The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Colognian language pronunciations in Wikipedia articles. For a guide to adding IPA characters to Wikipedia articles, see {{IPA-ksh}} and Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Pronunciation § Entering IPA characters.

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

IPA Colognian examples English approximation
b Ball, dubbel ball
d dann, Saddel done
Dschungel, wadschele jungle
f F, Waffel fuss
ɡ waggele gust
h hatt, Buhai, Bah hut
ɧ Schimie, Weechter, biestig bush
j[1] Jack, wääje yuck
ʒ[1] Geniere, nuschele pleasure
k K, frickele, Pek kiss
l Lack, welle luck
m Mai, summe, öm may
n Noht, Jewenner, Sun not
ŋ senge, lang long
p Peck, Appel, Kapp peck
ʁ Rään, ware guttural r
s faste, Baß bus
ʃ schäl, sche, sch bush
t Toon, tte, tt tone
ts Zupp, tze, Fuz pizza
tschö Click the icon to hear the word!, letsche, Matsch chat
v Vas, övver vast
w wat will
x Woche, Loch Scottish loch
z Sunn, sse zone
ʔ |it, be|erdije, perdü| the “catch” in uhoh!
IPA Colognian examples English approximation Explanation
ˈ Bahnhoffstrohße intonation primary stress
ˌ Bahnhoffstrohße intonation secondary stress
Short vowels and long vowels with Stoßton
IPA Colognian examples English approximation
Plaat, Bar bra
a Ax, spack, Oppa
Elend, Feez, Kannapee somewhat like play
e enjonn, seze bed
ɛː Ääpel, Pääd, nää Click the icon to hear the word! like bed, but long
ɛ Eck, hätt, dä! bed
Ieß, Pief, di eat
i Idee, Dialäk, mi city
ɪ in, Friko sit
ɔː Ooß, Pooz, booh bore
ɔ offe, doll, mer on
œː Ööschel, pöze, Blööh somewhat like urgent
œ Öschel, Pött
øː Ööz, kööze, bleu
ø Öllije, Kött, pö-a-pö
Ooschel, koot go
o op, lovve, do hot
ʊː Pattevuel took
ʊ us, Hunk, do
uze, Pluute, Schmu ooze
u Ussel, Fuz took
üüßerlech, süht somewhat like cute
y üvver, müje
ʏ üch, tüntele
ei, Eiter, Weihnaach, zwei I, idle, byte, tie
aʊː Auto, Strauß, mau out, tower, how
Auflach, Zauß, Schabau
ei, eins, Zeidung, sei alien, mania, bay
iɐ̯ Liehr similar to dear
Auge, Baum, hau similar to over, stow
ɔʏ Europpa, Schnäuzer, Heu similar to oil, boy
øʏ Sträuf, Späu
Long vowels with Schleifton[2]
aˑ Ahle, Bahn bra
eˑ Beet somewhat like play
ɛˑ äänz, Nähl bed
iˑ ieser, Dier, auwieh! eat
ɔˑ Ohß, Pohl, jo bore
œˑ Öl, Pöhl somewhat like urgent
øˑ ömjonn, Rösje, Bröh
oˑ Ohm, Dooch, Nivoh go
ʊˑ Bunn took
uˑ Uhr, Bud, esu ooze
yˑ Üül, Lüüß, perdü somewhat like cute
aɪˑ Eier, Weiher, Pavei I, idle, byte, tie
aʊˑ zaubere, Kakau out, tower, how
eɪˑ eine, zeije, Schnei alien, mania, bay
ɪˑɐ̯ Zottier similar to dear
oʊˑ Aug, sauge, Hau similar to over, stow
ɔʏˑ Häuche, Häu similar to oil, boy
øʏˑ Äujelche, Bäum, neu Click the icon to hear the word!
Reduced vowels
ɐ verdonn, Vatter nut or sofa (but not balance)[3]
ə e, en, bedon, de balance (but not sofa)[3]


  1. ^ a b The phone [ʒ] occurs also often as a positional allophone of [j] 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, [j] is used to transcribe these.
  2. ^ The symbol ⟨ˑ⟩ marks the segment preceding it, beginning with the last preceding 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.
    • Suprasegmentality. 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, suprasegmental, 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 result in a brief phase of silence, and a return to normal volume at the end.

    There are three circumstances in which Schleifton accents 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 Schleiftons 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 Schleifton occurrences distinguish otherwise unrelated words from each other.

  3. ^ a b As several other Germanic languages, Colognian has mid [ə] and open [ɐ] schwas. Care must be taken to clearly distinguish between the two. In English, the former appears in words such as balance, cannon and chairman and the latter variably in sofa, China (especially at the very end of utterance) and, in some dialects, also in ago and again, but one needs to remember that Colognian [ɐ] has no such free variation and is always open, just as [ə] is always mid. In some English dialects, /ʌ/ in words such as nut and strut is a perfect replacement for Colognian [ɐ], but the latter is an unstressed-only vowel that can also appear in open syllables, which generally cannot be said about the English /ʌ/.


  • Fritz Hoenig: Wörterbuch der Kölner Mundart. 2nd edition, 1905. Köln.
  • Georg Heike: Zur Phonologie der Stadtkölner Mundart. Eine experimentelle Untersuchung der akustischen Unterscheidungsmerkmale. In:Deutsche Dialektgeographie, volume57, Elwert-Verlag, Marburg 1964
  • Claudia Froitzheim: Artikulationsnormen der Umgangssprache in Köln. In:Continuum, Schriftenreihe zur Linguistik, volume2. Narr, Tübingen, 1984, ISBN 3-87808-332-7 (Also Dissertation at the University of Cologne, 1983).
  • Adam Wrede: Neuer Kölnischer Sprachschatz. 12thedition, 1999. 3volumes, 1168pages. Greven Verlag, Köln. ISBN 3-7743-0243-X
  • Christa Bhatt, Alice Herrwegen: Das Kölsche Wörterbuch. 2ndedition, 2005. J. P. Bachem-Verlag, Köln. ISBN 3-7616-1942-1

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