12 March 2011
Pronunciation 101: Diphthongs

Probably the place where most non-Germans make mistakes while reading/spelling…

  • ai/ei
    Eng. equivalent: EYE
    German examples: s Ei (egg), r Mai (the month of May), r Teig (dough)
  • au
    Eng. equivalent: OW in “how”
    German examples: auch (also), s Bauch (stomach), aus (from/out of)
  • eu/äu
    Eng. equivalent: OY in “boy” 
    German examples: neu (new), Bäume (trees), treu (faithful/loyal)
  • ie
    Eng. equivalent:  EE in “see”
    German examples: Sie (formal you), nie (never), auf Wiedersehen (goodbye)

Note:
Even if ä/ö/ü are written out as ae/oe/ue (e.g. because the computer does not support characters with umlauts), they are not considered diphthongs.


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