Phonetic Script - Consonants

 

Here you learn about the phonetic script used for the German consonants. To listen to the pronunciation, click on the little button in front of the respective word.

Script Letter Consonant Type     German English
             
[b] b voiced
vocal cords are vibrating during the articulation
  blau
blue
bilabial formed with both lips sieben seven
plosive stop consonant produced by stopping the airflow in the vocal tract    
         
             
[d] d voiced
vocal cords are vibrating during the articulation   Dienstag Tuesday
alveolar articulated with either the tip or the blade of the tongue against the alveolar ridge Kinder children
plosive stop consonant produced by stopping the airflow in the vocal tract    
         
             
[f] f or v voiceless
produced without vibrations of the vocal cords   fünf
five
    labiodental formed with lower lip and upper teeth vier four
    fricative consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together, here: lower lip against upper teeth    
           
             
[g] g voiced
vocal cords are vibrating during the articulation   gelb
yellow
velar formed with the back part of the tongue against the soft palate (the velum) gen to like
plosive stop consonant which is formed with the back of the tongue against the soft palate    
         
             
[h] h voiceless
produced without vibrations of the vocal cords
  Hamburg
City in Germany
glottal consonant which is produced in the glottis Hütte hut
fricative consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together, here: in the glottis    
only pronounced at the beginning of a word or syllable      
             
             
[j] j or y voiced
vocal cords are vibrating during the articulation
  ja
yes
palatal formed with the middle or back part of the tongue raised against the hard palate Yen yen
approximant consonant which is produced by bringing one articulator close to another but without the vocal tract being narrowed to such an extent that a turbulent airstream is produced    
         
         
             
[k] k voiceless
produced without vibrations of the vocal cords
  kommen
to come
    velar formed with the back part of the tongue against the soft palate (the velum) Amerikaner American (male)
    plosive stop consonant which is formed with the back of the tongue against the soft palate    
             
             
[l] l voiced
vocal cords are vibrating during the articulation
  lila
lilac
alveolar articulated with either the tip or the blade of the tongue against the alveolar ridge alles everything
lateral produced by allowing the airstream to flow over the sides of the tongue, rather than the middle of the tongue    
approximant consonant which is produced by bringing one articulator close to another but without the vocal tract being narrowed to such an extent that a turbulent airstream is produced      
             
             
[m] m voiced vocal cords are vibrating during the articulation   Dame
lady
    bilabial formed with both lips Samstag Saturday
    nasal air is allowed to escape through the nose    
             
             
[n] n voiced
vocal cords are vibrating during the articulation
  Kind
child
    alveolar articulated with either the tip or the blade of the tongue against the alveolar ridge kennen to know
    nasal air is allowed to escape through the nose    
             
             
[p] p voiceless
produced without vibrations of the vocal cords
  pink
pink
    bilabial formed with both lips sprechen to speak
    plosive stop consonant produced by stopping the airflow in the vocal tract    
             
             
[r] r voiced
vocal cords are vibrating during the articulation
  orange
orange
uvular articulated with the back of the tongue against or near the palatine uvula grün green
fricative consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together, here: back of the tongue and uvula produce a guttural r, which means that the r is rubbed (not rolled) between uvula and back of the tongue    
       
           
             
[s] ß, ss, s
voiceless
produced without vibrations of the vocal cords
  bis
until
(sharp s) alveolar articulated with either the tip or the blade of the tongue against the alveolar ridge alles everything
sibilant
fricative
produced by directing air flow through a groove in the tongue at the place of articulation and directing it over the sharp edge of the teeth, causing high-frequency turbulence    
letter s pronounced as sharp s under the following conditions: in front of consonants, after voiceless consonants and at the end of a word or syllable    
         
             
             
[t] t voiceless
produced without vibrations of the vocal cords
  rot
red
    alveolar articulated with either the tip or the blade of the tongue against the alveolar ridge Mittwoch Wednesday
    plosive stop consonant produced by stopping the airflow in the vocal tract    
             
             
[v] w or v voiced
vocal cords are vibrating during the articulation
  woher
where from
    labiodental formed with lower lip and upper teeth violett purple
    fricative consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together, here: lower lip against upper teeth    
             
             
[z] s
voiced
vocal cords are vibrating during the articulation
  rosa
rose-coloured
(soft s) alveolar articulated with either the tip or the blade of the tongue against the alveolar ridge sein to be
fricative consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together, here: tongue and sharp edge of the teeth    
at the beginning of a word in front of a vowel, between two vowels, between l, m, n, ng, r and a vowel and if there is a similar word form in which an unstressed/toneless e=ə is spoken in front of l, m, n and r