Online German Language Course from Inga Pavlova

Lesson 1 - German letters and sounds

Note: when you tap or click an underlined word on this page, you should be able hear that word.


There is no transcript in German Language and a lot of words are read as they are written. It is very important to understand that in German all nouns begin with a capital letter. Every German noun comes with article and it is very important that all nouns that you learn, you learn with the corresponding article. Articles play a very important role in German Language.

So, let's get started!

German Language has the following vowels A [ʌ], O [ɔː], E [æ], U [uː], I [ɪ] , Y [sometimes you, sometimes ya].
Ä та Ü (Umlaut is called when there are two dots above the vowel) - you should pronounce them slightly longer with a narrower mouth.
schon - already
schön - beautiful
Zug - train
Züge - trains 
Märchen - fairy tale

German consonants:
W - makes sound V as in very
was? - what
wie - How
warum - Why
Z - makes sound ts as in mercedes-benZ
Ziel - target
Zeit - time
S - makes sound S as in seven
Haus - house 
das - this

Letter combinations with consonants:
ch - makes sound kh as in Bach
Loch - hole
chs - makes sound kh as in Bach
Fuchs - fox
sch - makes sound sh as in shugar
Schrank - cabinet
sp, st - at the beginning of a word makes shp and sht
spontan - spontaneous
Stühl - stool
tsch - makes ch as in chair 
Deutsch - German (language)
Quatsch - nonsense
ck - makes k -  same as in English
drücken - to press
qu - makes ku as in English

Letter combinations with vowels:
ei - makes i as in five or live
ie - makes e as in lee
Liebe - love
eu - makes oy as in oyster
heute - today
euro - Euro
äu - also makes oy as in oyster
Häuser - houses (plural)

An exclamation mark is always on the first syllable, except:
  1. words of that have prefixes ( be-, ge-, er-, ver-, zer-, emp-, miss-)
  2. words of foreign origin - Computer, Kino.

Viel Spass!