The German Language Series: Part I - German Loanwords and Basic Pronunciation
What follows is Part I of a series on German language basics. What you will find in this and each successive Hub will be a themed summation of some element of the German language.
This initial introduction will orient the learner by listing a number of English words derived from German, as well as providing a written and audio pronunciation guide to the alphabet.
Here is a small collection of words that you are already familiar with which are used in the English language.
English: German: Meaning
- Angst: Angst: “fear”
- Aspirin: Aspirin: Medication
- Blitzkrieg: Blitzkrieg: “lightning war”
- Cobalt: Kobalt: Chemical element
- Coffee Klatch: Kaffeeklatsch: Coffee get together
- Delicatessen: Delikatessen: A shop selling cooked meats, cheeses, etc.
- Doppelgänger: Doppelgänger: Look-alike
- Ersatz: Ersatz: Replacement
- Fahrenheit: Fahrenheit: Temperature scale
- Fest: Fest: Celebration
- Gestalt: Gestalt: A being or shape
- Hamburger: Hamburger: Ground beef
- Hertz: Hertz: Unit of frequency
- Kaput: Kaput: Broken
- Kindergarten: Kindergarten: Grade level
- Neanderthal: Neanderthal: Classification in human evolution
- Realpolitik: Realpolitik: Power politics
- Rucksack: Rucksack: Back pack
- Umlaut: Umlaut: Diactrical mark
- Verboten: Verboten: Forbidden
- Wanderlust: Wanderlust: Longing to travel
- Zeppelin: Zeppelin: Airship
- Zinc: Zink: Chemical element
Letter (Buchstabe): Pronunciation (Aussprache)
- Aa: ah
- Bb: beh
- Cc: tseh
- Dd: deh
- Ee: aye
- Ff: ef
- Gg: geh
- Hh: hah
- Ii: ee
- Jj: yot
- Kk: kah
- Ll: el
- Mm: em
- Nn: en
- Oo: oh
- Pp: peh
- Qq: kuh
- Rr: er
- Ss: ess
- Tt: teh
- Uu: ooh
- Vv: fau
- Ww: vay
- Xx: eeks
- Yy: irp-se-lon
- Zz: tsett
- Ää: ay
- Öö: eu
- Üü: eywe
- ß: ess
Double Vowels (Diphthong)
- ai/ei: eye
- au: ow
- eu/ äu: oi
- ie: ee
The key to pronunciation is to say each an every letter in the word. There will be slight variations in sound according to context just as in any other language. Still, this guide allows for a basic foundation in sounding German words.
Look below to hear the alphabet and examples of each letter pronounced.
German Alphabet Audio
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