The letter is the character of a font. This character is representative of a sound, a sound sequence, or a loudspeaker of the respective language. Accordingly, letters are used for the transcription of a language. The entirety of the individual letters of a language yields the alphabet. The sounds (phonemes) are thus fixed in signs (graphems).
The origin of the term is not entirely clear. Nevertheless, there are some approaches. Thus, the vertical main line of the Rune, an ancient character of the Teutons, is called a staff. Thus, the character that stands for a rune is called Runebar. It follows that the characters that appear in books are called letters.
A further explanation goes back to the fixing of the one-time characters. Runes, when written down, were scribbled in thin wooden cuttings. The wood of beech and ash was particularly suitable for this purpose. The runes were then scribed into wooden sticks, which ultimately led to the designation letter. However, none of the two theories is assured.
Note: Wolfgang Pfeifer states in the German etymological dictionary that it is unlikely that there is a link between the letter and the book. For the name is at most written for the characters of a book, not in connection with Germanic runes. This would speak for the first of the theories.
Letters for spelling
Difficult words as well as technical terms are spelled very frequently, so that no mistakes are made in writing. This method is used especially on the telephone, in case of ambiguous names or in very complicated words of the dictation. Spelling means that the word is dictated literally. Spelling boards can be used for this purpose.
Such spelling tables allow for the highest possible accuracy in the understanding of the spelled word. In contrast to the usual spelling, where a word letter is dictated for letter, whole words with the respective initial letter are called here.
Spelling boards are mainly used in radiotelephony, to be able to spell as accurately as possible even in the case of a bad connection. For this reason, the respective words of such tables have several syllables so that no letter is lost. An example is the NATO phonetic alphabet.
Note: Following the above table, this website (word growth) would be spelled as follows by phone or dictation: Whiskey Oscar Romeo Tango Whiskey Uniform Charlie Hotel Sierra.
Letters in German
The German alphabet has 26 letters, plus the three umlauts and the eszett (ß). These are divided into the consonant letters and the vowel letters. Such a division is based on the articulation, ie pronunciation, of the individual letters.
Vowel letters are characters which correspond to the vowels (a, e, i, o, u), furthermore the umlauts ä, ö, ü, as well as the y, belong here. Vowels are all sounds, in which the air can escape from the oral cavity of the speech without inhibition. The air stream is thus not hindered, which is why the talking apparatus neither narrows nor closes.
The counterpart to this is the consonant letters, which encompass all the other characters of the alphabet. The special feature here is that the air stream has to overcome an obstacle when speaking of the consonants. Such an inhibition is referred to as an inhibitor.
The individual consonants of a language can be distinguished by checking at which point of the speech apparatus this obstacle sits. If we speak a p, falls on that we make it with the lips, we speak n, the sound is formed at the tooth dam. This also applies to the d in the noun roof.
If you try the whole alphabet, you notice that there are quite different places in the oral cavity, which are used in the articulation of the letters as well as the sounds. These are called articulation places. More information on the individual articulations can be found in the main article on the consonant.
Characters of the German alphabet (graphic representation)
Overview: The most important overview
Letters are generally the individual characters of a language. These can be used to write a language and make it conservative. A text therefore consists of the concatenation of individual characters. All letters of a language are called alphabet.
Since these characters fix and make the sounds of a language readable, the range of an alphabet depends on the language. The German knows exactly 30 different letters. These may be extended by the diacritics, but these are not common in German and are only given in some foreign words and names (see Trema).