I've heard the following alternatives for pronouncing the ending -ig of words like fertig and lustig:
- /ɪç/ (as in mich)
- /ɪʃ/ (as in Fisch)
Where are the different pronunciations used? Are there more alternatives?
German Language Stack Exchange is a bilingual question and answer site for speakers of all levels who want to share and increase their knowledge of the German language. It's 100% free, no registration required.Sign up to join this community
There are regional differences.
In Austria and the southern areas of Germany, you will hear
Honig like "Honik"
König like "Könik"
When I took speech and drama lessons half a life time ago, it was pointed out that these words actually rhyme with "ich", so /ɪç/ is correct.
Honig is pronounced like "Honich"
König is pronounced like "Könich"
wenig is pronounced like "wenich", but of course it is a "g" sound in "weniger als ich dachte"
Noch eine kleine Ergänzung (mit Links zu mp3-Dateien) zu der Antwort von teylyn:
Laut Duden Band 6 – Das Aussprachewörterbuch spricht man in der deutschen Standardlautung für das Suffix „-ig“ den Ich-Laut [ɪç].
In Österreich, der Schweiz sowie einigen Teilen Süddeutschlands wird dagegen „-ig“ häufig allgemein als Verschlusslaut [ɪg] oder [ɪk] gesprochen.
I actually learned in school that Berg is pronounced Berch. It's also Hamburch (or, rather, Hambuäch, if you're from Kiel, like me). This is not true in standard German pronunciation, as teylyn explains.
Because of the regional differences, you can basically use all variants, anyone will understand you. -ig will usually fade to -ik, though, because of the German Auslautverhärtung.
Wikipedia's Standard German article says:
I listened to my old copy of "The Three-Penny Opera" and got the definite impression that the "isch" ending is sometimes voiced up to "izh". Lotte Lenya almost (but not quite) does it in "das Schiff mit acht Segeln und mit funfzizh Kanonen"; however, the amazing Willy Trenk-Trebitsch certainly does it in "Das Lied von der Unzulaenglichkeit":
"Den, fuer dieses Leben
Ist der Mensch nischt gut genug.
Darum hau ihn eben
Ruhizh auf den Hut."
(But maybe this is just a dramatic affectation. )
Mainly what other people have said.
However there is also the variant [iʒ], heard in the Rhine-Hessian region (Mainz, Alzey and others).
What was said about Berg does apply. The Rhine-Hessian region also pronounces that one as [bɛʒ] (the r almost unheard, the g turned into a French j). People from Hamburg often call their town [hamburç]. And some accents even ignore the 'turn to [ig] if there is an ending following' rule: in Franconian, less is pronounced [weniçɛ].
And, as a Bavarian and user of the [ik]-variant (which can also be called [ig]-variant), I have to correct taylyn in that there is no single correct way to pronounce those endings. Every one is equally valid.
So you see, anything goes ;)