How to Employ HTML Codes for German Language Characters

German flag

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Guten Tag! Even if your site is written in English only and does not include multi-lingual translations, you may need to add German language characters to that site on certain pages or for certain words.

The list below includes the HTML codes necessary to use German characters that are not in the standard character set and are not found on a keyboard's keys. Not all browsers support all these codes (mainly, older browsers may cause problems - newer browsers should be fine), so be sure to test your HTML codes before you use them.

Some German characters may be part of the Unicode character set, so you need to declare that in the head of your documents.

Here are the different characters you may need to use.

Display Friendly Code Numerical Code Description
Ä Ä Ä Capital A-umlaut
ä ä ä Lowercase a-umlaut
É É É Capital E-acute
é é é Lowercase E-acute
Ö Ö Ö Capital O-umlaut
ö ö ö Lowercase o-umlaut
Ü Ü Ü Capital U-umlaut
ü ü ü Lowercase u-umlaut
ß ß ß SZ ligature
« « « Left angle quotes
» » » Right angle quotes
Left lower quotes
Left quotes
Right quotes
° ° Degree sign (Grad)
£ £ £ Pound Sterling

Using these characters is simple. In the HTML markup, you would place these special character codes where you want the German character to appear. These are used similarly to other HTML special character codes that allow you to add characters that are also not found on the traditional keyboard, and therefore cannot be simply typed into the HTML in order to display on a web page.

Remember, these character codes may be used on an English language website if you need to display a word like Doppelgänger. These characters would also be used in HTML that was actually displaying full German translations, whether you actually coded those web pages by hand and had a full German version of the site, or if you used a more automated approach to multilingual web pages and went with a solution like Google Translate. 

Original article by Jennifer Krynin, edited by Jeremy Girard

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Your Citation
Girard, Jeremy. "How to Employ HTML Codes for German Language Characters." ThoughtCo, Jul. 31, 2021, Girard, Jeremy. (2021, July 31). How to Employ HTML Codes for German Language Characters. Retrieved from Girard, Jeremy. "How to Employ HTML Codes for German Language Characters." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 3, 2023).