German Pronunciation is a Piece of Cake

Tips, Tricks and Resources to Learn A Foreign Language Faster

To learn German is not the easiest task. I wouldn’t say the language is complicated, but it is very precise. Hence it has more vocabulary and grammar rules than, lets say, Spanish or English.

There is however a big upside to choose German if you want to speak a foreign language – its pronunciation is very straightforward.

As an English native speaker you obviously know that written English can differ a lot from spoken English – in other words what you see (read) is not what you get (hear).

Ask anybody who has learned English as a second language, and they will tell you that it was pretty difficult in the beginning to deal with the fact that the written word many times has no or little correlation to the sound of that word.

In German, however, what you see is definitely what you get. With a very few minimal exceptions you pronounce words exactly as they are written.

One of your first task as a German student then is to learn the abc and how you say each letter. Since there are only 29 letters (including umlauts ä, ö and ü), that’s a pretty quick process.

From there on it’s all downhill, at least as far as pronunciation is concerned. Read loud exactly what’s in front of you. If necessary, i.e. if you get stuck, simply slow down, start again at the beginning of the word and simply link one letter to the next.

And don't forget to enjoy the process, have some fun!


  1. You can also bite a pencil while reading loud :) that helped me a lot when I just started to learn German...
    interesting post Georg!

  2. I always hoped to learn German-- I took it in college and was foiled by the early parking problems on campus, but reading this makes me want to get out my old textbooks again. And in a few years, maybe I can read Kant properly!