Spelling your address

If you are asked where you live, you may be asked to spell your address, so you need to know the German alphabet.

Wo wohnst du? – Where do you live?
Wie schreibt man das? – How do you spell it?

There are 30 letters in the German alphabet – 26 are the same as those used in English, plus the letters with umlauts - ä, ö, ü.

Also, the additional letter ß, known as es-tset (es-zed) or scharfes ess (sharp s), is used in Germany after long vowels or diphthongs, but is rarely used in Austria and Switzerland, where ss is preferred.

The German alphabet

Listen to how to pronounce the German alphabet to help you spell words out loud.

a
b
c
d
e
f
g
h
i
j
k
l
m
n
o
p
q
r
s
t
u
v
w
x
y
z

Additional letters

ä
ö
ü
ß
quote
Wer A sagt, muss auch B sagen – In for a penny, in for a pound deutsches Sprichwort – German proverb

Did you know?

Switzerland's official name is the Swiss Confederation, or Confoederatio Helvetica in Latin.

This is why you see the abbreviation CH on car stickers and number plates, and why .ch is the equivalent of .co.uk on Swiss websites.

Austrian websites use .at to denote their origin, and .de are the letters used for sites based in Germany.

The word 'dot' in German is Punkt, a cognate with 'point'.

Laptop computer connected to internet network with url on screen
Switzerland's official name is Confoederatio Helvetica