German vowel charts used in the wikipedia article Standard German phonology do not locate vowels with great details. For example German [e] is a bit higher than the IPA [e] or tense vowel [e:] is not produced exactly in the same location of its allophone short vowel [e]. the wikipedia charts are phonemic oriented for example [e:] and [e] are grouped together as "e(:)"

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    And what exactly is your question? Are you looking for more detailed vowel charts?
    – Arsak
    Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 19:06
  • @Marzipanherz. Yes . something more accurate like this researchgate.net/figure/…
    – Houman
    Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 19:34
  • @Marzipanherz. but also more phonetic oriented. For example in the mentioned vowel chart [e:] is not presented
    – Houman
    Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 19:40
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    I'm not convinced, that higher precision charts solve the problem. Regional differences are big and in my opinion IPA itself does not really achieve the desired precision either (definitely not in Wikipedia, my be a pronounciation reference can improve that).
    – guidot
    Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 22:33

1 Answer 1


In Feb 2017 I asked (in German): "How many vowels are there in German language". Maybe it can help you a little bit: Wie viele Vokale gibt es im Deutschen?

In this question I listed 30 different German vowels, because I counted stressed and unstressed vowels as different vowels, also long and short.

I think you can't get it more detailed, because there are almost 100 million native speakers from more than a dozen nations all over the world (most of them in Europe, but some also in Australia, Namibia, South Africa, USA and Brazil).

We all pronounce German absolutely correct per definition, since we are native speakers. We (as a big group of many million people) define what is correct. There is no other authority than us native speakers who can define this.

But we are a very heterogen group. Go to Dresden, Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, Bern, Munich, Vienna and Merano and listen to the people there. Also listen to the local radio stations. When you walk though these 8 cities you will hear significant differences in the pronunciation.

An Example: The [a] sound in the article »das« is significant different when produced by a typical speaker form Munich compared to a speaker from Vienna or from Dresden. (Munich, Vienna and Dresden lay at the corners of a equilateral triangle with a side length of about 360 km)

But there is no need to travel through different cities. In some cities you can hear differences even between young and old speakers, or between rich and poor people.

Standard pronunciation, practiced by professional speakers, is most often not the way how the majority of people speak at home with their family members, or with their friends in a bar. And even the way how professional speakers pronounce vowels is different, when you compare speakers from Switzerland, Austria and Germany.

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    I have principally sympathy for your demographic/pragmatic approach to defining "correct pronuncation" (i.e. correct is how native speakers speak). However, although this being a good approach for a linguistic seminar, I do not think it is good advice for people from other countries who try to learn German with good pronunciation. For them, better advice would be - as far as i am concerned - listening to professional speakes in public radio (such as Deutschlandfunk) or TV (such as the big TV broadcasters), or even better berhaps, to language used in classical theatre. Commented Sep 3, 2018 at 16:21
  • ,,, which of course leads to the question, would listening to radio and TV stations from Austira (such as ORF) be good advice or not. And here is a question I have: in theatre in Austria (imagine Hamlet or Warten auf Godot being performed) - what pronunciation is used on stage? (I do listen to ORF radio quite often, but I have never been at a theatre performance in Austria.) Commented Sep 3, 2018 at 16:38
  • @ChristianGeiselmann: The question was not about learning perfect pronunciation. Commented Sep 3, 2018 at 17:21
  • In Burgtheater they used Siebssche Bühnensprache for a very long time, but the effect was, that people in Vienna didn't like their most famos theater, because the actors didn't speak their language. Now I have the impression, that 1. They use a more Austria-friendly German in Burgtheater, and 2. People in Austria get more and more used to the pronunciation that they hear in TV from Germany. Commented Sep 3, 2018 at 17:26

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