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ä, ö, ü?

hey everybody! so, I have a question concerning the letters ä ö and ü. how exactly are they pronounced? my german teacher told me that the two dots are for "angry eyes" and it's just kind of a rough version of the original a/o/u. is this true? is there an easier way to think of this? thanks for answers in advance!!

September 12, 2017



In my opinion, the ä sounds like the ea in bear and the ö is like u in burn. Unfortunately, English speakers tend to pronounce their words differently sometimes, so my hint could lead you in the wrong direction. For the ü I do not know any word that sounds similar (yet)


to add to your comment, one thing i've read is that the ü does come up in english, check the word Ew (that tastes horrible!)

native germans hear, when its stressed and a bit elongated for the sake of explanation,


hope this helps


They are not angry, they are different sounds. Go to youtube there are a lot of videos such as this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fIhlM_OD6A


Hi, Captain,

these letters have their own pronounciation. For the Ü frawaradR had a great tip in another threat.

https://www.duolingo.com/comment/24246912 "ü is [y]. Say see, then round your lips, and there you have it."

in this two examples click on the little arrow before the word. It's also a computer voice but you can hear it. https://dict.leo.org/englisch-deutsch/Kr%C3%B6te


regards Angel


Others have already stated that ä ö ü are quite different from a o u. It should also be noted that there is a short and a long version of each vowel, which are also quite distinct. However, short e and short ä are usually pronounced the same, so "hätte" rhymes with "Kette".

It may be helpful to use IPA symbols when talking about pronunciation, because they are unambiguous, as opposed to normal letters. When I write "u", it is not clear whether I mean short or long German u, one of the French ones, or English u as in ugly, uniform, burn, ... Since all of these sound different, they have different IPA symbols.



One idea: ä for 'angry eyes' might just be a memory help, as the 'a' in 'angry' sounds like the German Ä. Hope I could help!

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