metaphony in Germanic languages, occurring around 450–500, in which vowels are raised or fronted when the following syllable contains /i(ː)/ or /j/; e.g. Engl. foot → feet

The umlauts are a group of sounds in German. They are written ä, ö, ü (or ae, oe, ue).

A German keyboard, showing the three umlauts

Without the diaeresis (the dots) those three letters are said [a], [o], and [u]. But when the dots are put over them, Ä, Ö, and Ü the sounds change to be said like [ɛ], [œ]/[ø] and [y]/[ʏ].

When a word that has umlaut letters with dots is changed into English, the letters are usually written as ae, oe, or ue instead of ä, ö, or ü.

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