Learn German Easily

Created by Lucas Kern

German Umlauts Ä Ö Ü

u umlaut, a umlaut, o umlaut

Do you know the sound and pronunciation of ä ö ü?

The German alphabet consists of 26 letters but there’re also umlauted forms with two dots. We’ve three umlauts in German (ä, ö, ü).

German umlauts ä ö ü

How to pronounce the German umlauts: ä, ö, ü

The German alphabet consists of 26 basic letters. There are also umlauted forms. We have three of them in German (ä, ö and ü).

Can you see the little dots over the vowels?

By the way, here you can learn the German alphabet pronunciation.

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Ä Ö Ü

a umlaut

The ä is pronounced like the a in apple or the ai in air.

o umlaut

The ö sounds similar to the:

e in her,

i in bird,

ea in earn,

u in burn

or the French eu.

u umlaut

The German ü doesn’t have a real equal in English. However, maybe you know how to pronounce the letter u in French, it sounds just like the German ü.

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Here are some words with the umlaut a
(Most of the time the ä sounds similar to the German e)
das Mädchen the girl
die Bären the bears
die Käfer the beetles
Here are some words with the umlaut o
schön beautiful
die Löwen the lions
die Vögel the birds
blöd stupid
Here are some words with the umlaut u
küssen to kiss
üben to exercise
dünn thin
die Prüfung the exam
für for

 

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You should check this out too

Do you know how to find the correct German article? Then follow the link.

Why do we use umlauts in German?

In many cases, we use the umlauts to recognize the plural form.

But be careful!
Of course, this is not always the case.

Can you see that in all of the following examples, the plural has an a with two dots?

Sometimes we just change the a to an a with dots. In other cases, we add an -e or an -er at the end of the noun.

  • der Apfel / die Äpfel (the apple / apples)
  • der Garten / die Gärten (the garden / gardens)
  • die Hand / die Hände (the hand / hands)
  • der Arzt / die Ärzte (the doctor / doctors)
  • die Nacht / die Nächte (the night / nights)
  • das Haus / die Häuser (he house / houses)
  • der Mann / die Männer (the man / men)
  • das Rad / die Räder (the wheel / wheels)
  • der Vater / die Väter (the father / fathers)

Now let’s look at a few examples where the plural has an o with two dots.

  • das Wort / die Wörter (the word / words)
  • das Loch / die Löcher (the hole / holes)
  • der Sohn / die Söhne (the son / sons)
  • das Dorf / die Dörfer (the village / villages)
  • die Tochter / die Töchter (the daughter / daughters)
  • der Ton / die Töne (the sound / sounds)
  • der Kopf / die Köpfe (the head / heads)
  • der Frosch / die Frösche (the frog / frogs)
  • der Knopf / die Knöpfe (the button / buttons)
  • der Topf / die Töpfe (the pot / the pots)

And finally, let’s look at some nouns, where the plural has an u with two dots.

  • der Fuß / die Füße (the foot / feet)
  • die Mutter / die Mütter (the mother / mothers) 
  • der Stuhl / die Stühle (the chair / the chairs) 
  • die Kuh / die Kühe (the cow / the cows) 
  • das Buch / die Bücher (the book / the books) 
  • der Bruder / die Brüder (the brother / the brothers) 
  • der Strumpf / die Strümpfe (the stocking / the stockings) 
  • die Nuss / die Nüsse (the nut / the nuts) 
  • der Zug / die Züge (the train / the trains) 
  • der Flug / die Flüge (the flight / the flights)

OK, let’s build some sentences.

Remember my rule No 1: Never learn just individual words!

If you don’t know the most important learning rules, then check out my free email course and learn German with fun the easy way.

How To Learn With Part A

  1. Read and listen a few times.
  2. Repeat after the speaker.
  3. Make sure that you imitate the pronunciation of the speaker.
  4. After a few repetitions go on to part B (farther below).

 

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Das Mädchen ist dünn und schön.
The girl is thin and beautiful.

Löwen, Bären, Vögel und Käfer sind Tiere. 
Lions, bears, birds and beetles are animals.

Wir üben für die Prüfung.
We are practicing for the exam.

Prüfungen sind blöd.
Exams suck.

Listen a few times then try to answer the questions in part B. 

If you cannot answer them right away, don’t worry – listen to all sound files on this page 5, 10 or 20 times every day until you can.

You already know how to count in German, right? If not, visit the page, I will explain it to you.

Repetition is the key. 

Practicing with the question and answer technique will enable your brain to think in German step by step and this is very important if you want to speak German fluently some day!

Exercise Part B

German umlauts make you smile

How To study With Part B

Here is teh Question and Answer Part

This technique is effective adn efficiant to store information (pronunciation, structure, words) in your brain.

Don’t be afraid of this part. 

Listen many times to the questions and answers.

  1. Answer the questions in the pauses (look at the answers if yu need).
  2. After a few times don’t look anymore at the answers.
  3. Imitate the pronunciation of the speaker.
  4. Repeat this lesson until you can answer all questions easily.
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Fragen und Antworten: 

Frage (question)
Wer (who) ist dünn und schön? 

Kurze Antwort (short answer)
Das Mädchen

Lange Antwort (long answer)
Das Mädchen ist dünn und schön.

Was (what) sind Löwen, Bären, Vögel und Käfer? 

Tiere
Löwen, Bären, Vögel und Käfer sind Tiere.

Für was üben wir? 

Für die Prüfung.
Wir üben für die Prüfung.

Sind Prüfungen blöd? 

Ja, Prüfungen sind blöd.
Prüfungen sind blöd, doof und total bescheuert.

In many cases, we use the umlauts to recognize the plural form.

But be careful!
Of course, this is not always the case.

Can you see that in all of the following examples, the plural has an a with two dots?

Do umlauts only exist in the German language?

The umlauts have probably become best known through the German language, but they also occur in other languages such as: Turkish, Swedish, Finnish, and Hungarian.

How to type an German umlaut – Unicode

If you want to use the German umlauts, but don’t have a German keyboard, there is still a way. Simply use the ALT key on your keyboard and then use the following number combinations:

ä = ALT+0228

ö = ALT+0246

ü = ALT+0252

Ä = ALT+0196

Ö = ALT+0214

Ü = ALT+0220

If you want to use the German umlauts in HTML code then you can also use ‘HTML Entities’ and HTML Unicode calls.

A simpler way if you can’t type the German umlauts ä, ö, ü

If you cannot write the German umlauts with your keyboard, just write the vowel without the dots and then add an e:

ä = ae

ö = oe

ü = ue 

For example küssen becomes kuessen (to kiss).

Video about the German umlauts

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You should also take a look at this:

Here you can learn the names of the 7 days in German.

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