Tuesday 5 July 2016

Lesson No. 2 - The Umlaut And Special Letter In German (Deutsch)

Das Umlaut        =           The Umlaut

      A  O  U        =            Ä  Ö  Ü  ß

     One other letter, ß (the eszett 'ess-tset') is  used for (voiceless) 's'.The vowels a, o, and u can take an umlaut (double dots above), becoming ä, ö, and ü. The umlaut changes the sound of the vowel.


     1)  The umlauts are even used when spelling. Common words used to clarify a given letter are
           Ärger (anger), Ökonom (economist) and Übermut (high spirits). To say "umlaut" after the
           letteris an English custom used when spelling German words in English.

     2)  In writing, the umlauts are sometimes substituted with the vowel plus e, i.e ae, oe and ue. You
          find this in names as Goethe or in crosswords, but you don't use it in normal texts (Goethe is an
          exception to the rules governing umlauts, always written with "oe"). However, if you have no
          way to type umlauts you must use vowel-plus-e.

     3)  In most search engines and online dictionaries, a vowel with umlaut can be entered as either
         the simple vowel or in vowel-plus-e form. For example, if you wish to find "Ärger" you may
         enter any of the following three search strings: "ärger", "aerger", "arger" (the last is incorrect 
         writing and actually means something different! ("arg"=very bad/grim, "arger"= "grimmer").

To create the special umlaut and esszet characters on an english keyboard, you can use your numeric
keypad with the Alt key.I will write in next post.

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