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German Umlaut - a letter with two dots

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by Whodunit, Jun 3, 2005.

  1. Whodunit

    Whodunit Senior Member

    กรุงเทพมหานคร
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    How do you call our German umlauts in other languages (as many as possible :) )? I mean "ä", "ö, "ü", and "ß". In elementary school, I was told to say "a/o/u with two dots" and "eszett". But now I do wonder how to say it. I also like to know the words in French, Spanish, Arabic etc.
     
  2. Sev

    Sev Senior Member

    Béziers, France
    France, french.
    I'm gonna try auf Deutsch...
    Französich : Umlaut kann "umlaut" oder "tréma" sein, und "ß" ist "eszett", wie du gesagt hast.

    <Mod's note: Off-topic comment deleted.>
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  3. Cathurian Junior Member

    United States, English
    In unsere Deutsche Klasse, sagten wir "a umlaut", "u umlaut", usw.

    ß ist auch für uns "eszett".
     
  4. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    You can also call it a diaresis in English. In German classes, though, you will almost invariably call it an "Umlaut."

    I don't know how to say it in Arabic. I would probably just say "nu2titein" (nuqtatan) which just means "two dots"!
     
  5. Magg Senior Member

    Spain
    Spain / Spanish
    In Spanish:

    ß --> beta
    ¨ --> diéresis


    The Spanish alphabet doen´t have "ß´s" but it does "¨" in few words, just to avoid mispronunciation. (Hmmm, does "mispronunciation" exist in English? :confused: )

    Magg
     
  6. Whodunit

    Whodunit Senior Member

    กรุงเทพมหานคร
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    <Mod's note: Reply to a deleted post.>

    I'm afraid you all got me a bit wrong, except for Cathurian. I wanted to have in all languages: (the thing with the ß was okay)

    ä = ? (a avec umlaut?)
    ö = ? (o with to dots?)
    ü = ? (u ma'a nuqtatan?)

    Thanks for your replies, though.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  7. Sev

    Sev Senior Member

    Béziers, France
    France, french.
    Danke schön. Wir sagen "a umlaut" (kein "avec").
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  8. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    I would say "e umlaut" for example.
     
  9. Whodunit

    Whodunit Senior Member

    กรุงเทพมหานคร
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    You mean "e tréma"? "ë"
     
  10. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    No, "e umlaut". I only know the word "tréma" through French. Is it English too:confused:
     
  11. Whodunit

    Whodunit Senior Member

    กรุงเทพมหานคร
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    Not sure. In German it's "Trema". What else did you mean then? ë is not "e umlaut"?
     
  12. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    I'm sorry, but you've completely lost me.

    Let's start again. In English I would describe this symbol ë as "e umlaut".

    Alles klar?:confused: ;)
     
  13. Whodunit

    Whodunit Senior Member

    กรุงเทพมหานคร
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    Ah ok, now I found you again. ;) Sorry that I lost you.
     
  14. MrMagoo

    MrMagoo Senior Member

    Westphalia, Germany
    Westphalia, Germany; German
    Interesting confusing discussion... :)

    May I add that "ë" is no umlaut.
    The two dots above this e is, as whodunit pointed out, called a "Trema".
    A Trema shows you that two vowels in a word have to be pronounced separately, e.g. in the French word "Citroën".

    Only a, o, and u can take an Umlaut --> ä, ö, ü.
    The two dots here are derived from a former e that was put above the actual letters a, o, u to show that these vowels have umlauted, and therefore changed their pronunciation.
    That is why you can substitute ä, ö, ü by ae, oe, ue when you can't type Umlauts.

    Hope I could help ;)
    -MrMagoo
     
  15. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    Ah, ok thanks for explaing what the problem was.

    I'm sure you're completely right about the etymology of these words etc. However, I think a lot of English speakers would call ë "e umlaut". I don't remember "trema" being used in English, and "dieresis" is quite rare.

    I'm talking here about general usage (well as general as you can be given that you're discussing the addition of dots above a letter!) rather than German linguistics, of which I know a little less than zero;) .
     
  16. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    We call the umlaut sign trema or diérese, in Portuguese.
     
  17. Whodunit

    Whodunit Senior Member

    กรุงเทพมหานคร
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    I'm not quite sure, but I think in Spanish and French "u" can take a trema, and is pronounced differently from our German ü. Look here, and swich to "Deutsch", just for the title.
     
  18. alc112

    alc112 Senior Member

    Concordia, Entre Ríos
    Argentina Spanish
    ä; a (con) diérisis
    ö: o (con) diérisis
    ü: u (con) diérisis

    We use ü, for some words like Cigüena and Vergüenza . we just use it in güe and güi and pronunce it as a u.
    Cheers
     
  19. Whodunit

    Whodunit Senior Member

    กรุงเทพมหานคร
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    Thank you very much.

    This is what I meant in my previous post.
     
  20. alc112

    alc112 Senior Member

    Concordia, Entre Ríos
    Argentina Spanish
    You're welcome.
    Note: I think there isn't a way to call ä,ö and ü. I say them as my teacher does.
     
  21. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    Having read your earlier posts, I was also going to comment that the word "Umlaut" is used strictly to refer to the three German letters that take Umlauts. Otherwise the sign is called a "diaresis." For anyone who has studied diacritical marks, I don't find the term rare at all, at least no rarer than trema. In fact, I think "trema" is just a French alternative word for "diaresis."
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  22. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    Ma'a nuqtatayn, Who! :D

    How could you forget?!! ;)

    And yes, I would say that in Arabic.
     
  23. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    You're right; old English uses the grave accent in such situations. (belovèd)
     
  24. Whodunit

    Whodunit Senior Member

    กรุงเทพมหานคร
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    You said "nuqtatan" in your previous post.
     
  25. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    Nominative - Akkusative/Dative :D
     
  26. Whodunit

    Whodunit Senior Member

    กรุงเทพมหานคร
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    He, you know how basic my Arabic is. :(
     
  27. MrMagoo

    MrMagoo Senior Member

    Westphalia, Germany
    Westphalia, Germany; German
    Right, but they are pronounced like the French or Spanish "u".
    The Trema in the Spanish word Güe also shows that the vowel "u" is pronounced - as well as the Trema in the French word Citroën, but it does not indicate a change of pronunciation from its original sound represented in Spanish "u" or French "e". It's a sign that two vowels are to be said separately and do not fall together to one single sound or a diphthong.

    An Umlaut on the other hand is a change of pronunciation from its original vowel-sound such as German u is pronounced as but ü is pronounced as [y].
     
  28. Whodunit

    Whodunit Senior Member

    กรุงเทพมหานคร
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch


    Yes, that's exactly the point I meant.
     
  29. Spidney New Member

    English-US
    how would the umlaut be pronounced in english (does the umlaut sound like any english us words)
     
  30. André Buzzulini Junior Member

    São Paulo, Brasil
    Brazilian Portuguese
    Wir sagen "trema" in Brasilien.

    Viele Grüße!
     
  31. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    The a-umlaut sounds like "e" in English "bed". A-umlauting occurred in Old English as well. This e.g. explains the "e" in length which is derived from Old English lang (Modern English long).

    The o- and u- umlauts have no equivalent in English (English has no rounded front vowels). Monolingual English speakers are usually unable to pronounce these vowels. The o-umlaut is vaguely similar to the vowel in British English "bird" though the production is very different.
     
  32. apmoy70 Senior Member

    Greek
    In Greek:

    ¨ --> «διαλυτικά» (ðialiti'ka, pl. nom. n.)[1], lit. "solvents/dissolvents", or «τελ(ε)ίτσες»[2] (te'litses, pl. nom. fem.), lit. "little dots".
    ß--> «βήτα» ('vita, n.)

    [1]Adj. «διαλυτικός, -κή, -κό» (ðialiti'kos, m./ðialiti'ci, f./ðialiti'ko, n.); Classical adj. «διαλυτικός, -κὴ, -κόν» (dĭălŭtī'kŏs, m./dĭălŭtī'kē, f./dĭălŭtī'kŏn, n.)--> destructive, able to break off or dissolve. Compound, prefix and preposition «διὰ» (dī'ă)--> through, throughout (PIE base *duwo, two) + Classical verb «λύω» (lūō)--> to unbind, unfasten, loosen (PIE base *leu-, to loosen, divide, cut apart).
    [2]«Τελ(ε)ίτσα» (te'litsa, f.), diminutive of «τελεία» (te'lia, f.)--> dot, full stop; Hellenistic adjectival noun «τελεία» (tĕ'leiă, f.)--> full, perfect, fulfilled, accomplished. The phrase was «τελεία στιγμὴ» (tĕ'leiă stīgmē)--> full stop (the punctuation mark began used in punctuation in Hellenistic era)
    In Greek a «τρήμα» ('trima, n.), Classical «τρῆμα» ('trēmă, n.) describes any perforation, aperture, orifice (PIE base *terē-, to rub, bore)
     
  33. Frank78

    Frank78 Senior Member

    Saxony-Anhalt
    German
    You call it "beta" despite "ß" resembles "ss"?
     
  34. sakvaka

    sakvaka Moderoitsija

    Finnish:

    Since ä and ö are native Finnish letters, we don't need to say "a with two dots", the letter names ää and öö are enough. On the other hand, ü has its own name: saksalainen yy 'German why'.

    However, the letters ä, ö (and sometimes å, ruotsalainen oo 'Swedish oh') are often referred to as ääkköset, particularly when they are missing because of technical problems.

    Hän lähetti viestin USA:sta, ja siksi se oli kirjoitettu ilman ääkkösiä. "Mita sina olet tehnyt tanaan taman asian hyvaksi?"
    He sent the message in the USA, and that's why it was written without the letters ä and ö: "What have you done today for this matter?"
     
  35. apmoy70 Senior Member

    Greek
    For us it resembles the lowercase B
    ß (eszett)
    β (lowercase or curled beta)
     
  36. bibax Senior Member

    Czech
    In Czech:

    přehláska = umlaut, der Umlaut (generally as a phenomenon);
    přehlasovaný = umlauted;

    ä, ö, ü - přehlasované a, o, u (= umlauted a, o, u);
    ß - ostré es (= sharp es, scharfes es);

    β (beta) is something else than ß.
     
  37. Orlin Senior Member

    София
    български
    In Bulgarian they're normally as in German, only transliterated into Cyrillic: a, o, u умлаут; есцет. Sometimes, mostly informally, it's said a, o, u с 2 точки (with 2 dots - like the way the umlaut looks like in writing).
     
  38. Favara Senior Member

    Catalan - Southern Val.
    In Catalan, we call the "two dots" dièresi. So, an Ü would be U amb dièresi.
    In our language we only use Ü and Ï, to show that the U in güe/güi/qüe/qüi is pronounced (like in spanish) or to "break" a diphthong (aire, rm -> ai-re, ra-ïm).
     
  39. Orlin Senior Member

    София
    български
    In fact, in Bulgarian the diacritical mark in the form of 2 dots is often called трема (from French tréma), but трема is (practically) never used when we talk about German, only when French or some other languages are meant.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
  40. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Which makes sense because diaresis/trema and umlaut are quite distinct marks serving completely different purposes. Umlaut marks originally looked different: like this " or this ˮ (derived from the shape of the lower case "e" in old German handwriting). In printed Antiqua (as opposed the German Blackletter), they were assimilated in shape to the trema, probably to make it easier for typesetting.
     
  41. apmoy70 Senior Member

    Greek
    That's the reason we too call it «διαλυτικά» (i.e. dissolvents), because when use it, it "dissolves" the diphthong; e.g «αι»--> /e/, «αϊ»--> /ai/, «οι»--> /i/, «οϊ»--> /oi/ etc
     
  42. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Those are tremas, not umlauts. Tremas and umlauts look the same but are quite different things (see explanation in #14).
     
  43. Favara Senior Member

    Catalan - Southern Val.
    Oh, I see... We don't have any umlauts, then.
     
  44. djmc Senior Member

    France
    English - United Kingdom
    At one time German was normally printed with a Gothic typeface. When German words were used in English or French or adapted into Latin the umlaut was normally spelled without the umlaut but using an e after the vowel thus Haendel, fuess, Moench etcetera.
     
  45. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    This convention still exists in German in places where umlauts cannot be used for technical reasons, e.g. the web site of the Austrian federal railways "Öbb" is "www.oebb.at".
     
  46. AutumnOwl

    AutumnOwl Senior Member

    Sweden
    Swedish - Sweden, Finnish
    Swedish: as the letters "ä" and "ö" (as well as "å") exists in Swedish we don't have any special words for them. When it comes to "ü" we say "tyskt y" (German y) and for "ß" either "tyskt s" or "dubbel-s" (double s).
     
  47. L'irlandais

    L'irlandais Senior Member

    Dreyeckland/Alsace region
    Ireland: English-speaking ♂
    Hello,
    Sorry if this is "hors sujet", but didn't a recent spelling revision in Germany do away with the umlauts (amongst other things.).
    By which I mean, in Germany should this not be written as "Oebb" in any case, or is this simply a misunderstanding on my part?
     
  48. AutumnOwl

    AutumnOwl Senior Member

    Sweden
    Swedish - Sweden, Finnish
    As far as I know the German spelling reform doesn't involve the letters "ü", "ä" and "ö", just "ß", http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_orthography_reform_of_1996 , so Austria is still spelled as Österreich in German and not Oesterreich.
     
  49. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    That is correct. The reform did not abolish or add any letters. Only the rules when to use "ss" and when to use "ß" have slightly changed.

    In Switzerland, the "ß" and has been abolished for practical reasons: Swiss keyboards need characters to write German, French and Italian and don't have space for ß. For the same reason, upper case Umlauts Ä, Ö and Ü are often replaced by Ae, Oe and Ue: if I type Shift+ü on my Swiss keyboard I don't get Ü but è.

    But in Austria and Germany Ä, Ö, Ü, ä, ö, ü and ß are all in use.
     
  50. Akitlosz Senior Member

    Hungary
    Hungarian
    Die ungarische Sprache hat ö und ü auch, und noch einige Buchstaben ( í, ő, ű, ú, ó, é, á, ) mit Umlaut. Wir nennen die Buchstabe mit Umlaut ékezetes betű, (phonetisch ehkesetesch betü) auch die deutschen Buchstaben.
    Umlaut = ékezet, Buchstabe = betű.

    ß heißt in ungarisch sárfesz sz, das ist in deutsch scharfes s.
    Sowas wie "eszett" sagen wir nicht. ß ist scharfes s bei uns.
     

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