German alphabet is based on Latin. It is composed of 26 main letters, 3 umlauts, as well as an “escet” (this is a ligature ß). Historically, the alphabet is based on a runic letter used by the ancient inhabitants of the territory. From the middle of the 18th century, the transition to the usual Latinized form began. Togo was demanded by the need to create a unified version of writing appropriate for all territories of the states.
Pronunciation of the letters of the German alphabet
It is better to immediately learn the German alphabet with pronunciation: this will facilitate further study, will provide the basis for competent phonetic exercises.
Since the pronunciation of the letters of the German alphabet may differ, it would be appropriate to know the options for their use:
Why in the German alphabet umlauts?
The Latin alphabet has 21 letters. European peoples, taking it as a basis for the unification of their languages, faced with a lack of letters to convey all the sounds of their speech. So there were additional signs that convey the necessary sounds in the German alphabet.
With the help of umlauts ü, ö and ä, you can change words. Here are the rules for such changes:
for nouns, umlauts are used when changing numbers from singular to plural;
additional letters of the German alphabet help in changing the degree of comparison of adjectives;
they are necessary for the formation of the 2nd and 3rd person in strong verbs;
with the help of them, writing can distinguish words whose pronunciation is identical.
Once again: umlauts are not included in the main alphabet of the German language. This is a category of additional specific characters. The same applies to the ligature ß, which was formed from the connection in ancient times of the letters Z and S. It was repeatedly changed: in the twentieth century, the Swiss abolished the ligature, and the Germans used the double s instead. But they did not forget about the ligature: in 2017, a new German law came out, giving ß the title variant. Therefore, the symbol is officially recognized as relevant.
Why was this necessary if no German word starts with ß? A technical question: if you need to write an entire word in capital letters, you can now officially use a large ß.
Pronunciation of letters and words
To correctly pronounce the letters in the German alphabet, you need to do a lot, adhering to the rules of pronunciation. All features – in the correct setting of the articulation apparatus:
Lips relax, push forward, slightly rounded.
To move the tongue forward, achieving a contrast of the tip with the front teeth of the lower row.
Vowel sounds at the beginning of German words are pronounced with a characteristic “clicking” hard sound (there is no analogue in the sounds of the alphabet). The duration of the pronunciation of vowels depends on the semantic load of the word. Umlaut pronunciation (analogs of which are also absent in our speech) is the subject of special work on articulation. The conclusion is the following: the pronunciation of the letters of the German alphabet and words must be carefully worked out with the teacher. This is the basis, without which it will be difficult to move on without fail.
How to learn the German alphabet?
There are many options, but there are no specific recommendations. It all depends on your type of memory, interests, diligence. A good help will be the study of a variety of “memorial poems” created just for easy mastering the order and pronunciation of the letters of the alphabet.
On the web, you can find a lot of poems and songs of this kind. Do not be shy that they are too “childish”: it is precisely because of this that the material can be easily, quickly and unmistakably mastered. At the same time understand what should be the correct pronunciation, voiced by native German speakers.