Phonetic Script - Grouped Consonants

 

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

Script Letter Consonant Type     German English
             
[ç] ch voiceless produced without vibrations of the vocal cords   sprechen
to speak
(soft)
palatal formed with the middle or back part of the tongue raised against the hard palate   ich I
palatal fricative consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together, here: back part of the tongue and hard palate   cheln to smile
This phone is articulated after the following vowels, vowel mutations or diphthongs: e, i, ä, ö, ü, ei, ie, eu and äu. It is also articulated in the diminutive syllable -chen and in the word ending -ig though it is written with g at the end   chin female cook
che kitchen
        Eiche oak
        kriechen to crawl
        Seuche epidemic
        Sträucher shrubs
        Mädchen girl
        zwanzig twenty
           
             
[x] ch voiceless
produced without vibrations of the vocal cords
  acht
eight
(hard)
velar formed with the back part of the tongue against the soft palate (the velum) Koch male cook
guttural fricative consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together, here: back part of the tongue and soft palate Kuchen cake
This phone is articulated after the vowels a, o, u and the diphthong au   Strauch shrub
         
             
             
[ʒ] g or j voiced
vocal cords are vibrating during the articulation
  orange orange
postalveolar formed with the blade of the tongue behind the alveolar ridge, and the front of the tongue bunched up ("domed") at the palate Garage garage
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    
    This phone mostly appears in words taken from the French language.      
             
             
[k] ck voiceless
produced without vibrations of the vocal cords
  Acker
field
velar formed with the back part of the tongue against the soft palate (the velum) Ecke corner
plosive stop consonant which is formed with the back of the tongue against the soft palate    
Those vowels which appear in front of ck are always short.      
             
             
[ŋ] ng
voiced

vocal cords are vibrating during the articulation
  singen
to sing
  or velar formed with the back part of the tongue against the soft palate (the velum) sinken to sink
  nk nasal air is allowed to escape through the nose    
             
             
[f] ph voiceless
produced without vibrations of the vocal cords
  Alphabet
alphabet
    labiodental formed with lower lip and upper teeth Philosophie philosophy
    fricative consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together, here: lower lip against upper teeth    
    Some words formerly spelled with ph are now spelled with f, eg. Telefon, Xylofon.      
             
             
[pf] pf both letters are spoken   pfeifen
to whistle
          Pfeffer pepper
             
             
[kv] qu always spoken kv   Qualität
quality
      Quelle source
         
             
[ʃ] sch voiceless
produced without vibrations of the vocal cords
  schön beautiful, nice
postalveolar formed with the blade of the tongue behind the alveolar ridge, and the front of the tongue bunched up ("domed") at the palate Tasche bag
sibilant
ricative
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    
             
             
[ʃp, sp] sp spoken ʃp at the beginning of a word or syllable   sprechen to speak
spoken sp in the middle or at the end of a word or syllable   Knospe bud
         
             
[ʃt, st] st spoken ʃt at the beginning of a word or syllable   Stadt city
spoken st in the middle or at the end of a word or syllable   Ostern
Easter
      Gast guest
             
             
[t] th voiceless
produced without vibrations of the vocal cords
  Theater
theatre
alveolar articulated with either the tip or the blade of the tongue against the alveolar ridge Thema topic
plosive stop consonant produced by stopping the airflow in the vocal tract    
    always spoken t      
             
             
[ts] tz always spoken ts
  Katze
female cat
the vowels which appear in front of tz are always short Klotz block