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How To Read German

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.

German Letter Pronounciation Examples
Consonants
chsometimes like English sh
sometimes like spanish j
 ich → I
 das Buch → book
xEnglish x
hinitial: h like in have 
Elsewhere, silent 
das Heft → notebook
der Fehler → mistake
jEnglish yja → yes
jung → young
quEnglish kvdie Quittung → bill
(check, at a restaurant)
sinitial, 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
schEnglish shschwarz → black
ti (before a vowel)
tz
z
English tsdie Nation → nation
jetzt → now
das Zimmer → room
vEnglish fder Vater → father
wEnglish vweiss → white
das Wort → word
Vowels
ieEnglish ee like in beerdie Wiese → meadow
ei , ai "ay" sound, like in winev. schreiben → to write
auEnglish ou like in housev. bauen → to build
faulpelz → lazybones
eu , äuEnglish oi like in oilDeutsch   → German
das Häuschen → lodge
äEnglish e like in setdas Märchen → fairy tale
öEnglish e (more rounded lips)schön → beautiful
üEnglish i (more rounded lips)müde → tired
ooEnglish o like in more (prolongated)
aaEnglish a like in car (prolongated)

Remarks:

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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