I'm learning German and I'm looking for audio examples of the German vowels in Standard German. I know in principle no two people pronounce things exactly the same, but just some examples of someone trying to do the Hochdeutsch pronunciation of the vowels would be great.

I would like to have just the vowels (not whole words), i.e. like here: https://linguistics.ucla.edu/people/hayes/103/Charts/VChart/

He has all the German vowels there, but I think they are some cardinal vowels (i.e. some standardized examples) and don't correspond exactly to the German ones, for example the [ɐ] there sounds different to me comparing it to German.

My idea is to train the vowels, because for example in the word Referendum [ʁefeˈʁɛndʊm], I don't distinguish any difference between the [e] and [ɛ], which I assume would give me an accent when speaking (I have a similar problem for example with [o] and [ɔ], not really sure which one I am hearing or saying). So I'd just like to do some dry training with a flashcard app of the sounds until I clearly hear a difference between all the German vowels.

TLDR looking for a Standard German pronunciation audio examples of all the German vowels said in isolation (audio of only the vowel for each vowel).

  • 3
    You're comparing apples and oranges. In stressed syllables, vowel oppositions will always be between short lax vowels /ɪ⁠⁠​⁠ ʏ ⁠ɛ œ ʊ ɔ a/​ and long tense ones /iː yː eː øː uː oː aː/ (with the exception of /ɛː/). These contrasts should be clearly audible.
    – David Vogt
    Oct 20, 2019 at 16:18
  • I can identify the difference in length of the vowel, but I understand that the vowel quality is also different, and that is what I'm having difficulty with and I would like to practice. There are also some words with short tense vowels, e.g. according to Wiktionary Regierung [ʁeˈɡiːʁʊŋ] or Olive [oˈliːvə], or the above mentioned Referendum [ʁefeˈʁɛndʊm].
    – aldkold
    Oct 20, 2019 at 19:48

1 Answer 1


Nowadays, YouTube is a great source for such things: German Pronunciation Video 2: The German Vowels and the IPA

  • Thanks, I'll try to cut the vowel sounds out from the video and practice identifying them. Any other good references are always welcome.
    – aldkold
    Oct 20, 2019 at 19:40
  • This is an only-link answer (i.e. if the video is removed, a non-answer).
    – c.p.
    Oct 21, 2019 at 19:53
  • What do you suggest? OP is specifically looking for audio examples, which is not possible to upload here. So a link is needed. I also provided OP with a general advice, YouTube, where such videos can be found. Oct 21, 2019 at 19:56

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