German pronunciation: How to pronounce German Consonants

Here, I try to show you how to pronounce German Consonants. For part 1 of the German pronunciation, have a look at the pronunciation of the Vowels.

German in general is a much more phonetically consistent language than English. This means, as soon as you know the rules, you’ll be able to read German texts. However, certain words derive from other languages, for example latin, french or english. These words don’t follow the general rules. One examples is: Portemonnaie (wallet) (Click for the audio-example). You’ll find more in the table.

Have a look at the table. Especially “strange”, difficult consonants are marked. For more information, have a look at the video.

Watch the video Part 3: How to pronounce German Consonants and Part 4: How to pronounce German Consonants

Consonants  Explanation ans examples: How to pronounce German Consonants
All Consonants are short.
Double consonants aren’t
pronounced longer.
The make the vowel shorter:
kommen  (to come)
Affe          (ape)
alle           (all)
s, b, d, g         difference between voiced and voiceless sounds
inicial sounds: voiced  final sound: voiceless
s [z]
sieben            (seven)

besonders       (especially)
Sie                 (she, your)
[s] aus         (from)
nichts       (nothing)
b [b]
Bar                   (bar)
blau             (blue)
gelb              (yellow) ([gelp])
halb             (half) ([halp])
d [d]
du                        (you)
drei                      (three)
und          (and)
Hand       (hand)
g [g]
gut                       (good)
genau                 (exactly)
Tag           (day)
Zug          (train)
 z [ts]
There is no [z] sound as in English. Z is only [T+S]
Zug               (train)
zehn              (ten)
achtzig       (eighty)
 v, f [f] as the English fvier                 (four)
vor             (in front of)
[v] in words derived from latinVerb       (verb)
Vokal      (vowel)
w [v] as in „very“
Wann              (when)
Wo                       (where)
Wie                 (how)
ch [x] after e, i, ä, ü „ich
ich                  (I)
Milch              (milk)
München     (munich)
[ç] after a, o, u: „ach
Nacht      (night)
Buch       (book)
auch       (also)
noch       (yet)
[k] in chs and at the beginning of some words sechs   (six)
Fuchs   (foox)
Chor     (choir)
China   (china)
pronunciation chGerman pronunciation: different positions of the tongue
schön           (beautiful)
Englisch       (English)
Schweiz     (Switzerland)
[?p] [?t]
sprechen  (to speak)
spät         (late)
Stunde      (hour)
 r [r, ?, ?] rolled r, French r, voiced [x]Ratte       (Ratte)
richtig      (right)
korrekt     (correct)
How to pronounce German Consonants: r

How to pronounce German Consonants: r

different possibilities of pronouncing r

 r as a vowel
after long vowels:
vier    (four)
ihr      (you)
der     (the)
Ohr    (ear)in the ending -er
Lehrer         (teacher)
aber             (but)
besser          (better)
Computer    (computer)in the prefixes er-, zer-, ver-:
erklären       (to explain)
zerstören     (to destroy)
verstehen    (to understand)
 l not exactly  English L. Your tounge is relaxed.
Hallo    (hello)
lustig    (funny)
lachen (laugh)
If l is really difficult for you,
come from N to L.
Hold your nose and, coming
from “nnnnn”, give some
space to let the air out
 pronounciation n l
[?p] [?t] pronounce it as [schp] and [scht]sprechen    (to speak)
spät           (late)
Stunde       (hour)

work in progress..