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Am I pronouncing the German 'r' right?

So when I pronounce the 'r' in German, it sounds like a 'ke' or 'ge' sound but the sound originates from farther back in my throat and when I try to pronounce sounds with r combined in them like the 'br' in 'brot' or the 'tr' in 'trinken' or 'pr' in 'spreche' and 'probieren', I don't(can't) really pronounce the r but can pronounce the 're' sound in 'regen' and 'fahren' and the 'ra' sound like in 'fahrrad'. So am I pronounciung the German 'r' right?

November 13, 2017



Hi C-Hunter,

stepintime wrote it already. There is no correct 'r' it depends in witch part of Germany you are. But we have Hochdeutsch, call it the official German :-). Please have a look here http://www.tagesschau.de/. and listen to the news. The newsreader are speaking a very correctly High German. So you can compare your 'r' to theirs. Like Cluney said it is hard to help you in a forum like this.

And by the way. Don't worry about your 'r'. A little accent can be very charming.

Best regards Angel


did you figure it out


its very simmilar to the spanish rr but instead vibrate the top of your mouth


I can pronounce the 'r' on its own or I would like to think just not when I try to pronounce r in words like 'spreche' or 'brot', the sound comes from the back the back of my throat like I said the 'ge' but even farther back of the throat


I think I know what you mean. If it's what I think it is, you're doing it right (in my book).

The thing is, across Germany you find very different ways to pronounce the "r". In Bavaria it's common to roll the "r" using your uvula in words like "Rose". If you do a sort of whiplash with the tip of your tongue when saying "Brot" or "Rose", you'll sound like a person from the north(west). There used to be a phonetics teacher at a certain place who apparently teached people (mostly native English speakers) to say "CCCHHHose" (jaws open, retching at the back of your throat as if something was blocking your windpipe). It regularly made me cringe. But apparently somebody somewhere thinks that's the standard way. (Please don't believe them! :) )

What I'm trying to say is there are variations, and as much as a learner obviously ought to focus on standard German and not on local accents, it still means you have a bit of a choice without sounding... well... I mean, if you roll your uvula in Hamburg, you will sound foreign, but Bavarian foreign (not English-speaking foreign).

That said: for words like "spreche" and "Brot", in my book the standard way is, as you say, a bit further back than "ge", but not all the way back at the uvula (if you can avoid it). With a bit of a "ch" sound mixed in.


It's difficult. I don't know if you can really learn through a discussion where we are using typing. I think the only things I can probably say is that the German 'r' is a lot stronger and more pronounced than the English one but that's pretty much like everything in German. So I don't really know if anyone will be able to tell you if you can pronounce it correct.


yeah your saying it right

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