vikipeediya:IPA for Colognian

The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Colognian language (Köalsch dialect) pronunciations in Wikipedia articles. All transcriptions used here were published by the researchers of Akademie föar uns köaalsche Sproch[1].

Hovering the mouse over an item in the chart mostly gives additional informations with most browsers.

See Colognian phonology for a more thorough look at the sounds of Colognian.

Sections: vowels

| monophthongs
| diphthongs
| consonants
| clustered consonants
| stress
| lengths
| other
| notes
| bibliography
IPA Colognian examples English approximations
b Ball, dubbel ball, double
d dann, Saddel done, Saddle
f F, Waffel, Puff fuss, wafer, proof
ɡ waggele gust, wiggle
h hatt, Buhai, Bah hut, enhance
j, ʝ [2][3] Jack, wäaäje yuck, opport|unity, vign|ette
ʒ [3] Geniere, nuschele [4] journal (better French: journal Click the icon to hear the word!)
k K, frickele, Pek kiss, docking, peck
l [5] Lack, welle, Ball luck, rolling, bull
m Mai, summe, öm may, humming, bum
n Noht, Jewenner, Sun not, winner, sun
ŋ senge, lang singing, long
p Peck, Appel, Kapp peck, apple, cup
ʁ [6] Räaäan, ware [4] rain (better French: rue Click the icon to hear the word!)
s faste, Baß fast, bus
ʃ [7] schäal, sche, sch shall, ashes, bush
ɧ [8] Schimie, Weechter, biestig shall, ashes, bush
t Toon, tte, tt tone, cutter, Bert
v Vas, övver vast, over
w [9] wat what
x,χ [10] Woche, Loch [4] (Scottish: loch)
z Sunn, sse zone, hose
Clustered Consonants
d͜ʒ Dschungel, wadschele jungle, badges
ŋ͜k nke, Hongk winker, bank
k͜s chsmohl, Hex waxing, box
k͜w Quallmann, bequäaahm quantum, acquaintance
ʃ͜p Sp, Vöarspell [4] flush-pipe
ʃ͜t stonn, verstopp [4] flash-time
t͜s Zupp, tze, Fuz tsunami, pizza, cats
t͜ʃ tschö Click the icon to hear the word!, letsche, Matsch chat, batches, much
ʔ [11] |it, be|erdije, perdü| (the catch in: uh-oh!)
ːː [12] Äaäzebäaar, Weech, edäaäah
ː [13] Äaäd, lsch Click the icon to hear the word!, däaä easy, pool, bra
ˑ [14] Öl, piele, futü [15]
[16] e, em, dem, de ill, but, the
̯ [17] Uhre
Stress and Accents
ˈ [18] Bahnhoffstrohßaae battleship
ˌ [19] Bahnhoffstrohßae battleship
ˑ [14] Öl, piele, Bahnhoffstrohßae, futü [15]
[20] de, Pattevuel, Bahnhoffstrohß, Kadeneische battleship
Vowels - Monophthongs
IPA Colognian examples English approximations
Aap, Plaat, Bar [21] argue, dark, bra [22]
aˑ [14] Ahle, Bahn [15]
a Ax, spack, Oppa [4] (bra, but shorter) [22][23]
Elend, Feez, Kannapee [4] (like fait accompli) [24]
eˑ [14] Beet [15]
e enjonn, seze elfish, embellish
ə [25] e, en, bedon, de a, an, section, the
ɛaaː Äaäpel, Päaäd, näaä Click the icon to hear the word! [4] (like bare or bear) [26]
ɛˑ [14] äaänz, Näahl [15]
ɛ Eck, hätt, dä! mare
Ieß, Pief, di eat, genie, see
iˑ [14] ieser, Dier, auwieh! [15]
i Idee, Dialäak, mi [4] (between seat and sit) [27]
ɪ in, Friko, bei in, sit, city
ɔaaː Ooß, Pooz, booh [21] awful, dormitory, door
ɔˑ [14] Ohß, Pohl, jo [15]
ɔ offe, doll, mer on, doll
ɔ̯ [28] Ovve, fott, der [4][21] (between ore, off, fire)
ɐ [29] verdonn, Vatter [4][21] (between ore, off, fun)
ɐ̯ [29] erfonge, Ühr [4][21] (similar ore, fire, off)
œaaː Öaöschel, pöze, Blöaöah [21] urgent, yearn
œˑ [14] Öl, Pöahl [15]
œ Öschel, Pött [4] her, sir (French: sœur Click the icon to hear the word!)
øaaː Öaöz, köaöze, bleu [4] (French: deux Click the icon to hear the word!)
øˑ [14] ömjonn, Rösje, Bröah [15]
ø Öllije, Kött, pö-a-pö [4] (French: peu Click the icon to hear the word!)
Ooschel, koot [4] (between gawk, goon)
oˑ [14] Ohm, Dooch, Nivoh [15]
o op, lovve, do [4] (between god and put)
ʊaaː Pattevuel ooby-dooby, took
ʊˑ [14] Bunn [15]
ʊ us, Hunk, do oomph, push, doe
uze, Pluute, Schmu ooze, truely, do
uˑ [14] Uhr, Bud, esu [15]
u Ussel, Fuz [4] (between push, boot) [30]
üaüßaaerlech, süaht [4] (French: rue Click the icon to hear the word!)
yˑ [14] Üaül, Lüaüß, perdü [15]
y üvver, müje [4] (French: sûr Click the icon to hear the word!, German: Typ Click the icon to hear the word!)
ʏ üch, tüntele, Späu [4] (German: Fülle)
a͜ɪˑ [14] Eier, Weiher, Pavei [15]
a͜ɪ ei, Eiter, Weihnaach, zwei I, idle, byte, tie
a͜ʊaaː Auto, Strauß, mau out, tower, how [31]
a͜ʊˑ [14] zaubere, Kakau [15]
a͜ʊ Auflach, Zauß, Schabau out, tower, how
e͜ɪˑ [14] eine, zeije, Schnei [15]
e͜ɪ ei, eins, Zeidung, sei alien, mania, bay
iˑaa͜ɐ̯ [14] Liehr [4] (similar to dear)
ɪˑaa͜ɐ̯ [14] Zottier [4] (similar to deer)
o͜ʊˑ [14] Aug, sauge, Hau [15]
o͜ʊ Auge, Baum, hau [4] (similar: over, stow)
ɔ͜ʏˑ [14] Häauche, Häau [15]
ɔ͜ʏ Europpa, Schnäauzer, Heu [4] oil, doyen, boy [32]
ø͜ʏˑ [14] Äaujelche, Bäaum, neu Click the icon to hear the word! [15]
ø͜ʏ Sträauf, Späau [4]


  1. in Christa Bhatt, Alice Herrwegen: Das Köalsche Wöarterbuch. 2nd edition, 2005. J. P. Bachem-Verlag, Köaln. ISBN 3-7616-1942-1
  2. The phones [j] and [ʝ] are not distinguished in todays Colognian, but have different etymological roots.
  3. a aa The phone [ʒ] occurs also often as a positional allophone of [j] or [ʝ] when a final [ʃ] or [ɧ] of a word stem is either followed by a vowel of a grammatical suffix or becomes voiced under the influence of a liaison or due to coarticulation. Under normal circumstances, the IPA symbols [j] or [ʝ] are used to transcribe these.
  4. a aa i E u oo A ai O au k kh g gh ch chh j jh nya t th d dh n t There is no true or exact equivalent for this sound in English.
  5. The phone [l] has a variety of allophonic versions. Coarticulation leads to the so called "clear" L occasionally, but the "dark", palatized or velarized, L variants are preferred in Colognian pronunciation. Arguably, the most often heared variant is [ʎ]. When position within a syllable, and its position in a word or sentence warrants, even "darker" variants are used by many speakers, such as the retroflex [ɭ] up to an excessively pharyngealized [ɫ]; the use of the "darker" L varieties inversely correlates somewhat with social positions of speakers. Common IPA transcriptions almost always write the comparatively seldom heard allohpone [l].
  6. Some Landköalsch varieties have [r], [ɾ] or [ʀ] instead of [ʁ], throughout or in certain positions. Although many phonemic transcriptions use [r], likely so as to create a better resemblance of the Latin script, this is phonetically incorrect. The city dialect, which accounts for the vast majority of speakers, uses only [ʁ], or something between [ʁ] and [ɣ], and its speakers consider [r] a foreign sound that they associate with specific Ripuarian dialects spoken outside the city, which they consider not Colognian.
    Also, when x or χ become voiced due to coarticulations or liaisons, they join the class of R-allophones. An example is "noch" (yet; still; else; any more) → "noch en" → "norren" (another one, one more)
  7. The phoneme /ʃ/ has allophonic variations. Positional ones include [j], [ʝ], [ʒ]. Coarticulative variations cover a range from the standard English 'light' [ʃ] to very velarized and/or pharyngealized versions. The average Colognian [ʃ] is 'darker' and often spoken with the lips more protruded than English versions. Since the audible difference may be small despite different articulations, foreigners often confuse it with the phone [ɧ], see there.
  8. Whether the IPA symbol ɧ is the correct notation for this phone, is disputable, see voiceless palatal-velar fricative.
    Though [ɧ] and [ʃ] are articulated differently, acoustic discrimination is sometimes hard.
    They form minimal pairs, for example: Jeesch (spray of waves at seashores) and Jeech (gout) or mesch! (mix!) and mech (me)
  9. The phone [w] is a positional allophone of [v] that is used most often by quite many, but not all, speakers of Colognian as the initial sound of a word before a vowel.
  10. The phone [x] can be replaced by the uvularized [χ], especially at ending positions of words or sentences, when voice is lowered.
  11. This is the glottal stop. Glottal stops appear in many composite words between their constituent words, between almost all prefixes and the word stems, inside hiatus', and they preceede most words beginning with initial vowels. Glottal stops inhibit much of coarticulation and liaisons and contractions. Glottal stops are inserted between specially stressed words inside sentences. Normally, glottal stops being the first or last phoneme of a word are not noted in IPA transcriptions, which is somewhat lenient but not exactly acurate for Colognian, since there are not necessarily any glottal stops or pauses between words in normal speech.
  12. The symbol "ːaaː" marks the preceding vowel as a very long, or overlong vowel. It is rarely used outside narrow transcriptions, since the three Ripuarian chronemes, though existing in Colognian proper, do practically not appear as minimal triplets in Colognian. See Colognian phonology for a broader discussion and caveats.
  13. The symbol "ː" marks the preceding IPA symbol as a long vowel, or a as geminated consonant. Since consonant gemination is pretty systematic in Colognian and not distinguishing different words, it is usually not noted in IPA transcriptions.
  14. a aa i E u oo A ai O au k kh g gh ch chh j jh nya t The symbol "ˑ" marks the segment preceeding it, beginning with the last preceeding vowel, as bearing Schleifton. Schleifton is a tonal accent, unknown to English, having various properties:
    • Stress. Unless its syllable has a primary or secondary stress mark, Schleifton always carries a 3rd level stress.
    • Length. Usually, the length of a single vowel with Schleifton is between 'long' and 'short'. An English example would be between "poll" and "Paul" in length.
    • Suprasegmetality. Although basically put on vowels and diphthongs, Schleifton may extend into, or occasionally move onto sonorants following them.
    • Tonal shape or contour. There are broad variations, following a somewhat complicated scheme of positional, segmental, suprasemental, stress, and syntactic dependencies. As a rule of thumb the contour always ends at a different pitch than it begins with, it always has at least a rise+fall or fall+rise pattern, sometimes both, and it always incorporates changes of volume with a quick attack at the beginning, followed by a release which may go to a 100% mute, i.e. a little phase of silence, and and returns to normal volume at the end.
    There are three types of circumstances for Schleifton accents to occur:
    1. Syntax. In rare occasions, a Schleifton may appear in a sentence or phrase as a result of the rules governing stress patterns or melodies of speech.
    2. Grammar. Some Schleiftones are grammatical. Their presence or absence within some words distinguishes Plurals from Singulars, or comparisons in the same way, Umlauts or endings may do with other words.
    3. Lexeme. Other Schleiton occurrences distinguish otherwise unrelated words from each other.
  15. a aa i E u oo A ai O au k kh g gh ch chh j jh There is no English equivalent of Schleifton. As a gross approximation, one can start with pitch, volume and stress quickly rising over the first third of the vowel, diphthong or syllable, similar to a plosive, followed by a release somewhat below normal over the second third, and a return to normal in the last third. This will only approximate some occurrence types of Schleifton, however.
  16. The normal length of a vowel or consonant remains unmarked. It is conventionally named 'short', though this is not the shortest length of Colognian phones.
  17. The symbol " ̯" marks marks a vowel as very short. The mark is placed underneath the symbol it refers to.
  18. Primary stress or main stress in a word, or the only stress in a word, or the highest stress level, if there are multiple stressed syllables.
  19. Second highest stress in a word.
  20. Unstressed syllables are unmarked.
  21. a aa i E u oo Use British English pronunciation here.
  22. a aa These English sounds are slightly too dull. The first half of the i in "climate" is a better approximation of the sound, but not of its duration.
  23. Take the length of the vowel in "fun" and a sound slightly more open than the vowel in "bra".
  24. Take the length of the vowel in "feet" and the sound of the first vowel in "fait accompli".
  25. The phone [ə] is generally always unstressed. Stressed ones only appear within words containing consonants and [ə]'s only, which are exceptionally stressed being focussed within a sentence.
  26. Take a vowel length obove the one in "mall" and the sound of the vowels in "bare" or "bear".
  27. Take the sound of the vowel in "seat" and the length of the vowel in "sit".
  28. The phone [ɔ̯ ] in the final position in a word or before a glottal stop [ʔ] is usually stressed because the containing syllable or word is stressed, usually bearing the focus within a sentence. It turns to [ɐ] almost always when unstressed.
  29. a aa Always unstressed only.
  30. Take the length of the vowel in "push" and the sound of the vowel in "boot".
  31. Speak somewhat longer and slower than the English examples were usually spoken, like a very laid-back Californian slang speaker.
  32. The second vowel is more rounded and articulated more to the front, or lip tips, than in the English examples. Also, it is less clear than in these English words.


  • Fritz Hoenig: Wöarterbuch der Köalner Mundart. 2nd edition, 1905. Köaln.
  • Georg Heike: Zur Phonologie der Stadtköalner Mundart. Eine experimentelle Untersuchung der akustischen Unterscheidungsmerkmale. In: Deutsche Dialektgeographie, volume 57, Elwert-Verlag, Marburg 1964
  • Claudia Froitzheim: Artikulationsnormen der Umgangssprache in Köaln. In: Continuum, Schriftenreihe zur Linguistik, volume 2. Narr, Tüabingen, 1984, ISBN 3-87808-332-7 (Also Dissertation at the University of Cologne, 1983).
  • Adam Wrede: Neuer Köalnischer Sprachschatz. 12th edition, 1999. 3 volumes, 1168 pages. Greven Verlag, Köaln. ISBN 3-7743-0243-X
  • Christa Bhatt, Alice Herrwegen: Das Köalsche Wöarterbuch. 2nd edition, 2005. J. P. Bachem-Verlag, Köaln. ISBN 3-7616-1942-1

For another simpler phonemic writing system of West Middle German and Meuse-Rhenish including Colognian, see:

  • Peter Honnen (presented following the previous works of Fritz Langensiepen): Rheinische Dokumenta: Lautschrift füaar Rheinische Mundarten, Mundartdokumentation im Rheinland. Rheinland-Verlag, Köaln, 2nd edition, 1987, ISBN 3-7927-0947-3