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Lesson Transcript

Judith: Hallo, [ich heiße] Judith.
Chuck: Hi, I am Chuck.
Judith: [Sie hören germanpod101.com]
Chuck: You are listening to germanpod101.com this is accent improvement series, lesson 10.
Judith: [Willkommen]!
Chuck: Welcome. This is already the 10th lesson of germanpod101´s accent improvement series.
Judith: We’ve come a long way. After this lesson, we will have covered all sounds of German single letters. So we will move on to letter combinations and other things you need to learn. For example, sentence melody.
Chuck: Well, every German single letter. If you want to improve your German accent and sound just like a native, this series is for you.
Judith: Today, we shall look at the German L and R sounds. These can be quite tricky. So be sure to go to the learning center afterwards and practice the sounds.
Chuck: We will start by hearing a sentence that contains a lot of L and R sounds. You can find this one in the line by line dialogue section of the learning center.
Judith: [Hungrige Riesen lallen viel lauter].
Chuck: This means hungry giants stammer much more loudly. Could you say that sentence again little bit slower.
Judith: Of course [Hungrige Riesen lallen viel lauter].
Chuck: So what can we say about the German letters L and R. They are pronounced very distinctly. The L is much like the English L but the R is quite different.
Judith: As an example of the German letter L, take the word [lallen].
Chuck: To stammer drunkenly.
Judith: In this word, you can clearly hear how the letter is pronounced both at the beginning of a word and in the middle. In contrast to English, the German letter L is pronounced just the same also at the end of a word. For example, the L in [Camel].
Chuck: Camel.
Judith: Is still very distinct and unlike the slurred English L at the end of camel [Camel].
Chuck: Camel. There are three acceptable ways of pronouncing the German letter R, but, well unfortunately none of the possible variations sound like the English R.
Judith: I will try to do them all even though every speaker of German typically only uses one of them. First, what is known among linguists as a uvular fricative [Raara]. This is the way I usually pronounce my R´s.
Chuck: This sound is pronounced far back in the throat.
Judith: Next [Raara].
Chuck: Also pronounced far back in the throat but thrilled.
Judith: Finally, the [Raara].
Chuck: This one is the closest to an English R but also thrilled. Since all three sounds are commonly used by Germans, I suggest you try them all and pick the one that’s easiest for you to produce.
Judith: One more thing.
Chuck: Oh yeah. Note that when the R occurs at the end of a word or before another consonant, it’s pronounced in a way similar to the A in father and not like an R at all. Could you give me an example?
Judith: Yeah: Amerikaner hier dort.
Chuck: Can we hear that sample sentence again, the example sentence?
Judith: [Hungrige Riesen lallen viel lauter]. This phrase contains a lot of L and R. Say it right and you have mastered the sounds.
Chuck: This is the single most useful step towards a good German pronunciation. So go to the learning center now and practice.
Judith: Next time two weeks from now, we will look at some of the consonant clusters.
Chuck: So be sure to tune it again for the next lesson. See you then.
Judith: [Bis dann]!