Many words, like the ones shown in this table, are spelled almost the same in German as in English and have the same meaning. The table also shows you a few common German spelling conventions:

  • The English c is a k in most German words.

  • The ou in English words like house or mouse is often equivalent to au in German words.

  • Many English adjectives ending in -ic or -ical have an -isch ending in German.

  • Some English adjectives ending in -y are spelled with -ig in German.

  • Some English nouns ending in -y have an -ie ending in German.

  • Some English nouns ending in -ly have a -lich ending in German.

Words Similar in Meaning but     Slightly Different in Spelling
German English
die Adresse (dee ah-drês-e) address
der Aspekt (dêr âs-pêkt) aspect
der Bär (dêr bear [as in English]) bear
blond (blont) blond(e)
die Bluse (dee blooh-ze) blouse
braun (brown [as in English]) brown
die Demokratie (dee dê-moh-krâ-tee) democracy
direkt (di-rêkt) direct
der Doktor (dêr dok-tohr) doctor
exakt (êx-âkt) exact
exzellent (êx-tsel-ênt) excellent
fantastisch (fân-tâs-tish) fantastic
der Fisch (dêr fish) fish
das Glas (dâs glahs) glass
das Haus (dâs hous) house
hungrig (hoong-riH) hungry
indirekt (in-di-rêkt) indirect
die Industrie (dee in-dooh-stree) industry
die Infektion (dee in-fêk-tsee-ohn) infection
das Insekt (dâs in-zêkt) insect
der Kaffee (dêr kâf-ey) coffee
das Knie (dâs knee) knee
die Komödie (dee koh-mer-dee-e) comedy
die Kondition (dee kon-di-tsee-ohn) condition
konservativ (kon-sêr-vâ-teef) conservative
der Kontinent (dêr kon-ti-nênt) continent
das Konzert (dâs kon-tsêrt) concert
die Kultur (dee kool-toohr) culture
logisch (loh-gish) logical
das Mandat (dâs mân-daht) mandate
der Mann (dêr mân) man
die Maschine (dee mâ-sheen-e) machine
die Maus (dee mouse [as in English]) mouse
die Methode (dee mê-toh-de) method
die Mobilität (dee moh-bi-li-tait) mobility
die Musik (dee mooh-zeek) music
die Nationalität (dee nât-see-oh-nahl-i-tait) nationality
die Natur (dee nâ-toohr) nature
offiziell (oh-fits-ee-êl) official (adjective)
der Ozean (dêr oh-tsê-ân) ocean
das Papier (dâs pâ-peer) paper
das Parlament (dâs pâr-lâ-mênt) parliament
perfekt (pêr-fêkt) perfect
politisch (poh-li-tish) political
potenziell (po-tên-tsee-êl) potential (adjective)
praktisch (prâk-tish) practical
das Programm (dâs proh-grâm) program
das Salz (dâs zâlts) salt
der Scheck (dêr shêk) check (bank or traveler’s)
sonnig (zon-iH) sunny
der Supermarkt (dêr zooh-pêr-mârkt) supermarket
das Telefon (dâs -le-fohn) telephone
die Theorie (dee tey-ohr-ee) theory
die Tragödie (dee trâ-ger-dee-e) tragedy
die Walnuss (dee vahl-noohs) walnut