In English mathematical sign = is typically pronounced as equals

For example A = B is pronounced: A is equal to B or in programming A != B is pronounced A is not equal to B

How do you pronounce it in German?

  • 3
    You mention programming languages. Note that in most programming languages, it is A == B which is pronounced "A is equal to B". By contrast, A = B is often read "A receives B" or "A is assigned B".
    – Stef
    Jan 30, 2022 at 20:49
  • 1
    For future reference, it is usually best to consult a dictionary before asking a question.
    – David Vogt
    Jan 31, 2022 at 19:04

1 Answer 1


The usual way to say it is "ist gleich" or, shorter, "gleich".

a = b : "a (ist) gleich b"
a ≠ b : "a (ist) ungleich b"
a ≤ b : "a (ist) kleiner gleich b"
a ≥ b : "a (ist) größer gleich b"
a < b : "a ist kleiner als b" or "a ist kleiner b" or "a kleiner als b" or "a kleiner b"
a > b : "a (ist) größer (als) b"

for (i=1; i<=b; i++)

"For, Klammer auf, i gleich eins, Semikolon, i kleiner gleich b, Semikolon, i plus plus, Klammer zu"

As pointed out in the comments, a programmer familiar with this kind of syntax would probably shorten that to something less verbatim, but I'm just using this example here for the = and <= that it contains.

Also, almost all programming languages differentiate between an assignment operator and an "equals" comparison. For example, in languages with a C-based syntax, it's = vs ==. To my knowledge, there is no agreed-upon way of making that distincton when reading out loud. See the discussion in the comments for some suggestions. For me, in C-style languages, I'm mostly just reading assigments as "gleich" vs. comparison as "gleich gleich", but I have heard different ways to put it. Many of these make sense in themselves as long as they are used consequently.

  • 9
    In simple numerical computations, also "ist" (or "macht"), e.g., 1+1=2 "eins plus (or colloquially: und) eins ist zwei" or (from the Pippi Langstrumpf song) 3 × 3 = 4 "drei mal drei macht vier" Jan 29, 2022 at 20:53
  • 6
    "For, Klammer auf, i gleich eins, Semikolon, i kleiner gleich b, Semikolon, i plus plus, Klammer zu" Not sure if you are serious, but no programmer I know would talk like that "Für i gleich eins bis I kleiner gleich b, inkrementiere i" might be reasonable, but people would usually say "Das ist eine For-Schleife von eins bis einschließlich b mit i als laufvariable" (the "einschließlich is important).
    – Polygnome
    Jan 30, 2022 at 15:25
  • 2
    and in mathematics, a < b is sometimes spoken "a echt kleiner b" to not mix it up with a <= b
    – Bobby J
    Jan 30, 2022 at 17:00
  • 3
    @rexkogitans I never heard anyone use "Strichpunkt". Is that regional? I would say the most common way is just "Semikolon".
    – kapex
    Jan 31, 2022 at 9:13
  • 3
    @kapex In Austria it's definitely Strichpunkt, for what it's worth. I don't think I have ever heard somebody say "Semikolon" in normal conversation.
    – xLeitix
    Jan 31, 2022 at 10:11

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