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German for Beginners:


Das Abc - Das Alphabet

In the following chart you'll find the letters of the German alphabet, including those unique to German (in lighter boxes). The pronunciation shown is only approximate and is for the letter (der Buchstabe) itself, not the way it may be sounded in the sample words shown.

The alphabet is a very practical thing to learn. There are times when you may need to spell your name or other words on the phone. A BMW car is prounonced BAY-EM-VAY in German. A VW is a FOW-VAY. A bra is a BAY-HAH (BH) in German. Many other German words are reduced to letters in the same way: Lkw (truck, ELL-KA-VAY), Pkw (car, PAY-KA-VAY), ICE (high-speed train, EE-SAY-AY).

For older German font/type styles such as Gothic (Fraktur) or the hand-written Sütterlin, see the links under "Genealogy" or "Translation" in the Subjects box on the left.

das Alphabet
Beispiele / Examples
A a ah ab (from), der Apparat (appliance, phone)
Ä ä ay der Äther (ether), die Fähre (ferry)
B b bay bei (at, near), das Buch (book)
C c say die City (downtown), der Computer
D d day durch (through), dunkel (dark)
E e ay elf (eleven), wer (who), er (he)
F f eff faul (lazy), der Feind (enemy)
G g gay das Gehirn (brain), gleich (same, equal)
H h haa die Hand (hand), halb (half)
I i eeh der Igel (hedgehog), immer (always)
J j yot das Jahr (year), jung (young)
K k kah der Kalender (calendar), kennen (know)
L l ell langsam (slow, slowly), die Leute (people)
M m emm mein (my), der Mann (man)
N n enn die Nacht (night), nein (no), nicht (not)
O o oh das Ohr (ear), die Oper (opera)
Ö ö ooh Österreich (Austria), öfters (once in a while)
P p pay das Papier (paper), positiv (positive)
Q q koo die Quelle (source), quer (crossways)
R r err das Rathaus (city hall), rechts (right)
S s ess die Sache (matter), das Salz (salt), seit (since)
ß ess-zett Lower case only. Replaces "ss" in some words. Not used in Swiss German.
groß (big, great), die Straße (street)
BUT: das Wasser (water), dass (that), muss (must)
T t tay der Tag (day), das Tier (animal)
U u ooh die U-Bahn (subway, metro), unter (below)
Ü ü uyuh über (over, about), die Tür (door)
V v fow der Vater (father), vier (four)
W w vay wenn (if, whenever), die Woche (week)
X x ixx x-mal (umpteen), das Xylofon
Y y oop-see-
der Yen (yen), der Typ (type)
Z z zett zahlen (pay), die Pizza, zu (to, too)

Info about studying German language:

  • Learn German in Austria: Young and dynamic agency born with the aim of connecting schools and students from all over the world. Find here more information about German language schools and German language courses in Austria.

Info about studying in German countries:

  • Guide to Study in Austria: Find universities and colleges in Austria. It offers also pratical information for students that are planning to study in Austria.