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 German phonology for a more thorough look at the sounds of German.

IPA Examples English approximation
b Ball1 ball
ç ich, durch hue
d dann1 done
f Fass, Vogel fuss
ɡ Gast1 guest
h hat hut
j ja yard
k kalt cold
l Last last
m Mast must
n Naht not
ŋ lang long
p Pakt puck
pf Pfahl cupfull
ʁ Rast2 roughly like loch (Scottish English)
ʀ red (Northumbrian Burr)
r roughly like water (American English)
s Hast fast
ʃ schal, Stein shall
t Tal tall
ts Zahl cats
Matsch match
v was vanish
x Bach3 loch (Scottish English)
z Hase1 hose
ʔ beamtet4
the glottal stop in uh-oh!
Non-native consonants
Dschungel1 jungle
ʒ Genie1 pleasure
ˈ Bahnhofstraße
as in battleship /ˈbætəlˌʃɪp/
IPA Examples English approximation
a Dach bra (but shorter)
Bahn bra
Beet face
ɛ Bett, hätte bed
ɛː wähle5 says
viel feel
ɪ bist sit
Boot roughly like law (British English)
ɔ Post cost
øː Öl roughly like hurt
œ göttlich roughly like hurt
Hut pool
ʊ Putz took
Rübe roughly like few
ʏ füllt much like the above but shorter
weit tie
Haut how
ɔʏ Heu, Räuber roughly like boy
Reduced vowels
ɐ Ober2 fun
ə halte comma (when pronounced without stress)
ɐ̯ Uhr2 comma
Studie studio
aktuell actual
Non-native vowels6
e Methan (short [eː])
i vital city (short [iː])
o Moral (short [oː])
ø Ökonom (short [øː])
u kulant (short [uː])
y Psychologie (short [yː])


  1. ^ a b c d e f The German lenis consonants [b d ɡ z ʒ dʒ] are often pronounced without voice as [b̥ d̥ ɡ̊ z̥ ʒ̊ d̥ʒ̊]. In Southern German, the voiceless pronunciation prevails.
  2. ^ a b c 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, with the allophones [ʁ] and [ʀ]. In many regions except for Switzerland, the /r/ in the syllable coda is vocalized to [ɐ̯] after long vowels or after all vowels, and /ər/ is pronounced as [ɐ]
  3. ^ /x/ is realized as a uvular fricative χ after /a/, /aː/, and often /ʊ/, /ɔ/, and /aʊ/.
  4. ^ In many varieties of German except for Swiss Standard German, all initial vowels are preceded by ʔ.
  5. ^ [ɛː] is often replaced by [eː].
  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.


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