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 Ball[1] ball
ç ich, durch hue
d dann[1] done
f Fass, Vogel fuss,
ɡ Gast[1] guest
h hat hut
j ja yard
k kalt cold
l Last last
m Mast must
n Naht not
ŋ lang long
p Pakt pack
pf Pfahl p + f
ʁ Rast[2] like a French R
ʀ like a French trilled R
r like an Italian R
s Hast fast
ʃ schal, Stein shall
t Tal tall
ts Zahl cats
Matsch match
v was vast
x Bach[3] loch (Scottish)
z Hase[1] hose
ʔ beamtet[4]
the glottal stop in uh-oh!
Non-native consonants
Dschungel[1] jungle
ʒ Genie[1] beige, Zsa Zsa
ˈ Bahnhofstraße
as in ˈbattleˌship
IPA Examples English approximation
a Dach bra (but shorter)
Bahn bra
Beet face
ɛ Bett, hätte bed
ɛː wähle[5] as above but longer; like RP English bared
viel meet
ɪ bist sit
Boot bone
ɔ Post caught (but shorter)
øː Öl somewhat like hurl; French deux
œ göttlich somewhat like hurt; French sœur
Hut true
ʊ Putz took
Rübe French rue
ʏ füllt somewhat like the above
weit tie
Haut how
ɔʏ Heu, Räuber boy
Reduced vowels
ɐ Ober[2] fun
ə halte comma
ɐ̯ Uhr[2] fun
Studie studio
aktuell actual
Non-native vowels
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])
ã Pensee[6] (nasalized [a])
ãː Gourmand[6] (long nasalized [a])
ɛ̃ timbrieren[6] (nasalized [ɛ])
ɛ̃ː Teint[6] (long nasalized [ɛ])
ɔ̃ Fondue[6] (nasalized [ɔ])
ɔ̃ː Fond[6] (long nasalized)
œ̃ Lundist[6] (nasalized [œ])
œ̃ː Parfum[6] (long nasalized [œ])
  1. The German lenis consonants [b d ɡ z ʒ dʒ] are often pronounced without voice as [b̥ ɡ̊ ʒ̊ d̥ʒ̊]. In Southern German, the voiceless pronunciation prevails.
  2. 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. Nasal vowels are sometimes replaced by the corresponding short oral vowel and the velar nasal [ŋ]: [aŋ, ɛŋ, ɔŋ, œŋ].