Teil III. Vowels with Umlauts

The umlaut appears as two dots over the "a" "o" and "u" and changes the pronunciation of the vowel.

You can write these vowels either with the umlaut over them or with a letter "e" following them.

"ä" = "ae"
"ö" = "oe"
"ü" = "ue"

This little fact is very useful in helping you figure out how to pronounce these vowels.

Do the following little experiment. Pronounce the word "zoo" in a long, drawn-out manner. Notice where your tongue rests in your mouth. Now pronounce the word "sea" in a long, drawn-out manner and notice the position of your tongue.

You can describe the difference by saying that the vowel in "sea" is "higher" than the vowel in "zoo" because your tongue is much higher in your mouth when you pronounce "sea." That is the job of the umlaut -- to move the vowel a bit higher in your mouth than you normally pronounce it. It makes sense that the umlaut is the same as an "e" after the vowel: The umlaut moves the vowel pronunciation closer to "e."

Listen to the words for these animals and compare how the vowels sound both with and without the umlaut.

Klicken Sie auf das Bild, um das Wort zu hören.
(Click on the picture to hear the word.)

der Affe
der Affe
der Bär
Der Affe und der Bär
der Ochs
der Löwe
Der Ochs und der Löwe
der Wurm
die Würmer
Der Wurm und die Würmer

Aktivität 7 Which is which? Click on the question number and listen to the question. The question, "Welches Bild zeigt ..." means "Which picture shows ...?" Choose the correct picture as your answer. Repeat as often as you like to link the pronunciation of the vowel with the animal's name.

Aktivität 8. Click on the picture and listen to the German word. Then choose which vowel you hear in the word.

Aktivität 9. Click on the number and listen to the vowel sound. Then choose the picture for the animal that includes that vowel sound.


Introduction German Vowels

Part I

Aktivität 1
Aktivität 2
Aktivität 3

Vokale, Teil II

Aktivität 4
Aktivität 5
Aktivität 6

Vokale Teil III

Aktivität 7
Aktivität 8
Aktivität 9

Vokale, Teil IV

Aktivität 10
Aktivität 11
Aktivität 12