Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone.
Welcome to The Ultimate German Pronunciation Guide.
In this lesson, you'll learn all 17 German vowel sounds.
a, a:, ɐ, œ, eː, øː, ɛ, ɛ:, ə, iː, yː, ɪ, ʏ, ɔ, oː, uː, ʊ
With these sounds, you can pronounce any vowel that could possibly appear in German!
Some vowels may be hard for you to distinguish, especially for English speakers, so make sure you listen carefully!
Are you ready?
Then let's get started!
The first vowel is...
a
maximal (maximum)
Wasser (water)
Dach (roof)
"It's very similar to the A sound in the word 'pat', though not as whiny.
Try moving your tongue further back in to the mouth, so that it assumes a more centralized position. It should sound a little deeper as a result, and instead of a whiny sound, it now has a darker quality to it.
The resulting vowel should sound somewhere in between the A sounds of the words 'pat' and 'bra'.
Listen to the native speaker."
a, a (slowly)
a, a (slowly)
The next vowel is...
a:
Bahn (train)
Saal (hall)
Vater (father)
This is identical to the previous sound, except it's held for twice as long.
a:, a: (slowly)
a:, a: (slowly)
The next vowel is...
ɐ
oder (or)
aber (but)
Ober (waiter)
"This is identical to the previous sound, except that the tongue is raised a *tiny* bit higher.
This sound typically occurs at the end of a word and pronounced softly."
ɐ, ɐ (slowly)
ɐ, ɐ (slowly)
The next vowel is...
œ
Hölle (hell)
göttlich (divine)
erörtern (to debate)
"This sounds roughly like the U in the word 'hurt'.
To pronounce this sound however, try saying the E sound in the word 'red' while rounding your lips."
œ, œ (slowly)
œ, œ (slowly)
The next vowel is...
Seele (soul)
mehr (more)
Beet (patch)
"This sounds a little bit like the double EE in the word 'feet' except your tongue is not as high. Try to relax your jaw, and say it as if to allow the vowel to spill out.
Listen to the native speaker."
eː, eː (slowly)
eː, eː (slowly)
The next vowel is...
øː
öde (dull)
hören (to hear)
schön (beautiful)
"This is identical to the previous sound, except that the lips are rounded.
Try to say the word 'play' while rounding your lips."
øː, øː (slowly)
øː, øː (slowly)
The next vowel is...
ɛ
hätte (had)
Männer (men)
Bett (bed)
It's identical to the E sound in the word 'red'.
ɛ, ɛ (slowly)
ɛ, ɛ (slowly)
The next vowel is...
ɛ:
wähle (choose)
spät (late)
länge (length)
This identical to the previous sound, except that it's pronounced twice as long.
ɛ:, ɛ: (slowly)
ɛ:, ɛ: (slowly)
The next vowel is...
ə
halte (hold)
behalten (to keep)
gesund (healthy)
It's identical to the E sound at the end of the word 'problem'.
ə, ə (slowly)
ə, ə (slowly)
The next vowel is...
viel (much)
Bibel (bible)
Ziel (target)
It's identical to the double E sound in the word 'see'.
iː, iː (slowly)
iː, iː (slowly)
The next vowel is...
y:
über (over)
Mykene (mycenae)
Rübe (carrot)
"It's identical as the previous sound, except that the lips are rounded.
Try saying the word 'see' while rounding your lips."
y:, y: (slowly)
y:, y: (slowly)
The next vowel is...
ɪ
bitte (please)
willig (eager)
bist (are)
It's identical to the I sound in the word 'it'.
ɪ, ɪ (slowly)
ɪ, ɪ (slowly)
The next vowel is...
ʏ
füllt (fills)
Rhythmus (rhythm)
schützen (to protect)
"It's identical as the previous sound, except that the lips are rounded.
Try saying the word 'it' while rounding your lips."
ʏ, ʏ (slowly)
ʏ, ʏ (slowly)
The next vowel is...
ɔ
voll (full)
kommen (to come)
Ort (place)
It's identical to the OU sound in the word 'ought'.
ɔ, ɔ (slowly)
ɔ, ɔ (slowly)
The next vowel is...
oder (or)
Boot (boat)
Moos (moss)
"This is very similar to the previous sound, except your tongue is positioned a little bit higher.
It's quite similiar to the O sound in the word 'owe'. Though be careful not to carry over the W sound too much.
Listen to the native speaker."
oː, oː (slowly)
oː, oː (slowly)
The next vowel is...
Fuß (foot)
Blume (flower)
Hut (hat)
It's identical to the double O sound in the word 'boot'.
u:, u: (slowly)
u:, u: (slowly)
And the last vowel is...
ʊ
Schutz (protection)
kurz (short)
Putz (plaster)
It's identical to the double O sound in the word 'took'.
ʊ, ʊ (slowly)
ʊ, ʊ (slowly)
Well done! You've just learned all 17 vowels in German!
a, ɐ, œ, eː, øː, ɛ, ə, iː, yː, ɪ, ʏ, ɔ, oː, uː, ʊ
In the next lesson, you'll start learning consonants sounds.
There were a lot of vowel sounds in this lesson, but which vowel sound was the most difficult for you to learn? Please comment and share your thoughts.
See you in the next Ultimate German Pronunciation Guide lesson!

27 Comments

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Sorry, please keep your comment under 800 characters. Got a complicated question? Try asking your teacher using My Teacher Messenger.

GermanPod101.comVerified
Friday at 6:30 pm
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Do you find any of the German vowel difficult to pronounce?

GermanPod101.com
Thursday at 8:45 am
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Hi Pillow,


Thank you for asking.


I have been teaching German for years and I think

I understand your frustration. These are the most challenging

vowels in the German language for most students. To be honest,

if you can't pick it up from the video, the best solution for you might

be to find a native speaker for a language exchange (or a teacher?),

and I mean face-to-face, not via Skype etc..


If you have any further questions, please let us know.


Kind regards,

Reinhard

Team GermanPod101.com


pillow
Sunday at 7:54 pm
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still can't tell difference between /Y/ and /oe/, I think it's told in the video both from /i/ but round mouth?? looking for help!

GermanPod101.com
Monday at 7:55 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Jason,


Good to hear.👍


Thank you.


If you have any further questions, please let us know.


Kind regards,

Reinhard

Team GermanPod101.com


Jason
Wednesday at 8:31 pm
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Looks like it's been corrected.

GermanPod101.comVerified
Wednesday at 7:36 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Jason,


Thanks again for bringing this to our attention.

It's going to be corrected soon.


If you have any further questions, please let us know.


Kind regards,

Reinhard

Team GermanPod101.com


Jason
Saturday at 1:24 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Unfortunately, there is no screenshot option here. It is under the Vocabulary section:


Vocabulary

Putz plaster

göttlich divine maximal at most; maximum

halte stop, to hold

...

Beet bed

wähle to choose

...

Bett bed

Seele soul

GermanPod101.comVerified
Wednesday at 3:11 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Jason,


Thank you for your feedback but I can't find it.

Could you please copy and paste the section of the lesson with the mistake

in your next comment?

I am very sorry for the inconvenience.

I did find "Beet" with the translation "patch" in brackets, and "Bett" with

the translation "Bed" behind it. These two are correct.


If you have any further questions, please let us know.


Kind regards,

Reinhard

Team GermanPod101.com


Jason
Sunday at 5:40 am
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There seems to be a mistake in the Vocab section - Beet and Bett are both listed as bed in English.

GermanPod101.comVerified
Monday at 6:41 am
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Hi Conrad,


Correct me if I am wrong but when the speaker tries to think

of examples in the English language, they would probably always

be approximations. Every one speaks slightly different. Within the UK

you will find people saying the same word differently, and the same applies to the

US, I guess.

I think the best way to approach the problem is to listen to Eliza and try to say

the vowels her way. She is pronouncing them very well.


Thank you.


If you have any further questions, please let us know.


Kind regards,

Reinhard

Team GermanPod101.com


Conrad
Friday at 7:58 am
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Are the words the narrator gives for reference to the Vowel sounds for American or UK pronunciation? It seems the word examples provided by the narrator of 1. Problem 2. It 3. Ought and 4. Took don’t sound anything like the vowel sounds provided by the other girl. Please help, my ears need tuning!