When we start learning a language one of the first things we have to learn is how to pronounce – and to be honest, one of the most difficult language in this aspect is (at least for me): English. No language has such an overwhelming amount of exceptions (and language science is with me on that, there is even a poem with the wonderful title “The Chaos” (written 1922 by Gerard Nolst Trenité) about it)…
Anyway, in my in my capacity as Teacher for German as a Foreign Language I once again made a chart: How to pronounce German vowels – the (very) simplified version. I did not use linguistic terms but instead tried to find equivalent sounds aka examples en français, 日本語 and in English (although I have to admit that I have no idea how to distinguish between the different ways of pronounciation in Britain, the US, Canada, Australia… – I just used what I learned in school, it is based on the British (I learned (and yes, I know any kind of dialect will completely destroy this attempt – but if I start with dialects I won’t be able to finish eva!)). The part of the word with the sound/vowel is underlined respectively.
I also ignored the length of the vowel. I know it is a very important part of “how to vowel” in a correct way – but for now lets concentrate on the “simple sound” itself.
I am still missing quite a few examples. And for 日本語 I could not find equivalent sounds for the diphthong (ä, ü, ö, au) and sometimes underlined the whole hiragana to cover the whole sound. If anybody could give a helping hand to fill these gaps I would be more than happy!
And I smuggled in some weird words – have fun translating!
The first column shows the single vowel as it is written in German, the examples are in the following columns.
|A – a||die Wand
|E – e||das Ende
|I – i||die Insel
|O – o||das Ohr
|U – u||der Kuss
|Ä – ä (ae)||der Bär
|Ö – ö (oe)||das Öhr
|Ü – ü (ue)||die Tür
|Au – au||das Auto
|Eu – eu||der Freund
|Ei – ei||das Ei