The voicing was lost again in the late Middle Ages, but the v still remains in certain words such as in V ogel compare Scandinavian f ugl or English f owl 'bird' hence, the letter v is sometimes called Vogel-fau , v iel 'much'. In the 17th century, the former sound [ w ] became [ v ] , but the spelling remained the same. An analogous sound change had happened in late-antique Latin. The sound, a product of the High German consonant shift , has been written with z since Old High German in the 8th century.
For some common affixes however, like -graphie or Photo- , it is allowed to use -grafie or Foto- instead. For some words for which the Germanized form was common even before the reform of , the foreign version is no longer allowed.
However, certain older spellings occasionally remain, mostly for decorative reasons, such as Circus instead of Zirkus. Some exceptions occur such as Hexe witch , Nixe mermaid , Axt axe and Xanten. It used to be more common in earlier centuries, and traces of this earlier usage persist in proper names. In loan words from the French language , spelling and accents are usually preserved. Thus, German typewriters and computer keyboards offer two dead keys: In one curious instance, the word Ski meaning as in English is pronounced as if it were Schi all over the German-speaking areas reflecting its pronunciation in its source language Norwegian , but only written that way in Austria.
This section lists German letters and letter combinations, and how to pronounce them transliterated into the International Phonetic Alphabet. This is the pronunciation of Standard German. Note that the pronunciation of standard German varies slightly from region to region. In fact, it is possible to tell where most German speakers come from by their accent in standard German not to be confused with the different German dialects.
Double consonants are pronounced as single consonants, except in compound words. Consonants are sometimes doubled in writing to indicate the preceding vowel is to be pronounced as a short vowel.
Most one-syllable words that end in a single consonant are pronounced with long vowels, but there are some exceptions such as an , das , es , in , mit , and von. The e in the ending -en is often silent, as in bitten "to ask, request". Long vowels are generally pronounced with greater tenseness than short vowels. The oldest known German texts date back to the 8th century. They were written mainly in monasteries in different local dialects of Old High German.
After the Carolingian Renaissance , however, during the reigns of the Ottonian and Salian dynasties in the 10th century and 11th century, German was rarely written, the literary language being almost exclusively Latin. Notker the German is a notable exception in his period; his German compositions not only are of high stylistic value, but also, his orthography is the first to follow a strictly coherent system.
Only during the reign of the Hohenstaufen dynasty in the High Middle Ages was there again significant production of German texts. Around the year , there was a tendency towards a standardized Middle High German language and spelling for the first time, based on the Franconian - Swabian language of the Hohenstaufen court.
However, that language was used only in the epic poetry and minnesang lyric of the knight culture. These early tendencies of standardization ceased in the interregnum after the death of the last Hohenstaufen king in Certain features of today's German orthography still date back to Middle High German: By the 16th century, a new interregional standard developed on the basis of the East Central German and Austro-Bavarian varieties.
This was influenced by several factors:. Midth century Counter-Reformation reintroduced Catholicism to Austria and Bavaria, prompting a rejection of the Lutheran language. Instead, a specific southern interregional language was used, based on the language of the Habsburg chancellery. In the early 18th century, the Lutheran standard was also introduced in the southern states and countries, Austria, Bavaria and Switzerland, due to the influence of northern German writers, grammarians such as Johann Christoph Gottsched or language cultivation societies such as the Fruitbearing Society.
Though, by the midth century, one norm was generally established, there was no institutionalized standardization.
Only with the introduction of compulsory education in late 18th and early 19th century was the spelling further standardized, though at first independently in each state because of the political fragmentation of Germany. Only the foundation of the German Empire in allowed for further standardization. In the same year, the Duden was declared to be authoritative in Prussia. Since Prussia was, by far, the largest state in the German Empire, its regulations also influenced spelling elsewhere, for instance, in , when Switzerland recognized the Duden.
It declared the Duden to be authoritative, with a few innovations. In , its results were approved by the governments of the German Empire, Austria and Switzerland.
In , the Nazi German government planned a reform of the orthography , but because of World War II , it was never implemented. After , German spelling was essentially decided de facto by the editors of the Duden dictionaries. After World War II , this tradition was followed with two different centers: By the early s, a few other publishing houses had begun to attack the Duden monopoly in the West by putting out their own dictionaries, which did not always hold to the "official" spellings prescribed by Duden.
In response, the Ministers of Culture of the federal states in West Germany officially declared the Duden spellings to be binding as of November The Duden editors used their power cautiously because they considered their primary task to be the documentation of usage, not the creation of rules. At the same time, however, they found themselves forced to make finer and finer distinctions in the production of German spelling rules, and each new print run introduced a few reformed spellings.
German spelling and punctuation was changed in Reform der deutschen Rechtschreibung von with the intent to simplify German orthography, and thus to make the language easier to learn,  without substantially changing the rules familiar to users of the language. The rules of the new spelling concern correspondence between sounds and written letters including rules for spelling loan words , capitalisation, joined and separate words, hyphenated spellings, punctuation, and hyphenation at the end of a line.
Place names and family names were excluded from the reform. The reform was adopted initially by Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, and later by Luxembourg as well. The new orthography is mandatory only in schools. A decision of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany confirmed that there is no law on the spelling people use in daily life, so they can use the old or the new spelling.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from German alphabet. For the international agreement about spelling rules among most German-speaking countries, see German orthography reform of Listen to a German speaker recite the alphabet in German.
Listen to a German speaker naming these letters. German orthography reform of This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. December Learn how and when to remove this template message. Revised version, Munich and Mannheim , p.
The Rules for Long S. Verlag Volk und Wissen, Volkseigener Verlag. Journal of the Simplified Spelling Society. Archived from the original PDF on Orthographies of the world's languages. You can switch back and forth between keyboards by pressing the Shift and Alt keys together. Good luck and let me see what you are writing. Ich habe die Tastatur gefunden! Z and y are also switched. I know for sure that you can have a little keyboard on the screen for the Chinese keyboard. Is there such an option for the German keyboard too?
Hi Grace and Peter! When I type in other languages, I like to use an on-screen keyboard. A shortcut I use is to just type "osk" in the Search bar under the Start menu, which brings up the program "osk. Thank you both for sharing your tips! Typing in another language is one of those small barriers that once overcome makes learning much more enjoyable. I'm still trying to figure out how to make a curly or a round s in german.
Thanks for the tips on the other german letters.
In German, there are far more stipulations when writing a formal letter. Not adhering to these formalities, you risk sounding rude and impertinent.
Rules for writing a Formal Letter. When we write a formal letter in German, we must adhere to the following rules: Addresses. Both your and the recipient's addresses should be at the top of the letter.
The materials and exercises of the German Script Tutorial cover both Gothic handwriting and typefaces, although more attention will be given to handwriting. Most German documents from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were originally handwritten, and reading them is a challenge for modern scholars and researchers. Learn how to write German letters addressed to businesses that are sure to find a favorable response. Information includes phraseology, common mistakes and tips and tricks for proper nuance to observe when drafting a business letter in German.
How to Write a German Letter. Once upon a time, people would wait weeks, months, and even years for letters from loved ones, pen friends, or associates to arrive in the mail. Those who do not have a keyboard with easy access to German letters have different options for writing those letters on their computer. Finding the letters through a word processor can work, but is tedious.