(right consonant = voiced)

1)      [d͡ʒ] and [ʒ] occur only in words of foreign origin. In certain varieties, they are replaced by [t͡ʃ] and [ʃ].

2)      [ç] and [x] are allophones in complementary distribution. [x] occurs after back vowels and /a aː/ (for instance in Buch) and [ç] after front vowels (for instance in ich) and consonants (for instance in Furcht).

3)      [r], [ʁ] and [ʀ] are in free variation.


1)      Short [i y u e ø o] occur only in unstressed syllables of loanwords, they are usually considered complementary allophones together with their long counterparts which cannot occur in unstressed syllables.

2)      The schwa [ə] occurs only in unstressed syllables, and is often considered a complementary allophone together with [ɛ] which cannot occur in unstressed syllables.

3)      The long [ɛː] is merged with [] in many varieties of Standard German, so that e.g. Bären [bɛːrən] (‘bears’) and Beeren [beːrən] (‘berries’) are pronounced the same – [beːrən].


weit, Heim
Haut, Haus
ɔʏ Heu, Eule