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Kapitel 1: Das Alphabet

The German alphabet consists of 26 (plus 4) letters: 8 vowels and 22 consonants.

While this is a longer list than the English alphabet, you should most definitely not despair. Once you learn the sound-symbol associations (how each letter or compound letter is pronounced), you will know how any and all German words are pronounced because German is very consistent.

For example, in English, the letter "i" can be pronounced in different ways (consider: ice, igloo, girl, just to name a few). In German an "i" stays "i" (ist, immer, Blitz, even if it there are long vs. short versions: finden vs. Isar).

Listen to the alphabet, to hear how these letters are pronounced:

A, Ä, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, Ö, P, Q, R, S, ß, T, U, Ü, V, W, X, Y, Z

Listen to sample vocabulary.  Roll mouse over German text to view English translations:

There are also a handful of strange-looking letters in German, with which following chapters will deal in detail.
Here is a very brief overview of them as an appetizer: