from Müller to Mueller or from Weiß to Weiss is regarded as a name change. How Many Letters Are There in the German Alphabet? As a result, passport, visa, and aircraft ticket may display different spellings of the same name. dialektal kommt sie auch als „Schki“ (etwa in Graubünden oder im Wallis) vor. This required a change of habits and is often disregarded: some people even incorrectly assumed that the "ß" had been abolished completely. The pronunciation of almost every word can be derived from its spelling once the spelling rules are known, but the opposite is not generally the case. Would love your thoughts, please comment. The German alphabet has a total of 30 letters, the 26 letters of the Latin alphabet (as in English) plus the letters ä, ö, ü and ß How many letters are they in the alphabet? Accents in French loanwords are always ignored in collation. Uppercase umlauts were dropped because they are less common than lowercase ones (especially in Switzerland). I'm CEO of MyEnglishTeacher.eu. Eszett is sorted as though it were ss. Nice to meet you! By counting the umlauts and the sharfes S as full-fledged letters, they add 4 more to the usual 26 Latin letters. A notable example is the word Foto, with the meaning “photograph”, which may no longer be spelled as Photo. 1 and 2 also exists, in use in a couple of lexica: The umlaut is sorted with the base character, but an ae, oe, ue in proper names is sorted with the umlaut if it is actually spoken that way (with the umlaut getting immediate precedence). Geographical names in particular are supposed to be written with A, O, U plus e, except Österreich. Similar cases are Coesfeld and Bernkastel-Kues. Which one do you use? Furthermore, in northern and western Germany, there are family names and place names in which e lengthens the preceding vowel (by acting as a Dehnungs-e), as in the former Dutch orthography, such as Straelen, which is pronounced with a long a, not an ä. The proper transcription when it cannot be used is ss (sz and SZ in earlier times). Das Wort Ski wurde im 19. There are three ways to deal with the umlauts in alphabetic sorting. For some words for which the Germanized form was common even before the reform of 1996, the foreign version is no longer allowed. Learn how and when to remove this template message, Official rules of German spelling updated, "Das deutsche Alphabet – Wie viele Buchstaben hat das ABC? In northern Germany, the Lutheran East Central German replaced the Low German written language until the mid-17th century. Thus, German typewriters and computer keyboards offer two dead keys: one for the acute and grave accents and one for circumflex. The e in the ending -el ([əl ~ l̩], e.g. By the 16th century, a new interregional standard developed on the basis of the East Central German and Austro-Bavarian varieties. It used to be more common in earlier centuries, and traces of this earlier usage persist in proper names. Although nowadays substituted correctly only by ss, the letter actually originates from two distinct ligatures (depending on word and spelling rules): long s with round s ("ſs") and long s with (round) z ("ſz"/"ſʒ"). In 1902, its results were approved by the governments of the German Empire, Austria and Switzerland. This is the pronunciation of Standard German. Even though German does not have phonemic consonant length, long consonants can occur in composite words when the first part ends in the same consonant the second part starts with, e.g. Prozessor-Architektur vs. Prozess-Orientierung. In German Kurrentwriting, the superscripted e was simplified to two vertical dashes, which have further been reduced to dots in both h… logos). Spass, whereas particularly in Bavaria elongated may occur as in Geschoss which is pronounced Geschoß in certain regions), Heyse spelling also introduces reading ambiguities that do not occur with Abel spelling such as Prozessorientierung (Abel: Prozeßorientierung) vs. "Prozessorarchitektur" (Abel: Prozessorarchitektur). Haustür (Haus+Tür; house door), Tischlampe (Tisch+Lampe; table lamp), Kaltwasserhahn (Kalt+Wasser+Hahn; cold water tap/faucet). The German alphabet (a.k.a. However, if the vowel preceding the s is long, the correct spelling remains ß (as in Straße). However, such transcription should be avoided if possible, especially with names. When you login first time using a Social Login button, we collect your account public profile information shared by Social Login provider, based on your privacy settings. Formal and Informal Email Phrases – from Greetings to Closing Phrases! A possible sequence of names then would be "Mukovic; Muller; Müller; Mueller; Multmann" in this order. Müller / Mueller / Muller) in different documents sometimes lead to confusion, and the use of two different spellings within the same document may give persons unfamiliar with German orthography the impression that the document is a forgery. Ü/ü 4. ß or ss (s-z ligature only spelled in lower case) Since 2010 its use is mandatory in official documentation in Germany when writing geographical names in all-caps. After 1902, German spelling was essentially decided de facto by the editors of the Duden dictionaries. The e in the ending -en is often silent, as in bitten "to ask, request". Several letters are pronounced more from the back of … Some people therefore prefer to substitute "ß" by "sz", as it can avoid possible ambiguities (as in the above "Maßen" vs "Massen" example). Is this website to learn English grammar? In 1876, the Prussian government instituted the First Orthographic Conference [de] to achieve a standardization for the entire German Empire. A single consonant following a checked vowel is doubled if another vowel follows, for instance immer 'always', lassen 'let'. u instead of ü) would be wrong and misleading. 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.