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German R and Diphthongs Posted by on Apr 25, 2009 in Uncategorized

Time for the German Rs!

Post vocalic r : does not sound like an English r. The syllable with the post vocalic r is pronounced slightly longer than the syllable without the r. To make this sound, spread your lips slightly apart. Words that contain this r : (der Herr) Mr., (hier) here

Pre vocalic r : is created by making a sound at the back of the mouth and the back of the tongue. It’s a sound that’s different from the post vocalic r. Words that contain this r : (die Frau) Mrs., (der Trost) consolation

Pre vocalic r in clusters : it’s easier to make these sounds by inserting an “a” in front of the r. For example, the word drei (three) can be pronounced as darei. Bringen (to bring) can be pronounced as baringen. Words that contain this sound : (braun) brown, (bedrohen) to threaten

Enough with the Rs. Next up are the dipthongs, diphthongs are two vowels pronounced together as if to pronounce a single vowel.

ai/ei – pronounced as eye. Examples : (der Mai) May, (bei) at, near

eu/äu – pronounced as oy. Examples : (die Häuser) houses, (neu) new

au – pronounced as ow. Examples : (auch) also

ie – pronounced as eeh. Examples : (Sie) you


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  1. Ronda:

    Yohann, Thank you so much for taking over this blog! I had just subsribed a few
    days before you started, so I’m glad to see the activity. I’m learning using
    livemocha.com, the book German Demystified, and of course the lovely German
    for Dummies, plus some CDs and DVDs. 🙂 I absolutely love this language.
    Thanks for all the great tips – they are concise and easy to read and understand.
    You will see me here a lot!