There are a few German consonants that do not exist in English, and some consonantcombinations that arenot common in English. Notice that the pronunciation of the German r changes according to the location in the countries that speak German, i.e. [R] in northernGermany and [r] in southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
SpellingIPASample wordsHow topronounce:
ch (with vowels e and i)
Make yuh sound voiceless (no vibration of vocal cords)
ch (with vowels a, o, u)
Make kuh sound a fricative (continuous airflow)
Pronouncetogether as one sound
Zeit, Zug, Tanz
Pronounce together as one sound
st / sp (at beginning ofsyllable)
sht / shp
s (before vowel)
Salz, seit, Sitz
In addition, the sounds [b], [d], and [g] lose their voicing at the end of a syllable, so they arepronounced as their voicelesscounterparts [p], [t], and [k], respectively. However, the spellingdoes not reflect the pronunciation.
Stress generally falls on the first syllable of the word, except in words borrowed from other languages, where the stress falls on the last syllable (especially with French words.)