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How to pronounce the German umlauts ä, ö and ü?

German umlauts a,o,u

Photo by Skylar Kang on Pexels

The German alphabet consists of 26 basic letters. There are also umlauted forms. We have three of them in German (ä, ö and ü).


The concept of umlauts is something very new to English speakers. Are you concerned on how to pronounce German umlauts? If you are tired of binge-watching tutorials and still not getting the hold of the pronunciation, you are at the right place.


We have broken down the umlauts and made it easy by giving the English phonetic equivalents.

1. How to pronounce German a (ä umlaut)?


The ä is pronounced like the:


 a in apple

 or the 

 ai in air.


Here are some words with the umlaut a

  • das Mädchen - the girl 

  • die Bären - the bears

  • die Käfer - the beatles

2. How to pronounce German o (ö umlaut)?


The ö sounds similar to the:


e in her,

i in bird,

ea in earn,

u in burn

Here are some words with the umlaut o

  • schön - beautiful

  • die Löwen - the lions

  • die Vögel - the birds


3. How to pronounce German u (ü umlaut?)


The German ü doesn’t have a real equal in English. However, the closest phonetic in English would be how you would pronounce ui in suit.

Here are some words with the umlaut u

  • fünf - five

  • die Prüfung - the exam

  • für - for

Despite these challenges, with dedication, practice, and exposure to the language, learners can overcome the difficulties and become proficient in German.


While German may be relatively easier for some learners compared to other languages, everyone's experience with language learning is unique, and what one person finds easy, another may find challenging.


German is even easier with LearnningTree. At LearnningTree, we embrace your vision and aspirations, empowering you to explore new horizons through our strategic language learning guidance. With diverse language learning courses, interactive learning and cultural insights, it enriches your linguistic development.

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