German pronunciation is difficult

German language difficult language

German is easy for you to hear? You're in luck, because German is often difficult to master for foreigners. Here are some of our English speaking colleagues' favorite tongue twisters. Click on a word and you will hear the correct pronunciation.


The German language is notorious for its incredibly long compound words. The longest words are not necessarily the most difficult, but the sheer number of letters alone is enough to bring even advanced language students to their knees.

With the repeated "ch" sound, this word really has it all.


The long words are tiring at the mere sight, but the short, seemingly simple, betray the inexperienced beginner. Stupid for the language student: There bun are bought fresh every day at the bakery, the word with the sequence of "รถ" and "tch", which is foreign to English-speaking tongues, will appear again and again.


Wherever we stumble upon the "ch", here comes a classic in the category: Squirrel. Thank God the word does not appear all the time in a conversation. Small consolation: for Germans, the English equivalent squirrel is not easier either.


This is a numerical word: 20. The German "z" is pronounced like a "ts", here too it is immediately clear who has not been in the country that long.

In cafes and restaurants in this country, it is common to tell the waitress the amount including the tip when paying. who twenty can't bring himself to the lips, maybe prefer to stick to drinks and have the money ready.


Six letters are enough, and everyone knows: oh, this is an American / Englishman / Australian ... there it is again, the unpopular "ch".

The short "u" and the "t" at the end don't make things any easier. If you find it difficult to do so, you should take it with you fruit to attempt!

Ice scating

"Ch" and "sch" sound very different, but both are difficult to pronounce for non-Germans, especially if they appear several times in one word.

Those who are not that skilled may still find it easier to say ice skating than to do it.

spelling, orthography

The word is generally not easy to pronounce for foreigners - but spelling itself is often a challenge for Germans too.

In the past few decades, the spelling rules have been reformed again and again. Maybe children shouldn't practice dictation with their grandparents: words like to go biking and shipping one wrote earlier to go biking and Shipping.

Can you think of any other words that are difficult to pronounce? We are excited: [email protected] and on Twitter @dw_kultur