Sergey Sulimov


Sergey Sulimov


The German alphabet. Interesting facts

Like most alphabets in Europe, the German alphabet is based on the Latin alphabet. It includes twenty-six letters. In addition, three umlauts are used (denoted as vowel letters with superscripts) and the ligature “escet” (outwardly similar to the Greek letter “beta”).

The alphabet connection with runes, the writing development

The Germany modern inhabitants ancestors used runes as writing. The alphabet that was used for this was not yet remotely similar to the modern Latin alphabet. Moreover, different tribes also had different writing systems.

More than a thousand years ago, evolutionary changes began to occur, thanks to which the alphabet became practically unified at the state level. In addition, it has acquired forms that are already more or less similar to modern ones.

Although there are now twenty-six letters in the German alphabet, initially the Latin alphabet did not contain several characters. Among them: g, j, u. If everything remained the same, then the German alphabet with pronunciation would be much more difficult to learn. For example, using the letter i used to denote two sounds — [и] и [й]. Due to the letters lack to denote certain sounds, there were just such differences’ an abundance between spelling and pronunciation in different languages.

Later the mentioned letters were added. There have also been other changes:

• The Latin alphabet has included the letters y, z based on Greek to make it easier to write primarily borrow;

• about five hundred years ago, the letter w entered writing, initially as two consecutive letters V a combination.

Although the modern German writing basis has become the same Latin alphabet as in most other Europe languages, German letters also have their own unique features.

German letters, umlauts and ligature

  • Separate combinations are letters made up, among which are ch, sch and several others. They can have different uses, although the main purpose is usually fixed (sch is used for the sound [w] and so on).
  • Umlauts are used to denote several sounds: with the ä help denote [э] in various variations;
  • The umlaut ö correspondence is the mean between [ё] and nasal [o];

• by ü means, the sound located between [y] and [ю]  is transmitted.

The designated sound pronunciation may also depend on the position in which it is located. For example, the letter h after the umlaut because, the designated sound becomes longer.

Finally, with the ligature “escet” help, externally looking like ß, denote a short sound [c]. This, along with umlauts, must be taken into account when studying the German alphabet with transcription. This is the German writing unique features one.

How not to break the lang: rules for reading letter combinations in German

Before you get started with letters combinations in German, you need to know the alphabet and the rules for reading a transcription. As letters a combination is understood to be several letters a combination which, when pronounced, read as one sound. In addition, do not forget that the best way to practice the several letters pronunciation – are short phrases in German.

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