: English s
der Sohn → son
der Bleistift → pencil
die Speise → food
|sch||English sh||schwarz → black|
|ti (before a vowel)|
|English ts||die Nation → nation|
jetzt → now
das Zimmer → room
|v||English f||der Vater → father|
|w||English v||weiss → white|
das Wort → word
|ie||English ee like in beer||die Wiese → meadow|
|ei , ai|| "ay" sound, like in wine||v. schreiben → to write|
|au||English ou like in house||v. bauen → to build|
faulpelz → lazybones
|eu , äu||English oi like in oil||Deutsch → German|
das Häuschen → lodge
|ä||English e like in set||das Märchen → fairy tale|
|ö||English e (more rounded lips)||schön → beautiful|
|ü||English i (more rounded lips)||müde → tired|
|oo||English o like in more (prolongated)|
|aa||English a like in car (prolongated)|
e at word endings is pronounced, i.e.: Rose will be read as "roh - zeh", and not "ros" as you would read it in English.
When taking the lessons, read loudly along with the audio recording. Make sure that your pronounciation is more or less correct.
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