GERMANIC SOUND SHIFTS
 
The first Germanic sound shift separated Proto-Germanic (the common ancestor of all Germanic languages) from other Indo-European proto-languages. The table below compares words from Latin and Greek (non-Germanic languages unaffected by these shifts, though affected by others) with their cognates in two Germanic languages: English and German.
 
Original Indo-European
Proto-Germanic
Latin
Ancient Greek
Modern English
Modern German
p
f
pes
πούς
foot
Fuß
 
 
pater
πατήρ
father
Vater
 
 
pellis
πέλλα
fell
Fell
t
þ (th)
tu
τύ (σύ)
thou
du (þ>d)*
 
 
tres
τρες
three
drei (þ>d)*
 
 
tego
τέγος
thatch
Dach (þ>d)*
 
 
tolero
τάλας
thole
Geduld (þ>d)*
 
 
tenuis
τανύω
thin
dünn (þ>d)*
 
 
frater
φράτηρ
brother
Bruder (þ>d)*
k
h
canis
κύων
hound
Hund
 
 
octo
κτώ
eight
acht
 
 
nox, noctis
νύξ, νυκτός
night
Nacht
 
 
cor
καρδία
heart
Herz
 
 
cannabis
κάνναβις
hemp
Hanf
b
p
cannabis
κάνναβις
hemp
Hanf (p>f)*
d
t
decem
δέκα
ten
zehn (t>ts)*
 
 
duo
δύο
two
zwei (t>ts)*
 
 
domus
δόμος
timber
Zimmer (t>ts)*
 
 
edo
δω
eat
essen (t>s)*
 
 
dens, dentis
δούς, δόντος
tooth
Zahn (t>ts)*
 
 
domo
δαμάζω
tame
zahm (t>ts)*
 
 
cor, cordis
καρδία
heart
Herz (t>ts)*
 
 
pes, pedis
πούς, ποδός
foot
Fuß (t>s)*
g
k
ager
γρός
acre
Acker
 
 
genus
γένος
kin
Kind
 
 
genu
γόνυ
knee
Knie
 
 
mulgeo
μέλγω
milk
melken
 
 
fagus
φηγός
book
Buch (k>ch)*
b
frater (bʰ>f)
φράτηρ (bʰ>pʰ)
brother
Bruder
 
 
fero (bʰ>f)
φέρω (bʰ>pʰ)
bear
gebären
 
 
fagus (bʰ>f)
φηγός (bʰ>pʰ)
book
Buch
d
facio (dʰ>f)
τίθημι (dʰ>tʰ)
do
tun (d>t)*
 
 
foris (dʰ>f)
θύρα (dʰ>tʰ)
door
Tor (d>t)*
 
 
fera (dʰ>f)
θήρ (dʰ>tʰ)
deer
Tier (d>t)*
g
anser (gʰ>h>Ø)
χήν (gʰ>kʰ)
goose
Gans

 * The second Germanic sound shift separated Old High German from other Germanic languages, such as English, Dutch, Low German, and the Scandinavian languages. The table below compares words from English (a language wholly unaffected by these shifts) with their cognates in German, a modern descendant of Old High German.

Original Germanic
High German
Modern English
Modern German
p
f
ape
Affe
 
 
sleep
schlafen
 
 
ship
Schiff
 
 
up
auf
 
 
help
helfen
 
 
open
offen
 
 
sharp
scharf
 
 
soap
Seife
t
s
eat
essen
 
 
out
aus
 
 
foot
Fuß
 
 
street
Straße
 
 
what
was
 
 
great
groß
 
 
forget
vergessen
 
 
let
lassen
 
 
water
Wasser
 
 
better
besser
k
ch
make
machen
 
 
cake
Kuchen
 
 
week
Woche
 
 
weak
weich
 
 
milk
Milch
 
 
cook
Koch
 
 
seek
suchen
 
 
book
Buch
 
 
break
brechen
 
 
reckon
rechnen
 
 
alike
gleich
p
pf
apple
Apfel
 
 
plough
Pflug
 
 
pepper
Pfeffer
 
 
pipe
Pfeife
 
 
path
Pfad
 
 
plum
Pflaume
 
 
plant
Pflanze
 
 
pool
Pfuhl
 
 
pan
Pfanne
 
 
pole
Pfahl
t
ts (z)
tide
Zeit
 
 
two
zwei
 
 
ten
zehn
 
 
to
zu
 
 
tell
zahlen
 
 
toe
Zehe
 
 
tooth
Zahn
 
 
toll
Zoll
 
 
tip
Zipfel
 
 
token
Zeichen
d
t
red
rot
 
 
good
gut
 
 
day
Tag
 
 
drink
trinken
 
 
dream
Traum
 
 
middle
mittel
 
 
do
tun
 
 
dance
Tanz
 
 
deed
Tat
 
 
door
Tor
 
 
bid
bitten
 
 
cold
kalt
 
 
beard
Bart
 
 
loud
laut
 
 
daughter
Tochter
 
 
mother**
Mutter
 
 
father**
Vater
þ (th)
d
through
durch
 
 
three
drei
 
 
brother
Bruder
 
 
thou
du
 
 
bath
Bad
 
 
thirsty
durstig
 
 
mouth
Mund
 
 
think
denken
 
 
thorn
Dorn
 
 
thistle
Distel
 
 
death
Tod
 
 
that
das
 
 
both
beide

 ** At the time the d>t shift occured in Old High German, mother and father were modor and fæder in (Old) English.