Similar cases are Coesfeld and Bernkastel-Kues. Uppercase umlauts were dropped because they are less common than lowercase ones especially in Switzerland. The omission can cause some inconvenience since the first letter of every noun is capitalized in German. Unlike in Hungarian , the exact shape of the umlaut diacritics — especially when handwritten — is not important, because they are the only ones in the language not counting the tittle on i and j. In rare cases the n was underlined.
The German spelling reform of somewhat reduced usage of this letter in Germany and Austria. It is not used in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The proper transcription when it cannot be used, is ss sz and SZ in earlier times. In , it was included in Unicode 5. Although nowadays substituted correctly only by ss , the letter actually originates from two distinct ligatures depending on word and spelling rules: This required a change of habits and is often disregarded: If the vowel is short, it becomes ss , e.
This follows the general rule in German that a long vowel is followed by a single consonant, while a short vowel is followed by a double consonant. It was already mostly abolished in the late 19th century and finally with the first unified German spelling rulebook of in favor of the Abel spelling that put focus on logical word ends.
It is therefore recommended to insert hyphens where required for reading assistance, i. The use of hyphens here is, however, somewhat frowned upon as it is considered a dumbing down of the written language. Greek sigma and sometimes it was historically used in antiqua fonts as well; but it went out of general use in the early s along with the Fraktur typeface.
There are three ways to deal with the umlauts in alphabetic sorting. Microsoft Windows in German versions offers the choice between the first two variants in its internationalisation settings. A sort of combination of No. 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.
Eszett is sorted as though it were ss. Occasionally it is treated as s , but this is generally considered incorrect. Accents in French loanwords are always ignored in collation. In rare contexts e. As a result, passport, visa, and aircraft ticket may display different spellings of the same name.
The three possible spelling variants of the same name e. When applying for airline tickets, visas, etc. Even a spelling change, e.
A typical feature of German spelling is the general capitalization of nouns and of most nominalized words. Compound words , including nouns, are written together, e. This can lead to long words: Even though vowel length is phonemic in German, it is not consistently represented. However, there are different ways of identifying long vowels:.
Even though German does not have phonemic consonant length , there are many instances of doubled or even tripled consonants in the spelling.
A single consonant following a checked vowel is doubled if another vowel follows, for instance i mm er 'always', la ss en 'let'. These consonants are analyzed as ambisyllabic because they constitute not only the syllable onset of the second syllable but also the syllable coda of the first syllable, which must not be empty because the syllable nucleus is a checked vowel.
However, German does have consonant length whether phonemic or not , if the two consonants stem from the two parts of a composite word, e. Schaffell 'sheepskin' has a long f but short l.
By the same composition, consonants can possibly be tripled; while this is a sign that the consonant is actually in all cases spoken long, it does not affect the pronunciation per se: According to the spelling before , the three consonants would be shortened before vowels, but retained before consonants and in hyphenation, so the word Schifffahrt literally somewhat like 'ship driving'; means "'navigation' in the sense of seafaring not excluding rivers was then written Schiffahrt with equal pronunciation.
Mussspiel 'compulsory round' in certain card games for who has a certain trump card if nobody else wants to play. This letter alternates with ss. For more information, see above.
The digraphs st , sp , however, remained unaltered. 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. In addition to certain cultural idiosyncrasies, a number of phrases are a must in these communications.
When drafting business communication in German, the letters must reflect the idiosyncrasies of the German business culture. As a country that thrives on formality and subtlety of expression, an in-depth understanding of German business manners can make the difference between merely being understood and actually being favorably received.
Perhaps the biggest difference is the formality of address. Executives, supervisors and employees may have known one another for years or even decades, but still insist on addressing each other formally by last name or title. This is also reflected in written communications.
German business communication styles demand a formal opening and closure. Please note the comma after the sentence and the plural address in German, which is directly opposed to the singular that is used in American business writing. Failure to heed this warning leads to embarrassment for Germans and the perception of rudeness from the English speaker.
For example, the phrase " Are you expected? Age restrictions also demand that the older person offers it to the younger one.
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.