The German letter 'g' is most often pronounced exactly as the initial sound in the English word 'gum'
when it appears at the start or the middle of a word.
Click on the examples in the table below to hear German words containing the letter 'g' at their start or their middle.
|Letter 'g' in initial position|
|glauben - to believe||Gabel - fork||Glück - luck|
|gestern - yesterday||gelb - yellow||gefallen - to please sb.|
|Letter 'g' in medial position|
|aufhängen - to hang up||Morgen - morning/tomorrow||Vogel - bird|
|Auge - eye||Magazin - magazine||bringen - to bring|
In some cases, German words taken from the French language are pronounced similar to the initial sound in the English word 'gentle'.
|Letter 'g' in words taken from French|
|Rage - rage||Ingenieur - engineer||Massage - massage|
|Blamage - disgrace||Genie - Genius||Passage - passage|
The German letter 'g' also has two different pronunciations when appearing as the last letter in a word. When it forms an 'ig' suffix of a word, it's pronounced as the heavy 'ch' letter combination discussed in an earlier lesson, otherwise, it's prounounced as the English letter 'k'.
|'Ig' combination in final position|
|König - king||lockig - curly||billig - cheap|
|traurig - sad||Essig - vinegar||Honig - honey|
|Letter 'g' in final position|
|Zug - train||Flug - flight||Tag - day|
|Weg - way||Zeitung - newspaper||Erfolg - success|
To summarize, the German letter 'g' is most usually pronounced as in the English word 'gum' when it appears at the start or in the middle of a word. But when in the middle of a German word taken from the French language, it may be pronounced as in the English word 'gentle'.
Also when it appears at the end of a word, if it is preceeded by an 'i' (i.e forming an 'ig' suffix), it's pronounced exactly as the German 'ich' combination, otherwise, it's pronounced as the English letter 'k'.