The German short “I” sound is the same as the short “I” in the English words it, since, and pin. The German long “I” sound is more closely related to the English long “E” sound as in feet, seat, and meal. The same rules as with the other German vowels apply here. Short sounds are used with more than one consonant after the vowel. Long sounds are used before single consonants and the letter “H”. There aren’t any words in which two “I’s” are pronounced together in German. There are a few words where there are two “I’s” next to each other, but those are always pronounced as individual letters. 

Short “I” Examples

Preceding Multiple Consonants:

die Pizza [ˈpɪʦa] - pizza 

immer [ˈɪmɐ] - always 

der Fisch [fɪʃ] - fish 

Long “I” Examples

Preceding a Single Consonant:

der Igel [ˈiːɡl̩] - hedgehog 

irisch [ˈiːʀɪʃ] - Irish 

der Termin [tɛʁˈmiːn] - appointment 

Preceding the Letter “H”:

ihr [iːɐ̯] - her

ihn [iːn] - him

ihnen [ˈiːnən] - them 

Complete and Continue