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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone.
Welcome to The Ultimate German Pronunciation Guide.
In this lesson, you'll learn 5 German consonants.
pf, ʁ, ʀ, r, ts
These consonant sounds do not appear in English, so they'll be trickier than the last lot.
Be sure to practice them because these are the unique sounds that learners often get wrong!
Are you ready?
Then let's get started!
The first consonant is...
pf
Pfahl (pole)
Apfel (apple)
Pferd (horse)
"(voiceless labiodental fricative) This is quite a rare sound that doesn't appear in many languages. It is essentially a P and an F sound combined.
One way to produce this sound, is to say the English word 'cupfull'.
Pay attention to the way the bottom lip and teeth meet and seperate when producing this sound."
pf, pf (slowly)
pf, pf (slowly)
The next consonant is...
ʁ
Rost (rust)
Rast (break)
Rennauto (racing car)
"(voiced uvular fricative) Do you know that fleshy part that hangs down from the roof of your mouth? It's called the uvular.
Narrow that section with the back part of your tongue until you start making a sound.
It sounds a bit like the noise you make when you're gargling.
This sound is voiced, meaning you should feel vibrations coming from your throat."
ʁ, ʁ (slowly)
ʁ, ʁ (slowly)
The next consonant is...
ʀ
Rübe (carrot)
Ruhrgebiet (Ruhr area)
Reifen (tire)
"(voiced uvular trill) This consonant also utilises the uvular.
Lightly contact it with the back part of your tongue and try to direct just enough air through it so that the opening opens and closes rapidly.
This kind of articulation is called a trill.
This sound is also voiced, so you should feel vibrations coming from your throat."
ʀ, ʀ (slowly)
ʀ, ʀ (slowly)
The next consonant is...
r
Schmarrn (nonsense)
Grüße (greetings)
Start (start)
(voiced alveolar trill) This is also known as a rolled R, or rolling your R's. Lightly contact the gums directly behind your top teeth with the tip of your tongue and try to direct just enough air through it so that the opening opens and closes rapidly -- as if fluttering or vibrating. It almost sounds like a rapid "D" sound.
One useful trick, is to repeat the words "butter" or "ladder" really *really* quickly. Eventually, you'll produce the rolled R sound.
Yet another trick, is to think of olden day movies. Do you remember how Dracula first introduced himself? Like DO-RA-CU-LA. Try to say it like this multiple times. You want to focus on the D and R sound in the word "dracula". This *very* quick transitioning from the D to the R can sometimes allow you to prononuce the rolled R sound.
Okay, let's break this sound down.
r, r (slowly)
r, r (slowly)
The final consonant for this lesson is...
ts
Zahl (number)
Zweck (purpose)
Zorn (anger)
"(voiceless alveolar sibilant affricate) This consonant sound is like a combination of a T and an S sound.
It starts off as a t sound, but ends with an s sound.
Here's a great tip. You can produce this sound by saying the word 'cats', so one trick is to bounce off of the ending when trying to pronounce this consonant sound."
ts, ts (slowly)
ts, ts (slowly)
Well done! You just learned 5 German consonants.
pf, ʁ, ʀ, r, ts
These consonant sounds do not appear in English, so be sure to practice them!
In the next lesson, you'll learn 3 more consonant sounds that are not in the English language.
How difficult were they to learn? Please comment and share your thoughts.
See you in the next Ultimate German Pronunciation Guide lesson!

51 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

GermanPod101.com Verified
Friday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
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Let us know if you have any questions.

GermanPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 09:10 AM
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Hi Paul,


Thanks for the nice feedback!


You are most welcome.😉


If you have any questions, please let us know.


Kind regards,

Reinhard

Team GermanPod101.com

Paul Stanton
Saturday at 09:12 AM
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Extremely helpful lesson ....Danke

GermanPod101.com Verified
Friday at 05:01 PM
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Hallo robert groulx,


Danke schön for taking the time to leave us a comment. 😇

Let us know if you have any questions.


Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

Levente

Team GermanPod101.com

robert groulx
Thursday at 10:21 PM
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thanks for the lesson


my favorite word is Grüße


robert

GermanPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 10:28 AM
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Hi Oxana,


Thanks for the feedback.👍


Sounds like learning Russian might be easier for

Germans then? Should try it one day.😉


If you have any questions, please let us know.


Kind regards,

Reinhard

Team GermanPod101.com

Oxana
Monday at 04:20 AM
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Hello,


Looks like the last r is very similar to the same sound in Russian language. That was a real surprise for me. Before these videos I thought that there is only one version of R in German (similar to the first one provided here, but it's still the most difficult sound for me...).


Thanks!

GermanPod101.com Verified
Friday at 08:32 AM
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Hi Monica,


Thank you for a very good question!👍


I understand your predicament and I agree, if there was a "rule" for the "r"

it would make every German language student's life so

much easier.😄

But just like in English, for instance, ultimately you will have to consult a dictionary

for the correct phonetic pronunciation. There isn't a rule as such. That's why people in the South take the "liberty" of pronouncing it their own way. One little consolation is that the more you listen

to native speakers the easier it gets, because you are going to develop a feeling for

the different versions.


If you have any further questions, please let us know.


Kind regards,

Reinhard

Team GermanPod101.com

Monica
Tuesday at 10:16 PM
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Hi,

The explanations are good on how to produce the different R sounds with a few example words given for each but no explanation or rules are given for when to use which R sound. So how do I know which R sound to use when I see a word with an R in it? It also says that the trilled R is used mainly in southern Germany, so should I use it and if so when? Please can you let me know when to use which R sound.

Thanks

Monica

GermanPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 11:59 AM
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Hi RubyGirl,


I agree. Besides the "ch" probably

one of the biggest challenges when learning German.

Good luck!😉


Thank you for posting.


If you have any questions, please let us know.


Kind regards,

Reinhard

Team GermanPod101.com


RubyGirl
Saturday at 03:59 AM
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WOW those r's :(