Meine lieben Studenten!

My Dear Students!


I know that the main reason for you to study German is for theological reading. Yet, it will be good for you to have an idea of German pronunciation.

When you memorize your vocabulary words, do it aloud--even if you have to hide in the closet with a flashlight to keep the family from laughing. Doing it aloud is time-efficient, for you are not only seeing with your eyes but also hearing with your ears and feeling with your speech organs.

If you ever need to get help with this topic by phone or in person, you will want to be close in pronunciation. Besides, the better your pronunciation, the more impressed St. Peter will be when you arrive at the Pearly Gates.

This guide is very basic and general. If you want to be sure you are correct in pronunciation or if you want to improve, you might get a set of tapes or CD's. Probably any of them are OK.


b b at beginning of syllable; p at end word.

c k before a, o, or u; ts before e or i.

ch gutteral, rasping.

d d at beginning of syllable; t at end of word.

f f

g always hard as in good; never soft as in giant;

g at beginning of syllable; k at end of word; like ch in adjective
ending ig.

h h as in how at beginning of syllable; at end of syllable it makes a
vowel long.

j y

k k

l l

m m

n n

p p

q always in qu combination--pronounce kv.

r swallow it or roll it (optional). When swallowed, it is often barely

s z at beginning of syllable, ss at end of word.

ss ss

sch sh

t t

v f (yes, like English f as in foot).

w v

x x

z ts (at beginning or end of syllable).



a ah--as in father--long or short.

e ay--as in day--long; or e--as in yet--short.

i ee--as in wee--long; i--as in hit--short.

o oh--as in go--long; aw--as in taught--short.

u oo--as in mood--long; oo--as in wood--short.

Note: do not make it sound like you--there is no "y"
sound--unless a 'j' comes first!



ae same as German e, long or short.

oe cross between oh and ay--with lips pursed--long or short.

ue cross between oo and ee--with lips pursed--long or short.



ai i as in high

ay i as in high

au ow as in how

aeu oy as in boy

ei i as in high

eu oy as in boy

ie e as in we.


I will illustrate any more complicated matters of pronunciation if and

when they arise in the course of studying the Small Catechism.


Thank you for your time and attention.


John M. "Herr Professor Doktor" Drickamer, Lakeview, Oregon

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