Months and seasons in German: Writing, pronunciation and translation of months in German

Studying German can pose significant challenges, primarily because it's an inflectional language. Mastering it requires more than just speaking, it entails the need to think in the language itself. A mere literal translation won't suffice when constructing complex sentences, but fortunately, it does come in handy when building your vocabulary, especially with fundamental elements like 'Months in German'. This serves as an excellent starting point for gradually immersing yourself in the language and is crucial for establishing a basic vocabulary foundation. In this article, we'll explore how to translate months and seasons into German, delve into their usage and most importantly, offer valuable tips on conquering the tricky aspects of German pronunciation.

Months in German: How to spell them and translation

Januar January
Februar February
März March
April April
Mai May
Juni June
Juli July
August August
September September
Oktober October
November November
Dezember December

As you can observe, in German, the article always precedes the month. This rule applies within a sentence as well, as shown in the example: "Endlich ist der Mai da" - May has finally arrived. For a more in-depth understanding of articles in German, you can explore a comprehensive lesson on this topic.

Another distinction worth noting when examining the list of months is that they should always be capitalized, regardless of their position within a sentence or after a period. This differs from Italian, where capitalizing months (common nouns) is considered an error. It does, however, resemble English, as we discussed in the lesson on months in English, where capitalization is consistently applied.

Let's examine some illustrative examples:

"Heute beginnt der August."

Today marks the start of August.

"Wenn der Oktober kommt, bereite ich viele Kastanien zu."

When October arrives, I prepare numerous chestnuts.

"Wurden Sie im Mai geboren? Ich auch!"

Were you born in May? Me too!

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In the last example, there's a noteworthy exception: here, the article "der" is replaced by the preposition "im," which translates to "in" or "from" in English, depending on the context. When expressing a place complement, whether real or figurative, the preposition "im" is consistently used.

Lastly, it's worth remembering that all months in German are considered masculine nouns, and for completeness, in German, the word for "month" is pronounced as "Monat."

Pronunciation of months in German: Although German pronunciation can generally be intricate, months in German are a pleasantly straightforward exception. In fact, their pronunciation is quite akin to Italian, with some specific considerations, making it relatively easy to learn.

Words corresponding to the months of the year are pronounced phonetically, but it's important to bear in mind the following points:

  • The letter "J" is not pronounced as the "game g" in English but rather falls somewhere between a "gl" and an "i." To pronounce it correctly, emphasize the "i" sound.
  • The stress typically falls on the first syllable for most months, including Januar, Februar, März, Mai, Juni, and Juli.
  • April has a distinct stress pattern; the accent should be on the "i." Pay attention to the vowel pronunciation, which should be almost as tight between the two consonants.
  • In the case of "August," the stress is placed on the second "u." Additionally, remember that it's not pronounced like in French; the diphthong "au" is pronounced as it appears in the spelling.
  • Months ending in "-ber" have a lengthened accent on the second syllable, not the first. Also, take care with the pronunciation of the ending, which is quite similar to English: "septembah," "oktobah," and so forth. When pronouncing "November," remember that the "v" is pronounced like a "fox v" and not as "u."

Seasons in German: Spelling and Translation

Now that we've covered the intricacies of months, let's turn our attention to seasons in German. This topic is equally important but naturally shorter, consisting of just four simple words that can be easily memorized in a single lesson. Additionally, there's a fifth word to include, which is the translation of "season" itself in German:


"Jahreszeit," where "Jahr" means "year" and "Zeit" means "time."


Let's now explore the spelling of all the seasons in German and analyze the differences, just as we did before:


"der Frühling"

the spring

"der Sommer"

the summer

"der Herbst"

the autumn

"der Winter"

the winter
Once again, we consistently find the seasons spelled with a capital letter. This might be surprising if you're in your early German lessons, but it's quite normal in this language because German grammar dictates that all nouns, regardless of their nature, should be capitalized.  
Endlich ist der Frühling da. Spring has finally arrived.

"Ich mag den Herbst nicht; es regnet immer."

I don't like autumn; it always rains.

As mentioned earlier, all seasons in German are of the masculine gender, including spring and summer.


"Der Sommer ist so schön!"

Summer is so beautiful!

"Meine Lieblingsjahreszeit ist der Frühling."

My favorite season is spring.

When expressing a place complement, whether real or figurative, with seasons, we use the articulated preposition "im," composed of the simple prepositions "in" + "dem."


"Blumen blühen im Frühling."

In spring, the flowers bloom.

"Im Herbst geht es dann endlich nach München."

In autumn, we will finally go to Munich.

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Now, let's discuss the correct pronunciation of the seasons in German, following the same pattern as before. These four words are relatively easy to pronounce, with most letters pronounced as they are written. However, there are a few things to pay attention to in order to achieve a native-like pronunciation:

  • In the word "Frühling," you'll notice the letter "ü," which represents a unique sound. To pronounce the "ü" correctly, position your mouth as if you were saying "o" but emit a "u" sound instead.
  • The initial "S" in "Sommer" is sonorous, not deaf. It should be pronounced as a soft "z" sound, similar to the buzzing of a mosquito, like "zzz."
  • While "Winter" is spelled the same as in English, remember that the "W" in German is pronounced like a "v." So, "Winter" is pronounced as "vintah."

To enhance your pronunciation of German months and seasons, practice saying them consistently until you feel confident. Once you've mastered these, you can progress to more advanced topics, like tackling the complex world of German irregular verbs. In our next lesson, we'll dive into that intriguing subject. Stay tuned for more!

In conclusion, understanding the months and seasons in German, along with their correct pronunciation, is a fundamental step in acquiring the language. The capitalization of all nouns, the consistent use of articles, and the unique vowel sounds are key features to remember. With this knowledge, you're well on your way to navigating the German language with greater ease and confidence.