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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!

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GermanPod101.com
Friday at 6:30 pm
Pinned Comment
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Let us know if you have any questions.

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GermanPod101.com
Wednesday at 2:41 pm
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Hi Alberto,


As for the difference between "ʁ" "R" or "r", I couldn't possibly

explain this better than the two ladies in the video already did.


If you really want to study beyond the video and get these sounds

perfectly right in German, I suggest you set yourself up with a native German in

a language exchange. There is only so much you can learn in theory. After that

it comes down to practice.


Thank you.


Hi Alberto,


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


Kind regards,

Reinhard

Team GermanPod101.com


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Alberto
Saturday at 11:15 am
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Hallo! Alberto here. I have a question. When does the r sounds "R"? And whe "ʁ" or "r"?

Viel danke :).

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GermanPod101.com
Saturday at 1:42 am
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Hello Carl,


Thank you for commenting. It takes a bit of practice to master the correct pronunciation.

Just let us know if we can help you somehow.


Sincerely,

Anne

Team GermanPod101.com

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Carl Z
Thursday at 2:54 pm
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Good Evening,


Wow, all three of the R sounds were difficult..I noticed I wasn't the only one..I'll take any and all suggestions.


Thank You

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GermanPod101.com
Tuesday at 8:44 am
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Hi Justin,


Thank you for posting.

Have you tried repeating DO-RA-CU-LA many times? : )

If you are a Premium Member, you should try the Voice Recorder feature.

The voice recorder allows you to record your voice and compare it to that of a native speaker so that you can double check. You can activate it by clicking on the microphone icon next to each word in the Vocabulary section.


I hope this helps!

Ofelia

Team GermanPod101.com

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Justin
Thursday at 6:04 am
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I cannot roll my r’s no matter how I try ?. Is there a good way to practice this? I think I may be doing it wrong. I try to do the same position with the tounge the same way as the person did, but I still cannot make a rolling r sound. I also try doing the r with the throat, but when I do it my throat feels dry and scratchy after. Am I doing it right?

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Germanpod101
Monday at 2:41 pm
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@Zoran: Schmarrn, you clearly pronounce it like a "r"-sound, also all other three words which are presented under the "r"-category.

Jennifer

Team Germanpod

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Zoran
Tuesday at 8:42 am
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Hallo!


In the vocabulary section Schmarrn is pronounced with "ʁ" consonant but in the video lesson that word is pronounced with "r" consonant.

Which one is the correct one, maybe both for that word?


p.s. After careful listening it seems like all 3 words that are in "r" consonant category sound more like they have "ʁ" consonants.

For me "r" consonant sound is very clear, I can reproduce it but why are the words in that category (Schmarrn, Grusse, Start ) pronounced with "ʁ" sound?


Danke.

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杨树坤
Monday at 8:29 pm
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非常好的教学!但网速太慢了...是不是因为我在中国的原因?

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GermanPod101.com
Tuesday at 12:21 pm
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Hallo Hans,


Gern geschehen! :smile:


Vielen Dank!


Clara

Team GermanPod101.com