German Alphabet

The modern German alphabet consists of 26 letters of the Latin alphabet and four special characters. German uses three letter-diacritic (a glyph added to a letter to change the sounds of letters (i.e., an accent)) combinations with the umlaut: (Ä/ä, Ö/ö, Ü/ü). Additionally, there is one ligature (a single glyph where two or more letters are joined): ß (called Eszett (sz) or scharfes S, sharp s). The capital ß was declared an official letter of the German alphabet on June 29, 2017.

The Council for German Orthography considers (Ä/ä, Ö/ö, Ü/ü) as distinct letters; however, there’s some disagreement on how to categorize them and count them in the alphabet. This has led to a dispute over the exact number of letters in the German alphabet. If these characters are considered variants of A, O, U, and S, there are 26. If all special characters are counted separately, there are 30. In Liechtenstein and Switzerland, there are 29 letters with the umlauts, but the ß does not exist in these countries.

All letters of the German alphabet have the same article: das.

The German alphabet is used in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein.

Upper/Lower
English Sound
Pronunciation
A aastronautah
B bbabyapproximate: bay
C ccreative, Celcius (soft c sound in German sounds like ts)approximate: tsay
D ddollarapproximate: day
E eelegantapproximate: ay
F fefforteff
G ggorgeousapproximate: gay
H hhammerhaa
I iIgoreeh
J jyellowyot
K kcamelkah
L lloveell
M mmanem
N nniceen
O oovenoh
P ppartyapproximate: pay
Q qcoralkoo
R rrichapproximate: er
S szoo, shine, mousees
T ttyrantapproximate: tay
U uou sound in youooh
V vfatherfow
W wvanapproximate: vay
X xsounds like kzix
Y yyellowuep-si-lohn
Z zsounds like tstset