It is said that German spelling is largely phonetic (unlike English spelling), and that there is a fairly reliable set of rules to convert spelling to pronunciation. (Sure, there are some exceptions, but I'm happy with something that works 99.9% of the time.)
Can someone tell me where I can find these rules written down? While I don't want to read a 300 page book on the subject, I do want a detailed set of rules that would work for almost all the words I encounter. Most of the pronunciation guides I find on the internet are not detailed enough.
For example, here are some examples of German pronunciation that I would like such a guide to explain:
- When to use long/short vowels. For example, Hoch is [ho:x] but Post is [pɔst].
- What's the rule for devoicing consonants?
- When to use syllabic consonants? For example merken is [ˈmɛrkn̩] and mittel is [ˈmɪtl̩].
- How to pronounce "er"? It could be a schwa (like in aber [ˈa:bɐ] or Ärger [ˈɛrgɐ]), a [ɛ] followed by a schwa (like in Vergabe [fɛɐ̯ˈga:bə]), or [ɛr] (like in merklich [ˈmɛrklɪç]).
- What's the rule for pronouncing "ch"? Usually it's [x] after back vowels and [ç] after front vowels, but sometimes it is pronounced [ks] like in erwachsen [ɛɐ̯ˈvaksn̩].
If someone can point me to a reference that explains these sort of things, that would be excellent.