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.

Germany Austria Switzerland 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 shock'ng (dialect for shocking)
p Person, ab[2] puck
pf Pfeffer roughly like cupful
ʁ r reden[3] DE: French rouge
AT, CH: far (Scottish)
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]
the glottal stops in uh-oh!
Non-native consonants
Dschungel[1][5] jungle
ʒ Genie[1][5] pleasure
ˈ Bahnhofstraße
as in battleship /ˈbætəlˌʃɪp/
Germany Austria Switzerland Examples English approximation
a alles[6] art (no r-colouring)
aber, sah[6] father
ɛ Ende, hätte bet
ɛː spät, wählen[7] bed
eben, gehen pays (Scottish)
ɪ ist, bitte sit
viel, Berlin tea
ɔ Osten, kommen lot (RP and Australian)
oder, hohe law (RP and Australian)
œ öffnen roughly like hurt (no r-colouring)
øː Österreich roughly like herd (no r-colouring)
ʊ und took (Australian)
Hut pool
ʏ müssen roughly like Scottish shoot
über roughly like Scottish shoes
ein bite
auf shout
ɔʏ ɔɪ Euro, Häuser loiter
Reduced vowels
ɐ ər immer[3] DE, AT: roughly like fun
CH: butter (Scottish)
ə Name ago
ɐ̯ r Uhr[3] DE, AT: roughly like idea
CH: far (Scottish)
Studie yard
aktuell would
Non-native vowels
ãː Gourmand[8] chanson (French pron., but long)
ɛ̃ː Pointe[8] vingt-et-un (French pron., but long)
õː Garçon[8] chanson (French pron., but long)
œ̃ː Parfum[8] vingt-et-un (French pron., but long)
œːɐ̯ O2 World[9] roughly like herd
Shortened vowels
a Kalender[6][10] art (no r-colouring)
ã engagieren[8] chanson (short [ãː])
ɛ̃ impair[8] vingt-et-un (short [ɛ̃ː])
e Element[10] pace (Scottish)
i Italien[10] teach
o originell[10] force (RP and Australian)
õ fon[8] chanson (short [õː])
œ̃ Lundist[8] vingt-et-un (short [œ̃ː])
ø Ökonom[10] roughly like hurt (no r-colouring)
u Universität[10] truth
y Psychologie[10] roughly like Scottish shoot

See also[edit]

  • If your browser does not display IPA symbols, you probably need to install a font that includes the IPA. Good free IPA fonts include Gentium and Charis SIL (more complete); a monospaced font is Everson Mono which is complete; download links can be found on those pages.
  • For a guide to adding pronunciations to Wikipedia articles, see the {{IPA}} template.
  • For a guide to adding IPA characters to Wikipedia articles, see Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Pronunciation#Entering IPA characters.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g 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). The 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, for /b, d, ɡ/, often also word-initially. See fortis and lenis.
  2. ^ a b c In German Standard German, voiced stops /b, d, ɡ/ are devoiced to [p, t, k] at the end of a syllable.
  3. ^ a b c Pronunciation of /r/ in German varies according to region and speaker. While older prescriptive pronunciation dictionaries allowed only [r], that pronunciation is now found mainly in Switzerland, Bavaria and Austria. 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. ^ a b Many speakers lack the lenis /ʒ/ and replace it with its fortis counterpart /ʃ/ (Hall (2003:42)). The same applies to the corresponding lenis /dʒ/, which also tends to be replaced with its fortis counterpart /tʃ/. According to the prescriptive standard, such pronunciations are not correct.
  6. ^ a b c Some scholars write [ɑː] for [aː], and [ɑ] for its shortened counterpart, thus differentiating between regular [a] and shortened [ɑ] (see e.g. Wierzbicka & Rynkowska (1992:412–415)).
  7. ^ In Northern Germany, /ɛː/ often merges with /eː/ to [].
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h The nasal vowels occur in French loans. They are long [ãː, ɛ̃ː, õː, œ̃ː] when stressed and short [ã, ɛ̃, õ, œ̃] when unstressed. In colloquial speech they may be replaced with [aŋ, ɛŋ, ɔŋ, œŋ] irrespective of length, and the [ŋ] in these sequences may optionally be assimilated to the place of articulation of a following consonant, e.g. Ensemble [aŋˈsaŋbl̩] or [anˈsambl̩] for [ãˈsãːbl̩] (Mangold (2005:65)).
  9. ^ [œːɐ̯] is the German rendering of the English NURSE vowel /ɜːr/. It also appears in certain French surnames, e.g. Vasseur. (Krech et al. (2009:64, 142)).
  10. ^ a b c d e f g [a, e, i, o, ø, u, y], the short versions of the long vowels [aː, eː, iː, oː, øː, uː, yː], are used at the end of unstressed syllables before the accented syllable and occur mainly in loanwords. In native words, the accent is generally on the first syllable, and syllables before the accent other than prepositional prefixes are rare but occasionally occur, e.g. in jedoch [jeˈdɔx], soeben [zoˈʔeːbn̩], vielleicht [fiˈlaɪçt] etc. In casual speech short [e, i, o, ø, u, y] preceding a phonemic consonant (i.e., not a [ʔ]) may be replaced with [ɛ, ɪ, ɔ, œ, ʊ, ʏ], e.g. [jɛˈdɔx], [fɪˈlaɪçt] (Mangold (2005:65)).


  • Hall, Christopher (2003) [First published 1992], Modern German pronunciation: An introduction for speakers of English (2nd ed.), Manchester: Manchester University Press, ISBN 0-7190-6689-1 
  • Hove, Ingrid (2002). Die Aussprache der Standardsprache in der Schweiz. Tübingen: Niemeyer. ISBN 978-3-484-23147-4. 
  • Krech, Eva Maria; Stock, Eberhard; Hirschfeld, Ursula; Anders, Lutz-Christian (2009), Deutsches Aussprachewörterbuch, Berlin, New York: Walter de Gruyter, ISBN 978-3-11-018202-6 
  • Mangold, Max (2005), Das Aussprachewörterbuch (6th ed.), Duden, ISBN 978-3411040667 
  • Wierzbicka, Irena; Rynkowska, Teresa (1992), Samouczek języka niemieckiego: kurs wstępny (6th ed.), Warszawa: Wiedza Powszechna, ISBN 83-214-0284-4