Help:IPA for German

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The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents German language pronunciations in Wikipedia articles.

See Standard German phonology for a more thorough look at the sounds of German. For information on how to convert spelling to pronunciation, see German orthography § Grapheme-to-phoneme correspondences.

Consonants
DE AT CH Examples English approximation
b bei[1] ball
ç ich, durch; China (DE) hue
d dann[1] done
f für, von fuss
ɡ gut[1] guest
h hat hut
j Jahr yard
k kann, Tag[2] cold
l Leben last
Mantel bottle
m Mann must
Atem rhythm
n Name not
beiden suddenly
ŋ lang long
ŋ̍ wenigen take an interest
p Person, ab[2] puck
pf Pfeffer cupfull
ʁ r reden[3] DE: French rouge
AT, CH: far (Scottish English)
s lassen, Haus, groß fast
ʃ schon, Stadt shall
t Tag, und[2] tall
ts Zeit, Platz cats
Matsch match
v was[1] vanish
x nach loch (no lock–loch merger)
z Sie, diese[1] hose
ʔ beamtet[4]
([bəˈʔamtət])
the glottal stops in uh-oh!
Non-native consonants
Dschungel[1] jungle
ʒ Genie[1] pleasure
Stress
ˈ Bahnhofstraße
([ˈbaːnhoːfˌʃtʁaːsə])
as in battleship /ˈbætəlˌʃɪp/
ˌ
Vowels
DE AT CH Examples English approximation
Monophthongs
a alles art
aber, sah father
ɛ Ende, hätte bet
ɛː spät, wählen[5] there (Modern RP)
eben, gehen face (Scottish English)
ɪ ist, bitte sit
viel, Berlin feel
ɔ Osten, kommen lot (RP and Australian)
oder, hohe law (RP and Australian)
œ öffnen roughly like hurt
øː Öl roughly like herd
ʊ und took
Hut pool
ʏ müssen roughly like shoe, but shorter
über roughly like shoe
Diphthongs
ein tie
auf how
ɔʏ ɔɪ Euro, Häuser boy
Reduced vowels
ɐ ər immer[3] DE, AT: roughly like fun
CH: butter (Scottish English)
ə Name comma
Semivowels
ɐ̯ r Uhr[3] DE, AT: roughly like ear
CH: far (Scottish English)
Studie yard
aktuell would
Non-native vowels[6]
e Element (short [eː])
i Italien city (short [iː])
o originell (short [oː])
ø Ökonom (short [øː])
u Universität (short [uː])
y Psychologie (short [yː])

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 In Austrian Standard German and Swiss Standard German, the lenis obstruents /b, d, ɡ, z, dʒ, ʒ/ are voiceless [b̥, d̥, ɡ̊, z̥, d̥ʒ̊, ʒ̊], and are distinguished from /p, t, k, s, tʃ, ʃ/ only by articulatory strength (/v/ is really voiced). This distinction is also retained word-finally. In German Standard German, voiceless [b̥, d̥, ɡ̊, z̥, d̥ʒ̊, ʒ̊] as well as [v̥] occur allophonically after fortis obstruents, and, in case of /b, d, ɡ/, often also word-initially. See fortis and lenis.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 In German Standard German, the voiced stops /b, d, ɡ/ are devoiced to [p, t, k] at the end of a syllable.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Pronunciation of /r/ in German varies according to region and speaker. While older prescriptive pronunciation dictionaries allowed only [r], this pronunciation is nowadays found mainly in Switzerland, Bavaria and Austria, while in other regions the uvular pronunciation prevails, mainly as a fricative/approximant [ʁ]. In many regions except for most parts of Switzerland, the /r/ in the syllable coda is vocalized to [ɐ̯] after long vowels or after all vowels, and /ər/ is pronounced as [ɐ]
  4. Initial vowels are usually preceded by [ʔ], except in Swiss Standard German.
  5. In Northern Germany, /ɛː/ often merges with /eː/ to [].
  6. [e, i, o, ø, u, y], the short versions of the long vowels [eː, iː, oː, øː, uː, yː], are used in unstressed syllables before the accented syllable and occur only in loanwords. In native words, the accent is generally on the first syllable, and there are no syllables before the accent besides prepositional prefixes. Some scholars use the symbol [ɑː] for long [aː] and add [ɑ] to the list of non-native vowels, but here [aː, a] are used instead.

Bibliography