Pronouncing l (like in “million”), place the tip of the tongue to the ridge behind the upper teeth. In German, a “k” and a hard “c” are pronounced in the front, so they sound a little brighter. Think of the sound a drop of water makes when it hits a hot surface (unvoiced sound). For all of the consonants you cannot find below, the German pronunciation does not differ from the English way of saying them. It just lengthens the vowel. For example, in some southern areas such as the Stuttgart region, Germans are more likely to roll their “R”s using their tongues than those who were raised in northern regions such as Hamburg and Berlin. An example of a German word with “st” is “stehen” [to stand]. It is all too tempting to overconcentrate on the first sound in the cluster and to slip back into pronouncing the 'r' as an English 'r'. In northern and central Germany, this sound is made towards the back of the vocal tract, with the back of the tongue raised towards the uvula in order to … An example of a German word beginning with “r” is “ruhe” [silence]. The German consonant “k” is pronounced like an English “k,” yet in the front of your mouth, not the back. An example of a German word with “ng” is “frühling” [spring]. The difference to the soft “ch” is the position of the tongue’s middle part; it is lowered, not raised, and only the back of the tongue touches the upper palate (unvoiced sound). Terminal Rs are almost silent but with the hit of an "r" sound. Others have only very subtle differences, and these are the ones you will want to pay the closest attention to, since the proper pronunciation of these consonants will determine whether or not you have a strong accent. The German consonant “l” is pronounced with a very subtle difference from the English “l.” In order to say it the “German way,” the whole front part of your tongue presses slightly against the upper palate, its tip is either right behind the upper teeth or even showing between the upper and lower teeth. The consonantal 'r' The German consonantal 'r' is described as a 'roll' or 'trill', by which we mean that the speech organs strike each other several times in quick succession in the articulation of this sound. doesn’t exist in the English alphabet. An example of a German word with a soft “ch” is “China.”. View the most active students on Language101.com for the past week. Pronouncing r, gargle slightly with uvula at back of mouth when r stands before a vowel like in German words “Rolle”, “beraten”, “Frau”, “Rad”, etc. The “g” is silent when making the “ng” sound. The German “r” is pronounced only at the beginning of words or after a consonant. After a vowel, the German “h” is not pronounced. Another factor to remember is that whilst the throat-based or uvular “R” is considered standard German, pronunciation varies by region and within individuals. The German consonant “c” is pronounced in two different ways after vowels: (1) “c” – before “a”, “o”, and “u”: Pronounced like an English “k,” yet in the front of your mouth, not the back. The German consonant ß (that’s not a “b”!!) An example of a German word with “z” is “zirkus” [circus]. To imagine the sound, think of a growling dog. An example of a German word with a hard “s” is “haus” [house]. Regen, albre r after open vowels hart r “st” – Pronounced “sh-t” (“sh” as in “shower,” followed by “t” as in “tea”). The German “r” is formed in the back of the throat, almost like the hard “ch,” just with less air, and voiced. The teeth almost touch each other. The German “c” is also used in three consonant combinations: (1) “ck” – Pronounced just like the German “k” or hard “c” (see above). Form it in the back of your throat with your uvula. The German consonant “s,” in front of a vowel, is pronounced like an English “z” (as in “zipper”). The German consonant “v” is either pronounced like an English “v” (voiced) or like an English “f”(unvoiced). A simple method of recognizing whether a vowel is likely to be long or short in a German word is called the Rule of double consonants. The Phonemes of German THE CONSONANTS At the end of Chapter Eleven it was stated that German has 20 consonant phonemes. (2) “ch” – after “i”, “e”, “ö”, “ä”, and “ü”: To imagine the sound, try thinking of a mixture between a very audible “h” and an “sh” sound. Following a vowel, the “s” is pronounced like an English “s” (as in “snow”), unvoiced and hard. An example of a German word with a voiced “v” is “vase” [vase]. The German consonant “r” is entirely different from the English “r.” This is REALLY IMPORTANT!! The most difficult movements to master are the Rhotic (German R) consonants. When r is followed by a consonant, simply swallow it, using the neutral sound like in British English pronunciation of the word “here”. Try saying a short “e” sound right after the “k,” as in “kindergarten,” and raise your tongue until the middle of it touches your upper palate while its tip pushes against your lower teeth. The German “r” is formed in the back of the throat, almost like the hard “ch,” just with less air, and voiced. When r is followed by a consonant, simply swallow it, using the neutral sound like in British English pronunciation of the word “here”. (2) “c” – before “i”, “e”, “ö”, “ä”, and “ü”: Sounds like a “ts:” a short “t” followed by a hard “s” (as in “snow”). Form it in the back of your throat with your uvula. [CDATA[ (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); // ]]> (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); 15 false friends in German for English Learners, Simple Reasons Why Learning German Is Worth Your While, How to Use "aber", "doch", "denn", "ja" - German…, Prinzregententorte – Bavarian Layered Chocolate Cake. A few, though, have striking differences. (Say “call” and pay close attention to where you form the “k”!). The German consonant P is pronounced just like in English. excellent note to pronounciation german r follow a vowel. The German vocalic 'r' is so-called because it is pronounced as a vowel, not a consonant. “ß” can be substituted by “ss” and is pronounced like an English ”s” (as in “snow”) (unvoiced sound). Most consonants in German are pronounced differently than in English. The tip of the tongue pushes against the lower teeth and the rest of it blocks the air that you release, being raised to your upper palate. In order to produce it, close your mouth as if pronouncing a German “e” or “i.” Your lips are open and smiling. You may not be able to tell the difference, but native speakers of English usually pronounce the “k” sound in the back of the mouth, closer to the throat. The mouth is closed, as when saying a German “e” or “i,” and the sound is made in the front of the mouth. However, there are slight variations when used in the following combinations: “ng” – Pronounced as “ŋ” in the back of your mouth, with the back of the tongue touching the upper palate, just like in English (e.g., in the word “spring”). An example of a German word with “ph” is “philosophie” [philosophy]. German Pronunciation Pitfalls . It occurs in three combinations: “ph” – Pronounced like “f,” just like in English. The German Consonant 'r' with other consonants It can prove difficult for students of German to remember to articulate the consonantal 'r' correctly when it appears in a cluster with other consonants. They come in multiple varieties: They come in multiple varieties: R at the end of a word or syllable : this is not always given in textbooks or dictionary pronunciations, but most native speakers pronounce a terminal r very weakly; it’s more of an "uh" sound that sometimes draws out the preceding vowel. Don't make the same language learning mistakes that we have. Form it in the back of your throat with your uvula. The German consonant “r” is entirely different from the English “r.” This is REALLY IMPORTANT!! The combination “ig” thus becomes “ich” when pronounced. Compare this to the way an “l” is formed in English: the tongue curves back, it is lowered with only its tip touching the upper palate, the mouth is open, and the sound is made in the back of the mouth (voiced sound). In our IPA transcriptions we have been using 22 different consonant symbols, so two of these must not represent phonemes in their own right. An example of a German word with a hard “ch” is “machen” [to make]. An example for a German word with an “r” following a consonant is “groß” [big]. Pronouncing r, gargle slightly with uvula at back of mouth when r stands before a vowel like in German words “Rolle”, “beraten”, “Frau”, “Rad”, etc. When r is followed by a consonant, simply swallow it, using the neutral sound like in British English pronunciation of the word “here”. You should exaggerate certain lip and mouth configurations in order to pronounce German words correctly. An example of a German word with “j” is “ja” [yes]. “ig” – At the end of a word, it is pronounced as the German soft “ch” sound. The charts below show the way International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Standard German language pronunciations in Wikipedia articles. It is NOT an English “r,” and it is NOT a Russian or Spanish rolled “r”! Sounds the same or similar to the Greek “γ”. s. like 'z' in "haze". Pronouncing r, gargle slightly with uvula at back of mouth when r stands before a vowel like in German words “Rolle”, “beraten”, “Frau”, “Rad”, etc. It is quite obvious with the consonants l and r. //