German 101

Note: these combinations are not always used as diphthongs. At syllable boundaries and sometimes even in a syllable, they are spoken as separate vowels (e.g. soeben — zoh-AY-ben)

au
like 'ow' in "how"
ae
transcription for 'ä' if not available on a keyboard or in URLs
ah
like 'a' in "bar", longer than 'a'
äu
like 'oy' in "boy"
ei
like 'i' in "wine"
eu
like 'oy' in "boy"
eh
long 'e'
ie
like 'ee' in "week", longer than 'i'
ieh
like 'ee' in "week", longer than 'i', fundamentally no difference to 'ie'
oe
transcription for 'ö' if not available on a keyboard or in URLs
oh
like 'oo' in "door", longer than 'o'
ue
transcription for 'ü' if not available on a keyboard or in URLs
uh
like 'ou' in "youth", longer than 'u'
ch after 'a', 'o' and 'u'
like 'ch' in Scottish "loch", spoken in the throat, like 'j' in Spanish
ch after 'i' and 'e'
like 'h' in "huge"
ch at the beginning of a word
like 'ch' in "character"
ck
like 'ck' in "blocking"
ng
like both 'ng' in "singing", never like 'ng' in "finger"
ph
like 'f' in "fish"
sch
like 'sh' in "sheep"
sp at the beginning of a word
like 'shp' in "fish pool"
ss
like 'ss' in "hiss", in contrast to 'ß', makes the preceding vowel shorter. Also used as transcription for 'ß' in URL or on foreign keyboards.
st at the beginning of a word
like 'sht' in "ashtray"

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